“It’s good to be king, – if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give ’em a smile
It’s good to get high and never come down
It’s good to be king of your own little town”
Tom Petty 1994
So – a few weeks ago, when publishing a list with some of my favourite dishes from last year, I got a message from one of my best friends – who spanked me for not having any dish of Clairefontaine in the top 10. Another good friend I have – could never imagine having a good lunch in Luxembourg if not at Clairefontaine.
Well, the first spanking I accept. Because there were some good dishes in there I could have chosen. But when I did the list I had no idea what would end up at the top spots. But just like with my favourite Springsteen songs…the list is constantly changing. But I do feel that all dishes on my top 10 that day deserved their ranking. But, maybe I overlooked a few strong contenders, I cannot honestly say I did not. But – so much more reason to be happy to be back at beloved Clairefontaine. Whether I was the king for a day, or Clairefontaine still is the King of Luxembourg – well I shall let you be the judge.
Table booked, in the car – 15 min later a big smile from Didier, Arnaud, Julien and the rest of the staff, what more could you want. Had a good long chat with Arnaud. Luxembourg is still only just waking up from the holidays and the city is VERY quiet.
New menu, so lots of things to choose from – but I did my homework – online – and settled for the King Crab and the Kobe Hamburger. Open wines, a matter of trust and confidence and always exciting here at Clairefontaine, because, firstly they do not list any of our wines – yet – so no chance of recognition ;-) – secondly Julien Codet has a GOOD taste, and is slowly starting to know mine ;-) – and thirdly they know I want my wines blind if possible.
The lunch started with a Chenin Blanc, which suffered from my just finished chewing gum, but got better by the sip. The second Chardonnay, – well at least I got the grape right and Bourgogne correct, and I also guessed a Rhone blend for the red.
Slowly cooked at 42 degrees for 20 min. Great. One of the best amuses I have ever had at Clairefontaine. And I have had a few ;-)
As always you get a second round, and this was to the right a crevette on a fois gras mousse, and to the left a snail on a potato something. Great, except I avoid snails whenever I can.
What made this dish work – or even stand out was the “corail” ice cream on top, the green redish and the fine meat of the crab. What a nice combo. The mozzarella “espouma” with the “egg” shell was a crunchy companion. But I think the dish did not need it. 7.5p
Yeah – why not. The little brother L´Annexe has as one of their classics on the menu a “Hamburger” – with slowly braised shoulder of beef I think. This was the big brother of that one. If someone would argue that it would be a crime to mince kobe beef – well I would not know – but I know this much. This was just about the best burger I have ever had. No ketchup to disturb the delicate taste of the meat. Did I say delicate. I meant outstanding. The thin layer of cheese even made it a cheese-burger, but did not take away the focus from the meat or the wonderful reduction. French fries, soft and more like potatoes than greasy fries, and speaking as a Dane – that is a great plus. The bun perfect. If any complaints…it would be the missing pickled cucumber. I do love my cucumbers. Would fit in with the concept of a Luxury burger ? Maybe not. As a burger I would give it a good 10p. As a normal dish in my gastronomic world – well still a good 8-8.5p
So our local angel – Gabriel – as always smiling, attentive, and in this case presenting the cheese. The cheese at Clairefontaine is among the best in town, and mostly what you need after a great meal. Special roasted bread is offered as well as selection from the normal bread basket. 8.5p
Riders of the storm – or readers of my blog will know. Clairefontaine is as good as it gets in Luxembourg. The service under Didier on their toes to make sure you as a customer always are as comfortably and happy as possible. Julien among the best and most gentle sommeliers I know – and Arnaud – classic with an innovative touch. Today I have nothing to complain about. Really I do not. So I think you might find me back soon.
My rating for this visit: Food 8.25p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5p (5), Total Score 18.25p (20)
It’s good to be king, if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give ’em a smile It’s good to get high, and never come down It’s good to be king of your own little town