Le Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg – 2 December 2011

“This is the time to remember‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to
‘Cause we won’t – although we’ll want to”

Billy Joel

Thierry Duhr who has run this restaurant since around 2000 is a busy man. Apart from running this fine restauarant he is also holding the flags high in the Cave Gourmand in the same building and has recently opened a Brasserie – Schêiss – in Val St. Croix in another part of town.

Le Bouquet Garni was awarded 1 michelin star when it first opened up in Moutfort and he has kept that ever since. Its situated ever so beautifully just behind the Palace of the Grand Duke, in an area known as the Restaurant Quarter among locals.

The restaurant is as romantic as it gets, with raw stone walls – sometimes open fire, and old lamps and deco – all set for a romantic or quiet lunch or dinner.

I have visited this place a good 10 times over the years but it had been a while and therefore this was a natural choice when the date was set with good friend Richard who is more a regular here. Hopes is always sky high, both in regard to the food and wines, but also simply because I know Richard will provide the same interest and passion about food and wine and thus the subject of the hours ahead was already given – and being my favourite subject the day was bound to be a good one.

We started of ordering the wines – and ended up with a white Morey-Saint-Denis 2007 from Bruno Clair and a red Nuits-Saint-Georges 2008 – and this plate with a range of small amuses landed on our table….

Amuses - round one

The quality and the salmon and the tapenade outstanding, the olive cake in the middle a bit on the dry side and the pumpkin soup very nice. All in all good amuses. 7p

Second tasting from the kitchen....

This was a cold serving, surpricingly given the time of the year. The first impression was a slight bitternes, however when you misxed the “soup” with the crunchy bits the taste was in balance and very nice.7p It was consisting of “Granatapfel” – pornegranate – and the rest I dont know. And this was mainly because the missing presentation from the waiter. An irritating flaw at a restaurant with this level.

At this time bread was offered, not  a big selection but very good quality.

Lobster

This was a wonderful dish. I love lobster and here it was cooked to perfection. And the dressing, very simple and subtle – not taking away the focus from the lobster. The dressing almost had a light mayonaise feel to it. The fresh green herbs on top was maybe a touch too big a lump, giving the dish a more rustic look than the taste deserved. 8.5p

Hopes were way up high for the following dish. Richard had insisted we try it, because he had it before and was stunned by the quality of the salmon and presentation. Well as it turned out the presentation was new, and for our taste the green creme of cresse (and spinach ?) was too dominant on the plate taking away all the focus from the salmon and not really allowing the dish to shine.

Judge for yourself.

Green is the colour of hope....

No the dish didnt do the trick for us. No today. But on the positive side. The salmon was very good and the taste of the green creme actually very balanced and good. There was just too much of it. 6p

But it aint over until the fat lady sings….

Who killed Bambi...?

At this time of year you will find game in most of Luxembourgish restaurants. I personnally prefer a good piece of beef or lamb. But this dish was everything you could wish for. Served with fois gras and a nutty root – I simply cannot remember the name – this dish was in balance and a real pleasure. Best dish of the day in my book. 9p

Say "Cheese".....

Lovely selection. We were full and did not want any more, but simply could not refuse this selection. With great selection of nuts, dried fruits and marmelades..All you can wish for on a cheese trolley. (except for the missing Fourme d’ ambert – which is my favourite cheese……). 9p

Conclusion:

Le Bouquet Garni is an abvious choice for a romantic dinner in Luxembourg. The food is at a constant good level, among the best in town. Today there was few flaws, in the missing presentation of the amuses and in the – for our taste – wrongly balanced salmon plate.  The new and young sommelier looked like he was in the right place. I think he has a great future ahead of him. We did not need his assistance today, so I cannot judge his knowledge etc. But he gave a very good impression. So did the rest of smiling and calm staff. Calmness is a key-word here, you will know what I mean when you enter the salon. We spend an hour afterwards with Thierry Duhr at the bar across the street, discussing our day and how he is coping with running 3 restaurants. Respect for that. We thank you Thierry for your time – and Richard, I thank you for your friendship, – which I have the feeling has only just begun. Your eye for detail is amazing, even if you are sometimes being too critical lol. Its only food remember. Or as Rolling Stones would put it…Its only rock’n’roll but I like it….like it…like it. I shall finish with the wine that finished the day –  a wine that I chose and Richard offered, loosing a bet leaving the restaurant. It was a a great way to finish a great day.

A wine fit for "The King and I"...

“And so we embrace again behind the dunes
This beach is cold on winter afternoons
But holding you close is like holding the summer sun
I’m warm from the memory of days to come”

Billy Joel

My rating for this visit:

Food 8p (10), service 4p (5), ambience 4.5p (5),  Total Score 16.5p (20)

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One comment on “Le Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg – 2 December 2011

  1. Maria F. Orr says:

    You had me with the Billy Joel quotes….may have to post on FB. Great review, well argumented as usual. You should have been here the other night, when we had White Truffle Extravaganza (check photos on FB) It was WILD and all the dishes (12 in total!-we were stuffed!) were between 8-10, most on the 10 side; Fantastic evening!
    The Bambi dish looks delicious, I wonder if the root was roasted cellery root? Great job! mariasdasisies.com

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