Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 30 May 2011

“It was a hot summers night and the beach was burning“….except we dont have beaches in Luxembourg and the calendar only red 30 May. But a warm 30 degrees when driving into town around 6 pm. Pre-dinner glassse of rosê and then of to Restaurant Clairefontaine, which you all know by know is my favourite spot in Luxembourg.

On this warm  night we were in for a “standard” treat – however, on the high end of the scale – impecable food and wine, great service and attention from all staff. May I add great bread.

The first amuse, balls stuffed with tuna mash were “sold” to the boys as being round chicken nuggets. Magic – they asked for extra – and even thirds – but that request from Oscar was halted by yours truly.

As always when possible Arnaud arrange for us to have the seperate room, Didier always arranges some pillows in the corner. So as soon as we entered the room the boys threw themselves on the pillows and turned on their Nintendos. However, we insist that they come to the table when food arrives and remain their until the plate is finished. Emil is an easy customer. He finished his plate of pasta and beef with nothing left. Oscar was more pre-cautious in his exitement of food as always. My favourite food is Pizza Margharita is what he normally states.

The table…

The boys…

Where is my pasta.....

Oscar ! this is not how I taught you to eat bread in restaurants....

Actually we had good fun before the food arrived, the boys producing funny faces en masse for the camera…

Second round of amuses...

Eminence of King Crab - Astrids starter....

Different presentations of Salmon, a beauty on the plate.

Baby Saint Pierre, with beautiful Southern France inspired vegs and aioli...

Slowly ccoked Jarret de veau with leek

As the missus proclaimed afterwards….this is the best meal I have had in a long time. “She took the words right out of my mouth”…My main dish was certainly way up there among the best. Loved it Arnaud. We chose a “simple* Rully 1. cru from Jacqueson – 2008. Great great simple wine. I recently had this wine in Bourgogne together with good friend Uffe, Kjetil and Frode and was happy to re-visit this producer.

So the great thing about being regulars in a place like Clairefontaine is you feel at home, you feel the warmth from the staff, you know what to expect and you are seldom let down, and if there are complaints, you know you can deliver them to Didier or Arnaud himself, and they will be treated with respect and understanding. I give the ambience 5 today. It really is a privelege to have your own room dining with two boys. Not that they cant sit still, its just so more relaxed for the parents. Add the fact that all staff constantly jokes with the boys and in general are interested in their well-being – well, what more do you want as a gourmet dining parent.

So before you spend/waste a good 50 or 80 eur per person on a mediocre meal in Luxembourg – please do visit Clairefontaine, tell them I send you. Our meal today for 4 clocked in at 189 eur. Love you guys – Edwige, Arnaud, Didier and Sebastien – you made us a great couple of hours – again.

My rating for this visit: Food 8.5p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  18.5p (20)

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L’ Annexe, Luxembourg – 18 May 2011

Besides being a lovely day – it was also the birthday of my late father whom we all truly miss. So what better way to celebrate his spirit than with a good meal and a nice drop at this favourite spot in town.

I had a small chat with two young canadians who were on a 1 month European trip. They had read about L’ Annexe in their guide and wanted to try their “tarte” which they apparently are famous for. Having dined more than 100 times here, I could only tell them, that I had so far never tried their tarte…I generally do not like the Luxembourg fruit tarte so much, I do not find it sweet enough. So I convinced them to try the new dessert tasting platter. Lovely people.

Here’s a shot of Oscar who share his middle name with his late “farfar” – “Ture” – and I am sure a lot of genes.

Oscar Ture Frederiksen

I had two dishes starter and main course, starter

Asparagus with crevettes and mushrooms

Not the strongest dish I have had here….it lacked salt and pepper, something I could adjust myself off course.

T-Bone of Veal with asparagus and pasta/morilles (morel)

Simply stunning piece of meat with my favourite mushroom. I love morels. LOVE.

L’Annexe offer one of the best terrasse dining in town. Great view, good service, Happy hour, Great quality Brasserie Food – mostly with a little twist. Thanks for having us Jerome and J.P. Happy birthday dad, I know you would have paid the dinner had you been here.

My rating for this visit: Food 7p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4.5 (5), total score for this visit  16p (20)

Summer’s here and the time is right….

for some light cooking.

Saw Jamie cook this one on the telly the other day…and I decided to make it a starter for the guests we had yesterday evening. It served 4 easily and apparently all was very happy with it. I opted for smoked wild salmon, I prefer the texture in compare to the farmed salmon I can get around these neck of the woods.

Potato salad with smoked salmon and horseradish crème fraiche….

Heres a link to his home page with the recipe – copy paste….its wonderful

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/potato-salad-with-smoked-salmon-hors

Thanks again Jamie for making some easy to cook stunning recipes….

A great “Australian” summer companion…

So having just experienced the most beautiful April ever – the weather was simply amazing – the spirit and hopes for a great summer is up – so why not get ready for those warm summer nights with this healthy dish…

It was kindly given to me by my good aussie mate George – originally published by Donna Hay in the Sunday Times April 24th 2011 with the sub-text – “Share the love”

Roasted Cherry tomatoes and feta

250g truss cherry tomatoes,8 peeled cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 100g crumbled feta, sea salt and black pepper, crusty bread to serve

Preheat oven to 160c – place the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil in an owenproof dish and roast for 30 min. – Increase owen temperature to 200c – top the tomatoes with the feta and roast for a further 10 min. or until golden – sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and serve with crusty bread – serves 4.

Bon Appetit ! Cheers George !

P.S. – and hey they shot Osama Bin Laden, great news – have the dish with a nice bottle of Rosê tonight…