Brasserie Speltz, Luxembourg – September 2010

This breaks my heart.

But I have to write this review, maybe it will do some good somehow.

I can start the review with this message. Please come back from holiday Carlo Speltz. Whatever staff you have decided to hire. They are no good without your supervison. I can only hope they act differently when you are around.

Having lived 20 years plus in Luxembourg, Speltz used to be one of my favourite spots. I had private dinners here once a week, and I guess in average business lunch once or twice a week on top of that. I got to know Carlo and Isabelle as private friends, and treasure their witt and ways. This is also where I met my best friend Jerome Kersuzan when he was employed as the sommelier and laiter as the maitre here.

I travelled with them from one of the best adresses in Luxembourg City, to their final reward of 1 michlin star, which they since lost. When they lost their star, they also downsized kitchen wise, tried different new chefs, but it never quite were the same. Last year I returned after having abandoned the place for several years, and were positively surpriced. The quality of my Bouef Bourgignon at 19 eur was outstanding. I remember returning the same week for the same dish.

Last month I recommended an old frind Mr. Stenersen to try this spot again, only to learn he had had the same experiences and doubts before. However, he chose to follow my recommendation and I had not heard any feed-back since. So I was curious to find out what was happening at Speltz these days.

Going out tonight and having only an hour to kill, i.e. 1 dish – I settled with my good friend Jerome. It was his first visit since he left the place some 5 years ago.

I chose the last outside table, partly in the sun, went inside – because nobody came out…..asked if I could take the table or not. I was disturbed already, because there was no familiar faces among the staff ..and I hate that.

Having gotten the menu by the maitre, who presented it to me, already looking away before it was in my hand….THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE !!!…asked me if I wanted an aperitive, I asked for the wine list. 20 min later (!!!) one of the young girls returned to ask if I has chosen a wine….I had, a New Zeeland Sauvignon Blanc at 37,50 euro. 5 min later another young lady returned with a Argentinian Sauvignon Blanc. I said it looks nice, but I ordered a New Zeeland one. 5 min later she returned with the correct bottle with an ice bucket. That was definetely needed, because it was luke warm at best. However, when we emptied our last glass later, it was chilled to our liking. The last glass.

Jerome opted for the Filet American 24 eur, and I chose the dish of the day, Grilled Dorade (cod) at 18 eur.

What can I say, my fish perfectly cooked, the grilled vegetables very nice, millions of light-years better than the ones I had at the fish restaurant at Hohe Düne last week. But a very simple dish, a Brasserie dish, something I cook. What I expected. Most restaurants would serve this dish of the day at 12-15 eur.

Our second wine – a nice Santenay, came perfectly chilled. Funny thing – when ordering it, Jerome specifically asked for it to be correctly chilled. The waiter rolled her eyes. Now that could mean, jesus, you are difficult, or …yeah, like that is going to happen…either way, the turning of the eyes never goes down nicely with a customer…or a critic in this case.

The filet american, was beautifully served, however at that price Jerome had expected a slightly bigger serving. However, rather small and good than big and bad.

Except for one occasion, we at all times served our wine ourselves, the maitre was nowhere near our table.

Jerome opted for a selection of cheese, which came . and was not bad – but also not really interesting. Average. However, even at this point as throughout the meal, no further bread was offered. At this point I lost my patience. Got up, went inside, and loudly asked if it was perhaps possible for my friend to have some bread with cheese. So the 3 persons (!) behind the counter (!) agrreed that it was possible – and soon after it was delivered.

My question or advice to my good friend Mr. Speltz. You have a concept, you have Brasserie food at a nice level even at high prices…but so be it.

But please consider why you have employed a Maitre. Please consider why you have employed 4 persons to take care of lunch for 20 people. Especially if they have no interest in offering any kind of acceptable level of service. I can tell you this. If I were the manager, I would fire all at this very instant, and not leave for holiday. I dare you or anybody, to take care of this amount of people alone and better than these 4 people managed today.

For tourist passing by, it might be acceptable. For you Carlo, with the reputation of your fine house, it is a disgrace, and it will be a while before I come back. I do not deserve this kind of NO ATTENTION. Neither do any tourist passing by.

What should have been a simple lunch – turned out to be the proto type of that something so apparently easy that can go so bad with the wrong kind of staff.

I shall finish on this note. I gave up asking for the bill, none of the 3 girls gave me any attention after I had to ask for bread. So Jerome did that for me. In a rude manner with a rude reply. Lastly, my old friend Mr. Stenersen send me a feed-back from his visit. He was positively surpriced. Their company of 5 had had a great evening, with everything, one could argue Brasserie food, brasserie service (no presentation of the dishes) – but in fact thay had a great meal. I was so happy to hear that. Knowing Mr. Stenersen, I find it hard to believe he would have accepted the kind of service we were offered.

It breakes my heart Carlo, because I really think you should live up to your past, and this staff is simply no good.

My rating for this visit: Ambience 3,5(5) Food 5 (10). Total score 8.5 (service not rated, because it was below any acceptable standard).


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2 comments on “Brasserie Speltz, Luxembourg – September 2010

  1. Maria says:

    Oh no Bo! I am so sorry to hear this; you had been counting down and looking so much forward to this. What a disappointment. Think happy thoughts….meet us at “The Cliff” in Barbados, Oct. 20th! Chef Owen is amazing! (Come to think of it, it’ll be our anniversary so maybe we shouldn’t meet then, but we’ll find another place then!) So sorry for your disappointment 😦

  2. bo frederiksen says:

    no no…this was just a quick lunch.

    Dinner is tonight. And I will not be disppointed. Lol….

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