Bee Famous: Tasty, Affordable and Organic Wine Available at Auchan’s

As autumn is approaching, Barefoot in Luxembourg was invited for a wine tasting at Beef-Bar at Auchan’s to have a sneak peak of the shop’s new wine season range. “Foire Aux Vins” is in fact an annual event taking place in September ( this year from September 20th to October 3rd) in several supermarkets in Luxembourg, including Auchan, where winemakers introduce new wines and also offer special deals for products already on the shelves. You can check out Auchan’s website for more information about products and discounts.

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I had a pleasure to get to know Bee Famous, an organic wine brand from South France. I have shared my impressions below.

 

White wines:
Bee Famous Organic Cévennes

  • Fresh and fruity
  • Excellent choice with spicy and Asian food

Bee Famous Organic Chardonnay

  • Very rounded, well structured, crispy
  • Goes well with grilled fish, and sushi

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Bee Famous Organic Viognier

  • Rounded, easy to drink
  • Great for appetzers and cheese

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Bee Famous Organic Sauvignon

  • crispy, quite strong after-taste of blackcurrant
  • To be paired with goat cheese salad or appetizers

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Red wines:
Bee Famous Organic Syrah

  • Fruity, spicy
  • Try it with mediterranean or oriental food, mild cheese or drink it as aperitif

Bee Famous Organic 2015 Cevennes

  • Complex, fruity, spicy, hint of pepper
  • Herbs of Provence
  • Perfect form meat dishes, especially pork and chicken

Bee Famous Organic AOP Costières de Nime Sans Sulfites

  • No sulfites; this wine is recommended to be drank within 1-2 years
  • Try with pork, paella or Mediterranean cuisine

Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône 2016

  • Round, long, well structured
  • Serve it with a selection of chacuterie or other meat dishes

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Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône Plain de Dieu

  • Plain, easy
  • Goes well with chocolate dessert, meat, lamb, pork, steaks

Bee Famous Organic Languedoc Rouge 2013

  • Elegant, silky structure
  • Great with ratatouille

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Mamacita, Luxembourg city: good Friday night spot

I visited Mamacita in Luxembourg city as soon as it opened its doors, some years ago. I clearly remember I was not impressed: cocktails were less than average and pricey and food was nothing special. The service, on my first visit, has been really bad and I left particularly annoyed by the waiters’ attitude – they totally ignored us in favor of a kind of “VIP” table next. After this negative experience, I came back there only for some drinks during summer.

But as said several times, I tend to give all the places a second chance after some times, so last week I decided to come back to Mamacita for a Friday night dinner with a colleague who was visiting.

I booked throught their Facebook page – replies were fast and very kind. One improvement point already!

We got there at 8 pm after couple of warm-up drinks next door at White House – good combo on Friday night, even if White House is basically empty at that time, you have the best service and the best tables for you.

We were accompanied to the floor and we got to choose our table between two which were still empty. The room quickly became very busy, with couple of groups celebrating birthday parties.

We started with some frozen margaritas and chilli beers, which we accompanied with a mixed platter of starters for two to share – we were four – and some tequila shots – we were in good mood 🙂

After that, we went for single dishes – I had spicy shrimps while hubby had chilli con carne, similarly my colleague opted for chilli and his wife for a ceviche – and a bottle of Nebbiolo from California. We concluded with some more shots.

Here you have some pictures of our dinner. After that, my impressions about this second try at Mamacita.


  
  
 Thins I loved about Mamacita:

  •  We had great service, indeed. We felt never forgotten by the waiters, notwithstanding the busy evening, and all of them were kind, smiling and in good mood. They granted us a very funny night, thanks.
  • Food was good – not amazing, but still very good. The mixed starter platter was enough to share for 4 people, in particular the quesadillas were very tasty. My main was nice: well presented and fair quantity. I have seen amazing burgers passing in front of me for other tables.
  • Drink selections – my colleague noted it – was very good: between tequilas, beers, wine and cocktails for sure you won’t leave thirsty.
  • The atmosphere is warm and you feel very welcome. Everything is pretty fine priced (we spent 237 Euros in total for 4 persons – 3 cocktails, 3 beers, mixed starter, bottle of wine for 47 euro, 2 platters of shots, 4 main courses).

Things I liked a bit less about Mamacita:

  • I confirm my first time impression on cocktails, unfortunately: frozen margarita was not good at all (lots of ice and syrup) – but as said, you have other things in the list of the drinks you can enjoy more.
  • At a certain point, the room was very very noisy. This might not be definitely a bad point for some, but I would not suggest it for a romantic date or if you want to chat with your mates.

I recommend Mamacita: For amazing and very kind service, nice food at a fair price and great atmosphere. Perfect for a night out in town, parties and celebrations, even for small groups. I will definitely come back soon – during the week – to try the burgers!

 

 

 

Truffle Bistrot: a romantic delight in Luxembourg city centre

As part of the week-long celebration for hubby’s birthday, on Tuesday night we had a tête-à-tête at the new Truffle Bistrot – Relais San Maurizio 1619, that opened at the beginning of December near Hamilius.

You might remember from a previous post, I have already tried once to have dinner there. Unfortunately, in that case, I had booked very much in advance and during the Christmas break, the restaurant changed it opening times. I was kindly contacted by the restaurant manager – who was very happy to explain me the background of the place.

Said that, we arrived at the Truffle Bistrot about 8 pm. The location has been totally renovated compared to the previous Italian bar that used to be there. At the ground floor, you have a lounge and bar area where you can have a drink whatever time – without the need of having dinner afterwards. There is also a shop corner with authentic products from Relais San Maurizio – you might find more information related to the original place on their website.

On the first floor, the restaurant room. Lovely settings, open kitchen with wide windows on the main room, so you can look inside but the smells stay there. As the place was quite empty, we went for the table just next to the windows.

We went for a bottle of Barbaresco 2006 from Relais San Maurizio, we were offered an amuse-bouche with squids and burrata, I went then for home made pasta (tajerin) with truffle followed by wasabi tuna fish, while hubby had a pumpkins soup with poached egg and truffle followed by beef filet with its juice and vegetables. As we were very full, we skipped the dessert. I opted for a coffee – that was accompanied by delicious dried fruits – while hubby had a cheese platter.

As usual, be captivated by the pictures of our dinner and find after them my comments about Truffle Bistrot.

       
  
  

Things I loved about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Incredible atmosphere: when they started to work on the old Italian bar, I could have never imagined the new place would have been so impressive. The upstair room is warm, sophisticated, luminous but not too bright. Perfect light for a cozy dinner, whenever romantic or with friends.
  • Good menu selection: truffle, mainly, but not only. You have several fish and vegetarian choices and authentic products.
  • High quality dishes and sophisticated presentation: the best dish for me was the wasabi tuna fish and I also liked the pumpkins soup hubby had. Cheese selection was inventive and the dried fruit selection was mouth-wathering.
  • Fair quality – price: you can imagine you are not in a cheap place, but the prices are in line with same style restaurants in the city (about 16 euro for starters and 25 for main, plus extra for truffle if you want some). Moreover, compared to comments I heard before about this place, I have to say portions are definitely not small – after one starter and one main I was very full and you know I am not a skinny bitch. If you want to splurge, the tasting menu is for 70 euro.

Things I liked a bit less about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Lucky enough, this was another place I visited recently I liked as a whole. If I have to find something, some dishes have probably a very delicate taste compared to those we are used to in Luxembourg – I think about the squid amuse-bouche and my pasta starter. Don’t expect the usual butter  Luxembourgish cuisine – at least for some of the choices.

I recommend the Truffle Bistrot: If you want to impress someone you love. For a romantic date (ask the table on the window!). For a girls night out if you like delicate and sophisticated food. For a family gathering to celebrate something special. If you don’t want to splurge and you want have couple of glasses at the bar floor with Italian aperitif and great wines – a different place from the usual local bars.

 

 

Expat Traditions: the Beaujolais Nouveau

Today Zach will introduce us to a French lovely tradition that more and more in the last years has been taking space in Luxembourg – the Beaujolais wine.

Beaujolais Nouveau for Dummies in a few lines 🙂

The Beaujolais Nouveau was born in ….

September 8, 1951! It was decided back then, by the French government, that AOC wines produced within the year couldn’t be able to be sold to the public before December 15 of the same year. However, syndicates representing the Beaujolais area got the right to sell Beaujolais before, as soon as the vinification process of the wine over. This is how the Beaujolais Nouveau was born. Since 1951, every year, on the third Thursday of November, the harvest of Beaujolais Nouveau can be savored.

What is the challenge compared to other AOC wines?

Beaujolais Nouveau wines are really hard to produce. Indeed, within three months, the winemaker has to produce a wine which expresses and represents the fruity grapes. Entire grapes are put in the thanks to keep all the flavors of the fruits, for where every winemaker has to assess the duration of each stage of fermentation and perfectly control the temperature of the wine.

And the most important, why is it celebrated? 

In case you were looking for an occasion to party and celebrate during in week after work, don’t look any further. Each new year of the Beaujolais Nouveau is an opportunity to go out with your friends and taste a good wine (depending of the year 🙂 )

Winter is coming. It’s dark around 5pm, it’s wet and colt. You need to get used to mulled wine before the skiing period!

You know you need five fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. That’s what every dietician says. It’s much easier to do it while drinking than eating, especially if you can do that with friends!

It’s a good opportunity to meet people while talking about its taste this year!  However, be aware that this is really rare to find somebody agreed with you on the flavor! Whatever, just enjoy it 🙂

Maintaining the tradition is really important as well. The Beaujolais Nouveau celebrates this year its 64 years old, and as you are polite, you celebrate its birthday!

And especially, the Beaujolais Nouveau and its related festivities are the symbol all over the world of conviviality and solidarity …

I sincerely hope you will enjoy it this year!

Several Beaujolais party will be held in Luxembourg during the next days. If you want to enjoy the one organized by MixInLux, pass to Jakob’s House on Thursday 19th November, starting from 7 pm. French appetizer, including cheese fondue, will be served for free with the wine.

Pavillon Desom, Remich

After a stormy start of Sunday, the warmer afternoon invited us to take the car and escape the flatness of the city. Most of the time you don’t know exactly what to do when going out on Sundays in Luxembourg.
We checked if any special event and at the end, thanks to the sunny feeling, we headed to the Mosel for an afternoon drink.
We stopped at Pavillon Desom, located on the Route du Vin, in Remich.
I really like this place – the space is huge compared to other location in Luxembourg city and they have a lovely terrace with view on the river. Pavillon Desom is sponsoring its own wines, but on the list they have also other nice bottles from the area – and if you are used to Luxembourg city prices, you would be positively surprised!
I had a glass of rose’ cremant Desom while hubby a Pinot Noir from Cote de Remich. We ordered also a platter with parmesan cheese, ham and olives to eat while enjoying the last sun shining on the river, out on the terrace. We spent – in total! – 19 euros.
The Pavillon is working also as restaurant and, on the menu, you can find as well small dishes and other platters to share.
The environment is refined and the service young and friendly.
Only downside, if this could be considered one, the average age of the customers is pretty high – but I am the kind of person who is not so interested to the people around when in front of a glass of wine….

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A new cozy wine bar: La bulle de vin, Luxembourg

On Friday night, I have been invited to the re-opening of La bulle de vin, a very stylish wine bar located in the Old Town, just next door to Companero.

The bar and the restaurant were already open to the public but the new management invites friends for a tasting to celebrate the re-launch.

The bar, as structure, used to be one of my favorite in town when it was still called “PM”, but the previous managements were not able to valorize such great architecture.

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The concept now is that the entrance hall is dedicated to chill out: the music is soft, each table has great own space and you can relax, drink and chat.

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Going down, the middle floor is working as restaurant.

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Then, down at the basement, a stunning high-ceiling “party room” with a dedicated bar. This room has higher volume music (with a separated system from upstairs) and tall tables. You know, I am kind of claustrophobic in this basement Old Town bars, but actually here you have a very high staircase leading outside.

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Back to the bar offer, La bulle de vin has an outstanding quality value. They offers great, non-commercial wines at fair prices. You can also have champagne and wine tastings – they change each month – and, to accompany your glasses, you can combine delicious platter of cheese and charcuterie. .

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Yesterday evening we had tasted three types of wine – plus a glass of pink champagne to bubble before leaving. Wines were great and the bar personnel is well prepared to explain you the wine background. We only had some finger food but looking at the dishes that were arriving at other tables, I am definitely motivated to come back for food. Environment is trendy but not formal.

The basement party room could be also privatized for parties and La bulle de vin organizes special events like Wine Tasting for Girls – subscribe their newsletter to receive update on the events!

La Cantine @ Hotel Le Chatelet, a delightful, romantic dinner date

I had already a chance some times ago to eat at the Cantine of Chatelet Hotel, on a quiet side of Hollerich/Gare area, but I did not write a review as having been there only for lunch, I supposed it was not extremely indicative. I had some lovely fish and chip on that occasion and the service – even if, as said, was just a business lunch – was great.

I came back with hubby this week for our weekly date. We called for booking a short while before and we were proposed a table on the terrace.

The restaurant has in fact an open space on the street – for drinks -, a main dining room, a bar lounge and a backyard covered terrace, that is very pleasant during summer time.

I had a ham/melon starter and hubby a beef carpaccio, while for main we shared a “cote de boeuf“,  that was served with vegetables and fries.

Our dinner was just perfect – except for this Spanish guy calling all his f*ck*ng family on Facetime at pretty loud volume just next to our table for hours – nothing could have been better.

We had a great St.Emilion Gran Cru that was always served by the waiters, the starters were delicate and tasty, and the meat was indeed delicious – maybe next time I will go for the Chateubriand, instead, as this cut was just a bit too nervous, but only for my taste, hubby loved it.

The final coffee was accompanied by a yummy almond cake and, with the bill, we were offered two digestives – oh mon dieu, how much time had passed since a restaurant offered me some final drink? Well done and highly appreciated!

I have also to say that, together with the ambience and the food, one of the best thing of this place is the service. Talking with hubby I said: for me, tonight, this is exactly what I consider the real perfect service. Waiters were smiling, kind, affable, always there when you needed them but not bothering rest of the time.

I will definitely visit La Cantine more often and I highly recommend it for a couple or friends date. If you fancy good food and refined atmosphere, you would love this place!

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Friday evening: a (posh) idea for after-work drinks, Vinoteca, Luxembourg

In Luxembourg there are just few months to enjoy the open air life, therefore during summer period I always try to arrange my evening in some garden or terrace. I talked already about it on the blog and you know there are several restaurants and bars in the city that offer breathtaking panoramas.

One of the best bar with view, for a quiet ad intense after-work, is definitely the Vinoteca – that is located behind the Palais and well hidden through ancient archways. This is the kind of place I tend to visit only during summer for being on the terrace, as I really don’t like the interior design.

I arranged for drinks with a friend on a Friday evening, some weeks ago and we had pleasant time.

After the pictures, some pro and con of this place.

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Things I loved about Vinoteca:

  • The location. Not to mention the amazing view, I also like the kind of atmosphere this place has. It is never too crowed, it is a bit far from the movida area of the city, so perfect if you, like me, are catching up with a friend and you want to talk quietly.
  • The service. I booked a table in the afternoon (highly recommended) and they were quick and nice in their replies. The waiter who was serving has had a big smile, was calling me by name even if it was long time I did not visit the place and was always there to help.
  • The quality of the products. Essentially it is not a place for a cheap drink, but you get the quality for what you are paying for. They have a good selection of wines, cold dishes to share and even hot dishes if you fancy having dinner.

Things I liked a bit less:

  • The wine approach. You can have glass, big glass, half pitcher o bottle for selected wines. As we were not sure how long we wanted to stay, we started with half pitcher of one of the most expensive wines they have. If I am paying 60 euro for half a bottle, I would expect at least that you fill up the pitcher showing me the bottle. We got directly the pitcher taken to the table, so – eventually – it could have been whatever wine inside. This was not the case – because the wine was great – but if I would expect a different level of service.
  • The charcuterie platter. They have different dishes with cheese, ham, charcuterie, so we decided to go for a mixed one for having a bit of everything. When the platter arrived, it was actually composed only by two kinds of salami and one of pancetta. We would expect at least one portion of ham. My friend does not eat salami, so we ended up leaving half of the platter.

To sum up, Vinoteca has a lovely terrace perfect for after-work drinks. The quality of the wine and of the food is pretty high, as well as the final bill. I would recommend it for a quiet talk with a friend, for a date with someone you want to impress or for a special celebration.

Dinner with view: Beim Siggy, Luxembourg

Often during this season, friends are asking me for a place for dining in town with a nice terrace. Honestly I cannot lie – even if, you know, I would sometimes prefer to keep my best places secret to avoid them becoming overcrowded. Then I usually suggest them at first “Beim Siggy”, a traditional brasserie located halfway between city center and Clausen, that has a wonderful terrace and one of the most amazing views in Luxembourg.

I have been there more than once last year during sunny evenings and I visited it recently with friends. The menu, as said, is very conservative, but portions are great, prices extremely fair and the quality is above the average.

I love the tartare – I had the salmon one and the beef one last time – but also Luxembourgish dishes are pretty yummy – hubby is a fan. List of wines – mainly French and Luxembourgish – is proportionate and has some great names at legitimate prices.

Find some pictures of the night – definitely a place highly recommended for me, above all if you have someone visiting to impress or if you want to arrange a romantic dinner without splurging:

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Sunday evening at Chateau de Bourglinster Brasserie

I had a pretty quiet week-end after all – definitely too stressful season at work, so I preferred to lay on my couch watching silly TV programs – I am addicted to chavs reality, like Geordie Shore, apologies – and eating Indian take-away.

On Sunday night, after a sunny afternoon spent at the new Rotonde, we joined some friends for an informal dinner at Chateau de Bourglinster Brasserie. The castle complex is located about 20 minutes driving from Luxembourg city in the countryside and includes a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant and a small brasserie. This one has a lovely terrace overlooking the valley, but due to the number of guests and the wonderful day, it was already fully booked, and we dined inside.

The Brasserie offers a combinations of menu – starter, main and dessert or two starters main and dessert – plus eventually wine match for reasonable prices, starting from 49 Euro. The card is not very wide – about four dishes each section, including one veg option and one daily suggestion. Unfortunately some of the dishes were not available anymore when we arrived.

I opted for tuna fish as starter, guinea fowl as main and cheesecake as dessert. Hubby had tuna dish as started, oven-baked beef as main and pistachio biscuit as dessert.

The wine card is indeed extensive, with some good numbers – we went for a Saint-Aubin all dinner long.

Enjoy some pictures of our night and find after them my usual general impressions and comments.

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Things I loved about this restaurant:

– Fairy-tales atmosphere: it is incredible that driving just for 20 minutes, you will be wrapped up in surroundings from another century. Definitely recommended for a romantic evening or for a night trip with someone visiting.

– Structured dishes, more on the gastronomic side than on the real brasserie one. I was expecting to have some typical charcuterie, beef tartare and bouche a la reine, like in most up-class brasserie in the city. The selection of ingredients and the dishes themselves were surprising and pleasant. Finally something different!

– The sorbet served as welcome of the chef – together with the snails – and the guinea fowl were definitely the best dishes of the night for me. The guinea was pure butter and the combination with the mushroom and the various sauces was just delicious.

– Service was fairly impressive. Notwithstanding the fact we ordered all different dishes on a table of 10 people, the plats were arriving directly to the person without any delay or questions from the waiters (same situation, different place: here we have a beef filet – screaming – who did take the beef filet? – louder – we have one dish less, who is missing? and similar noisy sounds more appropriate for a fish market than a restaurant) . Service was also always on time to fill up the wine glasses and the boys appreciated the fact the chef seated down with them for a chat after the dinner.

Things I liked a bit less:

– Interior settings are quite featureless. Personally speaking, I would not do the trip and spend some serious money for dining inside in the brasserie.

– I am fine having a short menu card, since my previous posts you should have already understood it is something I prefer. But then if out of 13 dishes you miss already 5, the choice starts to be hard. I had already opted for lamb as main and chocolate dessert when the waiter said they were over. Sad.

– I had half of hubby’s beef and some of his dessert and I was not really impressed. The beef was sickly sweet and some sauces were definitely out-of-place – too acid. Happy I went for the guinea fowl!

In conclusion, I really appreciated this evening at the Chateau, but talking with hubby and another friend while driving back to town, I confessed that I would have come back only to dine at the main restaurant of the castle. 75 euro and 20 minutes driving for me, lazy spoiled Corie, are not worth a dinner with friends in such settings. I really see it as a place for a tete-a-tete and in this case, “go big or go home”.