Nonbe, Restaurant Kaiseki, Belval, Luxembourg

This is the chronicle of an amazing experience: the one at the restaurant of Nonbe, in Belval. I usually tend to stay within the city borders for dinner, but this adventure has been definitely worth the 65 Euro cab drive back to the city.

Nonbe is located in Belval, 10 minutes’ walk from the railway station, in a pretty anonym area of residential buildings. There is a brasserie downstairs, which serves dishes a la carte, including sushi. The spaces of the brasserie are bright, with wide windows and a clean wood counter. There is also a small terrace on the back.

At the first floor, you have the gastronomique “kaiseki” restaurant. It is open from Wednesday to Saturday, only for dinner and only with reservation. They serve a seasonal fixed menu for all the table, with no modifications possible, but a choice between a main with fish or meat. The menu price is 115 Euro per person.

We got to the restaurant slightly before 7 pm and we were surprised to see the brasserie already animated. Thru the wooden, immaculate stairs, we have been taken by our lovely waiter to the upstairs room, which mainly overview the brasserie, but includes as well small semiprivate room like ours.

From there, it has been a crescendo. We had an aperitif maison, which was sake, crémant and yuzu. The dinner started with a sequel of minimal, but not too small, appetizers: I cannot mention one specifically as I loved them all. My friend and I were looking at each other, tasting every bite hoping the flavor was not leaving any time soon our mouth. Ingredients were amazingly fresh and the combination in every dish adventurous and surprising, with a level of interaction on our side, for example to decide if to add more or less sauce or more or less mustard to the tuna fish. I was amazed by the marinated egg yolk, combined with the avocado, probably because I could not expect a dish so simple to be so heavenly.

The main course was anticipated by a shiso granite. Palate perfectly cleaned and ready for next. As said, we had two choices: as meat, beef wagyu (which was mine) or, as fish, grilled sea bass.

The dinner was closed by dishes of the Japanese tradition (soup, rice with beans and pickles), which we were introduced like “less raffinate compare to the previous dishes but, indeed, proposed to show the real Japanese tradition”.

The variation of dessert finally was equally interesting: the white chocolate donuts was my favorite and we accompany the dish with a glass of plum sake, as we finished our bottle of Puligny-Montrachet.

At the end, with the coffee, we were proposed the astonishing list of Japanese wishy. When we put down our glass for the last time, we look at each other with almost tears in our eyes.

Nonbe has been an amazing experience: food-wise, to start with. Dishes were balanced, creative, prepared with outstanding raw materials. The service was absolutely awesome: they exceptionally open the room upstairs for us on a Tuesday night as I had a friend visiting and it was the only date we could go there. We felt spoiled. Timing of every courses was just perfect, and we felt full but not overladed at the end.

Nice things don’t often come as cheap, and including aperitivo, wine, sake and wishy we got almost to 230 Euro per person (Wine was a bit less than half of the bill), but, again, definitely worth, the de-tour and the spent.

Nonbe is probably not a restaurant for every evening, but if you celebrate something special and you love Japanese food, this is the place to book.

I might also visit the Brasserie sometime soon, but I was so impressed by the restaurant, that could be easier I wait for the autumn menu to go back there.

Just a funny note: there is a famous Italian movie where the main character is going to a party and every guest at the party goes to him and whisper, “go to the toilet!”. The reason was someone giving away drugs in the restroom. So, when my friend came back from the ladies when we arrived, and she whispered “go to the toilet” I couldn’t help but laugh as it reminded me that movie. I don’t want to spoil you the end in this case (but you will have a small hint in the gallery).

The new “Rotisserie Ardennaise”

I am very excited as in the forthcoming weeks I put finally down a bit of planning and scheduled several visits to restaurants I have never been before. I have indeed realized I became a bit boring recently in my food choices and was going more to usual places where I feel “at home”, instead of being adventurous as I used to be in the past. Time for a change.

Last Friday night I booked at the new Rotisserie Ardennaise. The restaurant, you might remember, used to be one of my favorite when I was still living in Belair and has been now acquired by Come a La Maison group, so I was very curious to try it and see if and how it changed.

You can easily book online – I love places where you can book online! -.

We got there at 8 pm and the place was almost very packed. We were accommodated in the side room – honestly at the beginning I was a bit pissed, as it is definitely less charming, but soon I realized it is also less noisy than the main one.

The menu is mainly around meat, with three areas of choice: rotisserie (with chicken, pork, sausages to mention few), outstanding meat (as they call them, including beef filet, entrecote, burger..) and main dishes (where you have also couple of fish dishes, but no vegetarian options). Few starters are also in the menu and you have a great selection of sides (from truffle potatoes to aubergine parmigiana – one choice included in the price of your main together with the salad).

We started with a glass of champagne rose and one of wine to kick off the night, the chef welcome consisted in a chicken nuggets with ketchup sauce, both home made.
To follow, I had Tête de Veau Croustillante while E. had burrata salad. As main I had Pigeonneau et Sa Rôtie, while E. had half chicken roasted. I had truffle potatoes as side, while he had seasonal vegetables (Brussel sprouts and potatoes).

Our final bill read 235 Eur, of which 119 Eur for the one, a bottle of St. Estephe – so around 50 Euro each excluding the wine. Pictures of the dinner followed by my impressions about Rotisserie Ardennaise.

What I loved about Rotisserie Ardennaise:

  • I like very much the place. I used to like it also in the previous version, which was very much old fashion. They keep the spirit of the old place but made it a bit more modern, with this very strong liberty accent which to me it is making it extremely chic (yes, you know I am not a fan of minimal places, so this is encountering my taste more).

  • Food was delicious: we understood our dinner was going to be very tasty from the amuse bouche. Generally I pretty much dislike everything which is proposed as amuse bouche in restaurants, this time it was extremely good. The burrata salad, prepared with almonds and strawberry, was the best starter and my pigeon was to die for. Pigeon is one of my favorite dish and I tend to be extremely critical – this one was amazing, and was accompanied by beans with bacon and his juice.

  • When we got the bill, we the price – if we took off the wine – was extremely fair. The wine list includes several choices for limited price (around 30 Eur) and pigeon was the most expensive item on the list. Therefore you can get out with a definitely cheaper bill – for a very nice dinner.

What I liked a bit less about Rotisserie Ardennaise:

  • We had a very pleasant night and I would definitely come back. It happened very often that in the questions I received through my Instagram page, people are asking about meat restaurants in Luxembourg and usually I am very much in difficulties about what to reply, as so far there was not a place with a strong meat menu that I liked. Rotisserie Ardennaise is definitely now this place and even if they have been open just for one week, I was incredibly surprised about how good the food is. Hopefully they keep it up.

  • If we need to find something to improve, it would be definitely the service: while maître de salle was extremely competent, polite and present, the rest of the staff was a bit confused and out of the contest – one waitress was going around for our small rooms with dishes asking to whom they belong. The place is new, so it is totally understandable and I am sure they will improve.

  • Also, for my taste, the wine list has either extremely expensive wines or cheap ones – I would have personally preferred to have a better choice in the middle price range, but again, this is a personal point.

 

To conclude: I was impressed by Rotisserie Ardennaise. To me it can clear become quickly the best meat restaurant in Luxembourg city. The place is very fancy, food is delicious and the price is fair. Definitely recommended: perfect for a dinner date, a family gathering or a night out with friends.

Where to: Eat Vegetarian for Lunch in Luxembourg

If you remember, two years ago we had a series that was pretty followed on the blog that was called “Where to” and was including suggestions per areas of Luxembourg – our most read was definitely the Bonnevoie one.
This year, I have decided to create something similar, but with a different focus.

I will test restaurants in the same range and compare them. Because some kind of visits are too short to write a proper review, but it is worth of having indications about where to… We will start today with Vegetarian Lunch in Luxembourg.

Where do you have vegetarian lunch in the city?

Definitely the situation is better than when I arrived 13 years ago – I definitely know it, as at that time I was vegan and it was almost impossible to eat out. Now little by little new vegetarian spots are opening in town and, even if not fully vegetarian, restaurants offer a tasty and wide selection of no-meat no-fish dishes that are not plain salads. I have included those places in my list that does not want to be fully inclusive, therefore feel free to suggest with your favorite vegetarian lunch eatery or the one you want us to test!

(A special thanks to Sana for having been part of the test).

Flowers Kitchen

Area: Station

What I had: Super Bowl and Ginger Lemonade

What I spent: 18,20 Eur

What you have: The place is rather small, so it you better reserve in advance. They have a weekly menu, plus a super bowl, a super dish and a savory cake (“quiche”). Choice of drink is also rather various and starts from infused water to smoothies. They are a fully vegan restaurant, so don’t serve meat or fish.

What I think: I liked the food proposal, my dish was big and I was very full after. Ginger lemonade was very tasty. If you eat in, you have service at the table and it is lovely. Downside: it did not come out as very cheap and they don’t take lunch vouchers.

Side note: They have just opened a bigger restaurant in Cloche D’Or, definitely worth to try.

Ekxi

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Area: Kirchberg (but there also others in the city center and station area)

What I had: pumpkins soup, Shanti sandwich (with hummus) and Rivella Green Tea

What I spent: 9.20 Euro

What you have: You don’t have service at the table and you basically help yourself among what it is available (in Kirchberg you have to get there around 12 to be able to have full choice). The menu includes 1 soup or 1 small salad, 1 sandwich and 1 drink. You have also salads, warm dishes and dessert. They have a rather healthy food choice (indicating as well the number of calories on the product) and they serve also fish / meat. The vegetarian menu is pretty wide anyway.

What I think: I like Ekxi as I can take away really quickly at the office or bring a salad at home at the evening when I don’t feel like cooking. Menu changes seasonally. Products are a bit on the commercial side and not very appealing in the presentation, but still tasty. If you take the menu, the price is very competitive. Quite different if you start taking separate random products. Perfect if you are on a budget and in a hurry.

Side note: I love their freshly made Mint Iced Tea.

Dean & David

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Area: Kirchberg (but there is also one in the city center)

What I had: Avocado Bowl (Small) and Lemonade

What I spent: 14 Euro

What you have: You get served at the counter and the order is freshly prepared. They have a quite various menu, including as well fish and meat, starting from salad, bowl, wrap and sandwich. You have at least two vegetarian items for each category. The “small” bowl was still quite big for me and was very tasty.

What I think: As products are prepared at the moment, the wait at lunch time might be quite long and to me this is the only negative point. I love the selection of products and I love the fact that portions are large enough to fill full but not to fall asleep.

Side note: during summer, in Kircherberg the terrace is small but lovely.

Oak

Area: Place de Paris / Place de Martyr

What I had: Dish of the day (Salad, Hummus, Rice Balls and Veggies), Fairy Tale Tea and a Slice of Raw Black Forest Cake

What I spent: 23 Euro

What you have: Service is at the table – very polite – and dishes are prepared in a kitchen on display. The menu is relatively small (dish of the day, dish of the week, in combo with soup and salad, two types of cakes). The place is very cozy and relaxed. I loved their tea pot.

What I think: The main dish was good but I was not extremely impressed (it was a bit too salty for me). The cake was to die for – I would definitely have another (or another 10!) slices. They have a great selection of loose tea, but on cold drink the choice is limited.

Side note: the place is perfect if you want a central location, but very quiet.

Glow

Area: Bonnevoie

What I had: Risotto and Nuts Cake, coffee

What I spent: 24 Eur

What you have: Service at the table – definitely one of the best service I had in Luxembourg, very kind and smiley, even when the place is full. Location is not big, therefore reservation is strongly recommended. They have a daily menu, salad and soup of the day. They are open all day, so you can also pop in also just for a coffee or a piece of cake.

What I think: The only downside at Glow is that you should be lucky with the daily menu. As the choice is limited, if you are not a fan of what it is proposed (but that you can check ahead online), it might not be worth it. For the rest, the place is lovely.

Side note: They organize a monthly brunch.

 

Mu Restaurant at Sofitel Le Grand Ducal

Unexpectedly but true, we are finally back on track with our reviews. As you may have already seen, there are couple of news on the blog, starting from our new addition Angela, who will take care of gastro-events and will help Jenni and I in covering as much as we can about the social life in Luxembourg.

Now – talking about food – on Friday night it was finally girls-night and with a big night ahead, Jenni and I decided to have some food, but in style, before hitting the dance floor. Normally ,when we go out on the week-ends, I don’t like having a full 3-courses dinner – I am 36, you know, and afterwards I would feel just the urge to jump in my bed instead of at Paname 🙂
At the same time, while having some tapas style dinner, we were looking for a kind of poshy location – as we wanted to dress up a bit for the night 🙂 – so we decided to try Mu, the almost new restaurant inside Sofitel Le Grand Ducal. Indeed Mu has been since its opening on my “to try” list, but I was always skipping it, as my previous dining experiences at Sofitel were awful.

We got a reservation for 8:30 pm on Friday night and our welcome was nice and friendly. The restaurant has been completely changed compared to when it was “L’Etoile Top Floor” and has a more relaxed and young appearance – still stylish and sophisticated, but more on the urban side.

The mood of the menu has also completely changed: understood it was our first time there, our waiter was really nice to explain us the formulas. There are several tapas, perfect to share or as starter, and then a list of main. While the focus of the main courses can be definitely found in beef dishes (with a great choice of sides and homemade sauces), the menu is not shy of solutions for non-meat eaters.

We drunk a glass of champagne before starting and as per our plan, we went for tapas: we ordered babaganoush (eggplant hummus), vegetarian fataya (pastry ravioli), clams, tuna tataki, scallops and octopus.

Dishes were surprisingly good: as said, based on my past experiences with Sofitel Le Grand Ducal, my expectations were not that high. I was glad to be extremely wrong. In particular, the scallops were amazing (and I am not a fan of scallops), lightly hot and with grilled pineapple. Octopus, prepared with pimento du patron (one of the dishes I miss most from Lanzarote), was soft and tasty. And finally the tuna tataki was just fresh, delicious and perfectly prepared.

The other two tapas – babaganoush and fataya – were definitely nice but personally speaking missed a bit of the quid other dishes had (the fataya in particular) so I would not order them again.

Over the course of the dinner, we drunk an amazing Chassagne-Montrachet 2012.

After 6 tapas in total we were pretty full, so even if the list of dessert (and the cheese selection) was great, we decided to conclude with a coffee and two rounds of digestif.

Pictures of our dinner followed by my impressions.


What I loved about Mu Luxembourg
:

  • I loved the mood of the place: it is refined and sophisticated, without being too formal. The view, ca va sans dire, is worth alone the visit and it is perfect for a date but also for a night with friends.
  • The tapas we had were to die for: I loved, loved the food and I cannot wait to come back to try further dishes on the menu. What was also impressive for me was that portions were not too tiny (6 tapas in two were enough for a girls’ dinner) and the prices are extremely fair (tapas are between 8 and 12 euros and main courses between 15 and 37 euros). This is definitely a place you can visit for having a lovely, tasteful, elegant dinner without asking for a loan.
  • The service was nice and polite, with some ups and downs, as normal: in particular, our welcome was great and at the restaurant reception they were outstanding. During the night we had a bit the feeling to have been forgotten, but it was quickly recovered at the end with a delightful farewell.

What I liked a bit less about Mu Luxembourg:

  • I enjoyed very much our time there. As said, maybe because my expectations were very not that high, our evening came out amazing and I would definitely recommend the place and come back again soon. If I only have to find something I was less than impress, the prices for SOME drinks. While the food menu is more than reasonable for such high-class restaurant, a glass of pink champagne is billed 37 Eur (yes, you read right) and the cheapest Cognac is also around 20 Eur. Still, if you want not to faint when you get the check, you have other options (international digestifs, like Limoncello or Bayles, for example, are still around 8 Euros) and the list of wine is coming with some nice options around 40 Eur.

In conclusion: if you are looking for a place with a modern elegant twist, but without unneeded white gloves, Mu is the place for you. They propose a fairly priced menu with amazing tapas – and some good-looking meat choices I have yet to try, including burgers. The service is lovely and the place definitely perfect to impress a date or for a night out. Watch out the drink choices if you don’t want your bill to add up.

New Confucius, Strassen, Luxembourg

Have you ever noted the strange relationship you have with the restaurants in your neighborhood? When I was living in Bonnevoie, I almost tried all the restaurant in my area. I had some favorites and to some I did not any any further chance after couple of strong delusions.

For the short time I was at the hedge between Belair and Strassen, it was quite different. As the area was not very lively, I have always tried to move “downtown” when I could. And there were couple of restaurants I passed in front each and every day but I tried probably just at the very end of my stay. One of these, for sure, was New Confucius, located on a corner of Route D’Arlon. I actually had dinner there several years ago, but it was those kind of dinner that you remind more for the quantity of alcohol you drank than for the food. The surprising thing, for me, was that, whatever day of the week, whatever time, New Confucius was always packed when I passed in front.

So, couple of days before moving, I told M. that would have been the case to have a dinner there before leaving the flat.

We got there on a week night without reservation and the main room was almost full and the side smaller rooms were fully booked.

I had a Chinese beer while M. had a coke to start with while we analyzed the menu. The offer is huge, from starters to meat to fish.. there is really too much!

Instead of going a la carte, we opted for one of the set menu, specifically the one for 33 Eur. We had both the Wan Tan soup (with Chinese ravioli), followed by a mix of starters, including steamed dim sum, nems and fried chicken. As main, I went for the Pekin roasted duck (that was the only reason because I wanted the menu for 33 Eur instead of the one for 23!) while M. had Shrimps with spicy sauce. We concluded both with Dame Blanche and Chinese Sake (this one not included in the menu).

Find the pictures of our dinner followed by my final impressions about New Confucius.


What I liked about New Confucius
:

  • The location is nice and in the main room you have lots of space between tables. If you are having a celebration, you can also reserve in the separated rooms. This will keep the noise away from the other diners and will ensure a very cozy atmosphere. A special mention for me goes to the restrooms upstairs: while generally the whole restaurants have a great attention to details and precious decoration, the restrooms are out of a Chinese Michelin star restaurant in a European capital, amazing!
  • The food was a bit a hit and a miss. The soup was good – but not amazing, a bit too salty for my taste. The starters, above all the fried one, were very cheap and with totally no flavor. The dim sum were fairly good, as well as the duck, that was served in two ways, and the shrimps M. ordered were tasty too.
  • The restaurant offers a huge choice if you have picky friends: from vegetarian, to fried dishes, to steamed one. And the set menus are a very good and affordable for a budget dinner out.

What I liked a bit less about New Confucius:

  • While service was generally polite (the one who seemed to be the owner was lovely!), it was very fast, too much. The menu has a lot of food included and the waiters were removing our dishes as soon as our chopsticks were down and already taking the following courses. At the dim sum we felt already stuffed and we were able to eat only few bites out of the main course – that we asked anyway to take away. You should give your clients the time to eat and drink in a relaxed way. I suppose there is a way in the middle between ignoring a table without drinks and asking if I want a refill as soon as I serve myself my last half of beer.
  • As said, set menu are pretty cheap (23 and 33 eur), but watch out about drinks and extra, the bill can easily add-up and becoming not cheap anymore – with two beers, some water and sake you got to slightly more than 100 Eur.

 

In conclusion: New Confucius is a nice Chinese restaurant in Belair/Strassen. It offers separate dining rooms for celebrations, set menu also for dinner for small price and food portions are generous. Not the best Chinese restaurant in town, but definitely a fair one if you look for big portions and small price.

New Year, Julio Cevicheria, Luxembourg

Well, let’s see how to start: first of all, happy new year! 2017 has been a great one for our blog – we have now a second editor, Jenni, who is helping me out with the events and interviews. We held our first blog party. We were part of the jury of Luxembourg Night Life Awards, we are writing for Easy-jet magazine and much more. Unfortunately, under the personal point of view, it was a pretty tough year for me and I realize the frequency of the posts were influenced by the ups and downs of my life. I hope 2018 will be a even better year for the blog but that we will be as well able to entertain you with more frequent updates!

So, before the end of the year, I moved in with bf and in my favorite area of the city – Place de Paris. You could have seen it coming 🙂 I happily realized there are more and more places opening in the neighborhood and the first one I tried was the brand new Julio Cevicheria. I was complaining with some friends already some months ago about the fact that an exotic and innovative cuisine that is the hype abroad did not yet have much space in the Luxembourg scenario. So, here we go, finally a new Peruvian restaurant in the city!

Since it opens, I have been to Julio Cevicheria three or four times, mainly for drinks, so I can tell you a bit more about my experience.

The place has a very low profile introduction on the street: just a steep staircase on the end part of Avenue de la Liberte toward the station. Downstairs, it is basically another story. A first main room with tall tables and armchairs separated by the bar on side and the dining room. Bright colors, naked tables, pictures on the walls. A separated VIP room – for private dining and parties – at the very end and, surprise, a lovely terrace on the back. The place is huge!

We actually went there just for a quick after-work but we decided then to eat as well something. We ordered Pisco Sour, the house cocktail, and I loved it (in fact I had four, LOL). We chose then Loaded potato with Beef, Nachos Peruanos, Fish and Octopus Chicharrones Tapa and Tapa Iberica (Ham & Cheese).

Everything was exceptionally good: I loved in particular the chicharrones with octopus, it was my favorite finger food of the night!

Some pictures of our informal dinner at Julio Cevicheria followed by my general impressions.


What I loved about Julio Cevicheria:

  • The place is amazing and it is already one of my new favorite. I adore the cocktails – last night I ordered as well a Mojito Passion Fruit and it is full of flavors! Pisco Sour is also perfect to combine with the finger food, that might be a bit greasy somehow.
  • The food is yummy: large choice, from finger food to salads, from vegetarian to fish, and several of the dishes have different size possible (for example for chicharrones you have tapas size, starter size and dish to share size). I particularly appreciate this formula as not always you might want to have a full dinner. As said before, the chicharrones with Octopus were my favorite bites so far, but I look forward to have also main courses that looked very tasty.
  • The service is great: Julio Cevicheria is just a place where you enter and you feel home and you are greeted, first or 10th visit, as you are one of the family. A plaudit to the great team, from the barman who are checking if you are fine with the taste of your drink during the night, to the lovely lady who is taking care of your dinner and introduced us to the Peruvian food.

What I liked a bit less about Julio Cevicheria:

  • I liked everything, without exceptions. If you want to be picky, the service is Mediterranean style, so at dinner time not the place if you are in a rush. Also, during the two times I have been there for dinner, some items on the menu were not available – but in fact it is because all ingredients are fresh and very requested items might get sold out over week-end.

To sum up: I have a new favorite place in town and it is Julio Cevicheria. It is the perfect location for a drink and some finger food or as well for a Peruvian dinner. The location is lovely and the service is one of the best I’ve ever had in town. It is strongly recommended for business outing, family celebrations and date nights.

 

Am Clubhaus op der Spora, Bridel, Luxembourg

Another Sunday out for dinner, another sushi review, not the last of the series but almost – keep the hype for grand-final.

So – you probably all have that friend who is always a bit picky and is not a fan of any exotic food. I am veeeery lucky and I have more than one 🙂 So much I like to try whatever kind of cuisine and, even when travelling, eating in whatever conditions, so much the most part of my closest crew is very traditional in terms of food choices. But sometimes you don’t feel like eating once again pizza or beef steak right?
For these times when you have to get to a deal, one of the options for me is the restaurant Am Clubhaus, Op der Spora, located in Bambesch, just upstairs the tennis club.

The reasons to choose this restaurants are definitely the lovely sunny terrace during the warm season and the traditional menu combined with a wide sushi choice prepared at a counter on view by Japanese chefs.

We reserved during the afternoon and got the Am Clubhaus around 8.30 pm. The restaurant has a wide parking just in front. We actually wanted to have a table on the window overlooking the tennis court, but all those available were already booked – even if still empty (remember at the reservation in case!)

We started with a mojito for aperitif and ordered then a mixed sushi / sashimi boat for 4 people and a portion of tempura shrimps. Wonder what, the picky person changed his mind and decided to have sushi as well (no comment). I also asked if a soup was included with the order – I remember it was the case last time I have been there – but I was replied if I wanted one I have to order it specifically. I did, only for me.

The boat was anticipated by a small salad welcome from the house and, during the dinner, we had 2 bottles of Chablis and concluded with espresso and digestif for 4.

Total bill read 70 Euro per person (280 Eur in total).

Pictures of our dinner and some impressions about Am Clubhaus are following.


What I liked about Am Clubhaus, Op der Spora:

  • As said, I like the fact they propose both a traditional French menu together with the sushi, so you are not obliged to stick to Japanese if you don’t want to. Personally, I always had sushi when I came there, but the other dishes don’t look back either.
  • The sushi boat was huge and pretty good, with quite some variety. In particular, I adored the tuna tataki and the soft shell crabs rolls. While there were not many innovative combinations like other sushi restaurants I have tried recently, the fish was very fresh and tasty. Definitely a great choice if you like sushi.

What I liked a bit less about Am Clubhaus, Op der Spora:

  • The service is quite slow – we waited ages between the starter and the boat. I can definitely understand it is because the sushi was prepared at the moment, but the place was quite empty and a good half of the other tables were eating a la carte.  I cannot imagine how much you should wait to get your boat during busy days.
  • I got a huge bowl of Miso soup as starter – so huge I had to share it with a friend, as I was not able to finish it. As to me the salad starter makes not much sense, I suppose with the boat you should give people the choice between a salad and a smaller bowl of soup. I was also a bit confused as a small bowl of Miso soup was indeed taken to another table next to ours instead of the salad, as happened to my at my previous visits (and therefore already included in the price). Mmm.
  • About the latter, while the portions were quite big and the sushi fresh and tasty, I still had the impression the bill is not very cheap.

In conclusion: Am Clubhaus Op der Spora is a great location for having sushi or traditional French cuisine. It is located in the lovely Bambesch, surrounded by the green, there is a kids playground nearby and during summer they offer a sunny terrace. The sushi boats are traditional but very tasty and, while the place is not cheap, it is recommended for a celebration or a special meeting with friends. And they are open on Sundays!

Where to: go for a date in Luxembourg

You don’t necessarily need a special occasion to arrange a romantic date. Whenever you have been in couple for long time or it is your first date, Luxembourg offers plenty of options to impress your partner.

Splurge

After-Work / Drinks

Le Sud (Rives des Clausen)

While their restaurant is very well known in Luxembourg, not many know you can visit the last floor bar of Le Sud even if you don’t have a reservation for dinner. The lounge, in fact, is open every day until 1 am and, over the week end, until 3 am. They offer a great selection of wine and cocktails, amuse-bouche bar to accompany your drinks and, during the warm season, one of the best terrace in town. Definitely worth the spent.

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Piano Bar at Le Royal Hotel (Centre)

This might appear as an easy choice, not it is not so obvious. Among several classy hotels in Luxembourg, under my personal point of view, Le Royal is definitely the one that offers the most accurate service and the most uptown ambiance. Drinks presentation is stylish and, during the warmer season, the terrace offers a calm and sunny background for a romantic date. Not to mention the elegant cigar room in the corner.

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Dinner

Bick Stuff (Clausen / Neudorf )

Bick Stuff was one of the first places where I had a date in Luxembourg, almost eleven years ago, therefore it kept for me very special memories. This restaurant has a very romantic allure not only for its cozy settings, but as well thanks to the amazing service (one of the best in town for me) and the refined French cuisine.

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Giallo (Centre / Place D’Armes)

Among several noisy and family-friendly Italian restaurants, Giallo has a distinctive characteristic to be THE different place. For a special night, don’t forget to book the table downstairs near the water cascade. On the food side, Giallo will not disappoint you as well, with a “wow” presentation and great combination of tastes. Don’t miss the Italian bubbles to surprise your companion.

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Mid-Budget

After-Work / Drinks

L’Avenue (Kirchberg)

In the heart of Luxembourg financial district, with its amazing terrace and stylish interior design, L’Avenue is the perfect place is you are taking your date out straight after-work. Enjoy the sun on their lovely terrace and accompany your drinks with “a la carte” yummy tapas.

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Franz (Hamilius / Centre)

I ended up a Franz one night slightly heartbroken and decided after couple of gins that was not definitely the place for me on that specific night (joking!). Indeed, if you are on a date, the atmosphere is very romantic, Ronan Keating singing in the air and they have one of the best drink selections in town together with delicious platters to share at the after-work. It might happen, like it was for me that night, also that some brave couples are even dancing at the bar near closing time.

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Dinner

La Grappe D’Or (Dommeldange)

This Portuguese restaurant off the beaten tracks is for me a hidden gem, a very well preserved secret. The kitchen is mainly concentrated on fish, with great classic dishes and grilled platters to share. But the value point is definitely, during summer, the incomparable view, one of the best of the whole Luxembourg – get there on time to enjoy the sunset.

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La Cantine du Châtelet (Hollerich/Gare)

If you are looking for a place with a wow effect on the atmosphere and food side, but not on the bill, La Cantine is the perfect place to take your partner out. You can eat at the restaurant for a fancy evening or in the lounge bar room for a more informal date. The point in common between the two is the lovely service and the amazing wine list (with fair recharges). The dinner menu is refined and creative but tapas are also available if you are more into your partner than into food.

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Informal

After-Work / Drinks

Cafes Des Tramways (Limpersberg)

Candles: that should be enough to ensure you all the atmosphere and at Cafes des Tramways you definitely have a lot of them. Slightly out of the city center, in the posh district of Limpersberg, it still maintain its original relaxed allure. If your other half is not into dressing up, this is definitely the place you might want to take him / her.

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Bellamy – Bar & Cookery (Old Town)

The last born of the Goten/Tube family is a cozy, tiny bar on two floors in the old town. Over week-ends, it might be packed, but if you managed to gain a seat at the counter or in one of the corners, nothing can ruin your date. The service is on point, cocktails are delicious – and you don’t have to stay with your classic Gin Tonic, the card offers more extravagant choices – and if you need something more than butterflies in your stomach, they can prepare for you yummy tapas (order the avocado fries if available, it’s a win win).

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Dinner

La Briscola (Gare)

The thing I appreciate most, when I am invited for a date, is the capacity of my partner to surprise me with non conventional choices. La Briscola is a brand new place that opens recently next to the station. While the area might be not really appealing, once inside you will definitely forget about where you are. Friendly atmosphere, great selection of Italian wines at fair prices and a tasty innovative authentic Italian cuisine are making the rest.

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Beim Siggy (Clausen)

If you’re date is coming from out of Luxembourg, there is no better place to take him/her than Beim Siggy. The brasserie offers definitely the most stunning view in town together with a French / Luxembourgish kitchen, perfect if you wanna try local tastes but you want to maintain a classy profile – my recommended dish is definitely their beef tartare.

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What about you? What are your favorite places for a date in the City?

 

 

Restaurant Atlantico, Howald, Luxembourg

I come from a beach village where, during summer, the usual festive dinner consist in those huge seafood grilled platters – these, together first with my family, are one of the things I miss most living abroad.
I tried several seafood restaurants in and out of Luxembourg but unfortunately the sophisticated (even if yummy) French approach when it comes to fish is pretty different from the one you can find in my hometown. Indeed, one of the only places where I find a very similar attitude, is Atlantico, a tiny, cozy Portuguese restaurant specialized in seafood, located at the edge of Bonnevoie, in Howald district.

After a business event, I decided to take there my partner in crime M., who is equally a seafood lover. We called a bit in advance to ensure there was place for us – the restaurant is quite small – and we arrived there around 9 pm. All the tables were occupied except ours and a pleasant smell was pervading the room.

We had a mix of fried seafood – anticipated by a small appetizer olives platter “pour la maison” – and continued with the mixed seafood grillade for two persons, including lobster, shrimps, octopus, salmon and much more and accompanied by chips and rice.

We had a Portuguese dry white wine – as “Esporao Reserva”, my favorite one, was not available, the waiter chose for us and the choice was perfect – and concluded – what’s new? – with Portuguese grappa and espresso.

Enjoy the pictures and find my comments about the restaurants after the break.


What I liked about Restaurant Atlantico
:

  • The food is delicious: if you are not into formalities and like the grillade style sea food this is the perfect place for you. The dish is huge, the fish is tasty. There are other options available on the menu, including simple gambas, codfish, as well as some meat dishes.
  • The price is incredible fair for the quality and the quantity of what you eat, as well as compared to similar places.
  • The atmosphere is informal and lively.

What I liked a bit less about Restaurant Atlantico:

  • There was unfortunately just one waiter for all the tables and it ended up in a service very fast and approximate. He did not have the time to stop by for our requests, wait was a bit long and sometimes we had to call him couple of time before being served. Not his fault, obviously.
  • Compared to similar places I have been, while the quality and the quantity of the seafood is better, in the grilled platter the side dishes are not exceptional – rice is plain white and chips were a bit soaked. No complementary sauces.
  • As you can clearly see from the pictures, it is not a posh place: presentation is quite hurried, location is old fashion and also the customers are generally pretty noisy. Still for me a lovely place to visit.

 

In conclusion: Restaurant Atlantico is included in my top choices in Luxembourg for seafood. While the location is not fancy and the service a bit superficial, the quality / price for grilled platters is fabulous and I would recommend it for seafood lovers in couple and among friends.

 

A luxurious evolution: Le Chatelet, Luxembourg City

As you might have noticed if you follow the blog, we tend not to review a place more than once in a couple of years – even if, when the feedback is good, I visit it again.
We recently did an exception for Le Chatelet, the refined restaurant located in Boulevard de La Petrusse, that welcome us last time when was still part of a famous Luxembourg brand.

The restaurant has been acquired by Jean-Baptiste and Aleksandra, this refreshing couple who decided to leave their previous professional life behind and jump in a new adventure. They gave their chef “carte blanche” with the idea of moving the restaurant concept from a steak-house (remember, also Barefoot in Luxembourg was there for meat) to an innovative bistronomic brasserie.

The step to get to this level was achieved as well with some noticeable improvements to the appearance of the venue: the tables on the main road have been removed, there have been some major reviews in the internal settings and at the wine bar, but it is on the terrace that the main changes have been operated. The cheap coverage has been removed in favor of a more open and green terrace, a Parisian corner in the heart of the station area.

In regards to the cuisine, forget about bouche a la reine and toast au champignon, the card is surprisingly creative and have limited choices, but for all the tastes – it must be said that the evening menu changes every two weeks and some seasonal suggestions are proposed on spot. The a la carte menu change with seasons as well.

We had ourselves a tasting menu with wine paring.

The amuse-bouche was the prelude of an exceptional dinner: an exquisite tartare of carabineros prawns accompanied by tomato and mozzarella foam. A symphony of taste in only couple of spoons, the freshness, almost kinky taste of the prawns dancing with the comforting, bold intermezzo of the mozzarella and closed by the acid notes of the tomato.

We were already gobsmashed.

The first starter was an unpredictable combination with old-fashion reminiscences  and exotic notes: risotto with celery, lobster in two consistencies, homardine sauce and coconut milk. The intriguing part of the dish was indeed the mixture between classic tastes (lobster) with creative elements (the celery risotto was unexpectedly to die for, the coconut milk was taking you to a Bangkok food stall and back).

Then it came the foie gras ice cream, a dish that would have definitely not disfigured on a Michelin starred restaurant table. Tasty but not sickly sweet, accompanied by a crumble of hazelnuts and spices, it managed to wrap the palate without tiring it.

As main course, we had ray with semi-salted butter, young carrots with kaffir lime, emulsion of shellfish and fried capers. Again, a mishmash of a classic dish with brush strokes of originality. To me, this was as well the best combination between a dish and its wine, as the salty note of the sauce and the capers perfectly mingled with the sweet delicacy of a local Riesling.

Finally, the meat dish: lamb rumsteak with ratatouille cake, tapenade and potatoes. An astonishing presentation for a pretty vintage closure of the meal with a delicious drive.

Together with the coffee, we got our dessert, last dish of the menu: apricots, cacao crumble, coconut and vanilla ice cream, apparently a simple blending, indeed a very elaborate twist of consistencies, tastes and aromas.

Pictures of our dinner with the relevant wine pairing, followed, as usual, by my overall impression on the restaurant.

What I loved about Le Chatelet:

  • As general consideration, I have to say I was positively surprised by the new restaurant imprint, innovative but not in an aggressive or exaggerate way – as well at pricing level. Our tasting menu was fantastic, but the “a la carte” choices include some very impressive numbers as well – the fried creamy egg in the starters for example or the Carnaroli risotto with truffle and pata negra.
  • The wine selection is amazing – not in the sense of general commercial wines or just big names, but of a very attentive selection and experience. For example, with the lamb we had a Spanish red wine. We were skeptic, but it was a great wine, intense and powerful.
  • The timing of the dinner was perfect: generally with the tasting menu you often risk to have dishes coming in too quickly and to fill up immediately. Or – vice versa – to wait too much between courses and get bored. In this case, nothing could have been done better.
  • The service was great: spontaneous and attentive. A special mention to the lady who was introducing the wine, she was really showing a great passion and explaining the pairings in a detailed way, but easy to understand.

What I liked a bit less about Le Chatelet:

  • We had fabulous time and our dinner could have not been better. If I want to be picky and find one item to change, it would be the combination between the lobster dish and its wine, a Chardonnay with significant citrus notes. The dish to me was on a sweet side, as well was the wine. While my partner in crime observed a drier wine would have been better, on my side I would have kept the wine and added a bit of chili or cayenne pepper to the dish. De gustibus.

In conclusion: The visit to the new Le Chatelet overcame our expectations. We found a renewed brasserie with a strong gastronimique accents. Perfect if you are bored of the “usual” standards and expect something “more” from your dinner, without ending up in the pretentious. Strongly recommended for a date, a dinner with friends or a business meeting.

And if you wish to enjoy the sun informally, a tapas menu is also available.