Sapori Ristorante, Luxembourg – 18 January 2012

UPDATE:  AFter you read the review – please do take a minute to read my comment below the article – Thank you.

A lunch with good friend Serge is always good news.

On this day we opted for a local favourite of business people, the mostly Italian styled cooking restaurant  – Sapori Ristorante. I had been here once before a year ago, and had good memories of a nice room with simple cooking. It belongs to the same group of restaurants as Le Mirabelle, and is actually situated just next door to that one.

I was there 30 min before Serge and was handed the wine list as requested when seated. The room is nice with a anti-pasti buffet just on the way into the restaurant.

The dining room, good balanced colours

What now happened almost brought me on the verge of leaving. It took the manager, 2 male and 1 female waiter around 25 min. to notice that I was ready to order a bottle of white whine. Chatting behind the curtains at the front bar, but out of my sight. The female waiter managed to start to serve another couple two tables away without noting my gestures and cry for attention. Serge texted me he was almost there. I wrote back, Im almost leaving. I was so annoyed. There was 4 persons and 3 tables they had to mind. Should I walk up to the counter. Should I leave. I think the idea of the shank part of the leg that I had spotted on the menu was one of three things that made me stay.

Finally MY waiter re-appeared, not to tend my table, but just to almost walk by…..but hey – I caught him….and wauw I got to order my bottle. After almost 30 min. Goddamnit I was angry.  But . A Platena Chardonnay from Sardegna arrived, was decanted without asking me, served and put in a ice bucket. I think it was a great wine, creamy, waxy and a fab colour.

The wine list is actually like in Le Mirabelle very nice – with for Luxembourgish standards good priced – (mostly) Italian wines.

Olives to kill the waiting time....

Now this little faux-pas was bound to make me critical…so bear that in mind when you read the following.

A leek potato "soup"...

First of was the amuse…..now what did I write in my last review. If you dont have a plan with an appetizer – then please leave it in the kitchen. This was too thin, too tasteless, simply should never had landed on any table. It was warm which was the best thing you could say about it on this cold winter day. 1p for that.

We both opted for the same starter and same main dish. The starter was described as a grilled Mozzarella, Tomato, Eggplant thing.

The starter...

Now eggplant can be a difficult” mothe”r to handle. I know I have problems. The Chef here had had his go. It was not perfect, but it was far better than your worst case scenario. But I think the whole dish lacked taste. Had it not been for the balsamic vinegar “snake” running through the salad I would not have finished it. I missed a good dominant olive oil. The tomatos close to tasteless. 3p

My favourite cut of the lamb...

Now this can be and should be absolutely amazing. Serge thanked me for suggesting this dish, he found it wonderful. Well maybe he had a better piece than I had. But the idea of this shank part of the leg, is that you slow cook it for 4-7 hours. This way, the meat gets so tender it falls from the bone. Mine did nothing near that. My best guess is that it was cooked 1 -2 hours – too hard. The vegetables added nothing to the dish in taste or texture. The broccoli tasteless. The sauce good, the side-dish  potatoes acceptable if not perfect. Without a doubt the best dish of the day but far far away from how it could or should be. 4p

Now heres a picture of the best thing that happened to me today at Sapori….

A classic wine, greatness.

My conclusion:

Apart from the no-attention situation the first 30 min, and the fact that I had to serve the wine myself a few times later, well the waiters are actually nice and smiling. I like the room. I like the wine list. However, the food was no way near as good as on my first visit. I will not be back here in quite a while if ever. Life is too short for these meals.

Both wines were decanted, and most likely right so, but why the hell not ask before ? What if I dont want it decanted ?. What if I want the wines to develop in the glass ? How do you plan to get it un-decanted back in the bottle?. Mind you the Tignanello is a top drop. Why have the possible conflict? I know I would ask.

But the company was excellent Serge. It was good to see you again. I have a feeling that 2012 could be our year.

After this visit, I cannot understand the local hype and rave about Restaurant Sapori nor its popularity amongst local business people. I found it simple and disappointing.

My rating for this visit:

Food 3.5p (10), service 3p (5), ambience 3.5p (5), Total score 10p (20)

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3 comments on “Sapori Ristorante, Luxembourg – 18 January 2012

  1. bo frederiksen says:

    Update…

    Whenever I have the possibility I try to inform a restaurant of my review of their establishment. And so I did in this case. After the visit to Sapori one of the owners of the chain of restaurants I mentioned above which include Le Mirabelle, Sapori, Come Prima etc. etc. called me on the phone.

    We had a good nice conversation where he congratulated me on the blog, was sorry about especially the waiting time and the quality of my lamb dish. He understood my arguments, and had himself some arguments on behalf of the staff.

    But….he invited me to the 20th Anniversary of Le Mirabelle next month as a member of the press. So that was a nice gesture and I am looking forward to that.

    It is especially nice to see my comments are taking serius. At the end of the day – we all want all restaurants to improve on any shortcomings, and telling them about minor or bigger flaws is often the best solution to that. So I thank you for the phone call and your comments which were on my side also highly appreciated.

  2. bo frederiksen says:

    still waiting for that promised email or letter to confirm the invitation though……. 😦

  3. bo frederiksen says:

    Well if by magic the invitation arrived by mail yesterday. So I will be there off course.

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