Restaurant Caves Gourmandes, Luxembourg – 22 February 2012

Thierry Duhr has now been in Luxemburg around 20 years. His top restaurant being litterally on top of this – in more than one fashion. Today I was invited to this business meeting by good friend Richard and new friend Andreas. Caves Gourmandes holds a Bib gourmand as far as I remember.

The entrance to "the dungeons"...

As you walk into the restaurant you pass the open kitchen and the smiling chefs. It must be very disturbing for the chefs at work, but they do not seem to mind. We said hello to Monsier Duhr who was in the kitchen today and his pretty female assistant.

As the name suggest, the restaurant is in fact a cave, with two semi-sized rooms, – as romantic as it gets with stone walls and electric chandeliers. The type of cooking is more “regional”, less gastronomic. You will not find any molecular cooking here. Claustrophobic people might miss a window or living daylight. But in the main season they can book a table on the small out-door terrasse. I missed some huge living candles.

I shall show you three examples of the food they serve at Caves Gourmandes. It´s food thats not pretending to be more than it is.

Salad paysanne - I think - with lovely fois gras

Great salad, I wish I could make the vinegar dressing like that. Note to myself – I will have to ask Thierry next time… Great quality fois gras, and the large butter and olive oil roasted bread pieces, wonderful. I think this dish comes at 18 eur. And for what it was it was perfect. 8p

Tartare de saumon

Again, right on spot. Generous portion. Great taste. Lacked salt and pepper, but we could adjust for that ourselves…and we did. 7p

Porc with potato mash

This cut of the porc was simply stunning. GREAT meat. The mash lacked a bit salt for my taste – again that can be adjusted for. The ratatouille was almost as good as it gets. There was a dash of lime in there to make it fresh, I almost found the lime too dominant. However, my fellow diners found it right on spot. 8p

We all opted for the same dessert – it was called Poire William and as you might know – it is served in small glasses. Great taste of pear. And not too aggresive.

My conclusion:

What amazed me on this visit was the quality of especially the young male waiter from Marrocco who seemed so much in his right element. And the female chef gave us big smiles whenever she passed the room downstairs. I like that. Smiling staff. I despise the opposite as you will know by now.

I will not call it outstanding service – but on this occasion it fitted the rest. And a smile often makes up for other short-comings. The food – with Thierry Duhr in the kitchen – was impeccable. And the concept very clear. The room for improvement lies in the wine list which is VERY limited. The candles issue is my personal suggestion, but then – I´m a sucker for romantic ambience. I cannot wait till summer, where I am sure one or two dinners will be booked on the outside terrasse.

Thank you for a great lunch Thierry, to you and your staff.

Here´s a shot of some of my best-looking friends. I hope they soon gain a few pounds. It does feel a little awkward to be a big fat Dane among you slim guys sometimes. But still, I love your company – thanks for being my friends.

We are talking Vogue material here Gentlemen...

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My rating for this visit:

I shall add a happiness point. Its not high gastronomy, but its regional food as good as it gets. On this occasion my mind wandered back to my last visit to Beaune and the two new restaurants I found there…and Caves Gourmandes was not far from that level on this beautiful day.

Food  7.5p (10) service 4p (5) ambience 4.5 (5), 1 Happiness point -Total Score  17p (20)

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