La Mirabelle, Luxembourg – 30 October 2012

Astrid and Oscar on the road, and Emil off from school, left room for a all male lunch. Gijs joined us – and was happy to hear that I had one of his favourite spots in town on my mind.

Emil and I early as always, left time for me to decide on the wine – and settled for a Condrieu – my new favourite white. The wine list is good and often you can find a wine sold at a bargain compared to other restaurants in town. Right now they had for example top Bordeaux´s – for example Clos de Marquis from 1990 to I think 100 eur. As I understood it – from now until December this special list of old Bordeaux vintages is available,

La Mirabelle offers a menu for lunch at around 45 eur I think, and many tempting starters and main courses a la carte. The room, still not my favourite – but I do like the bar and and the wall of wines behind it. The people greet you ever so friendly – off course the greetings Gijs got when he arrived 20 min later made me feel not so VIP anymore. He was.

That is what put you in the mood for good food

This is what greets you when you enter the restaurant. A beautiful arrangement – and very appropropriate to the season.

First off was a the “usual” rillette from duck and this time a mouse/paté of salmon..

Great stuff

Both were great, and with the bread provided – this is all you need for an amuse in a restaurant like this 6p

But like my first visit this year they did not leave it at that – and like last time another round was served

Not so great stuff…..

And like on that mentioned visit, the second round was also this time a set back. The soup of  – was it courgette ? – being boring and the one to the right too creamy and not up to par with the rest of the level in La Mirabelle. It does not ruin a nice lunch, I just find it silly to serve something that brings the level down instead of inspires you to crave for the next dish.

My choice of starter

Fois Gras with bread and mirabelle compot

Great dish, nothing to complain about here. The bread being baked so the individual pieces stuck together. The Fois Gras deliscious. 7p

Veal Rossini

Great veal, great reduction, great potato gratin, 7.5p – If there is anything to “complain” about – it would be that taking a look at other dishes around in the restaurant, reveals that the same vegetables are used on many different dishes. I think this was also an argument I made in January. But they are cooked well, and I guess it brings the “Brasserie” level up front in stead of the gastronomy, and maybe that is excactly what they are aiming at. But an honest dish with not much of a fuss.

The waiters are really attentive, and especially the young female one….yeah yeah….thats how I am – but especially she did a good job in being flexible and understanding in regard to setting up a dish for Emil, who opted for Turbot with mashed potatoes.

Emil was also convinced into some chocolate for dessert.

A happy chappy…

Yes, as you can see he was very happy with that. Now every single day since Tuesday, he has asked me – Daddy – when can we go back to the restaurant with the chocolate cake ? So I guess the score on this one must be a clear 10p – it was in Emil´s book for sure. You can wipe your mouth now Emil.

My conclusion:

La Mirabelle is still very popular, lot of business suits here – its still among the bests of its kind in Luxembourg. And price wise you are a step down in compare to the michelin starred restaurants in town. With most dishes they deliver honest food, with no complications. It is the Brasserie style food  “Department” – but for sure it is the high end within those in Luxembourg.

Service is good and almost flawless. We were offered a digestive – which is never wrong in my book. It is children friendly and flexible in that respect.

As for wine list, I do think they in compare to other restaurants in that league has many good drops for you to choose from, and thats including wines from the whole world. On top of that they seem able to put out gems every now and then with a certain subject – or simply older vintages.

I hope to be back soon – and so does Emil.

Food 7p (10), service 4p (5), ambience 3.5p (5), 1 Bonus point for the wine list – and chocolate cake dessert. Total Score  15.5p (20)

Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 31 july 2012

“School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces”
Alice Cooper 1972

Even though the termometer reads 19 degrees, its high summer at this point and the boys have started their summer vacation. So I decided to continue the tradition I started last year. Going with them to my favourite terrasse in town for a boys lunch , even though – to our disappointment the dining was going to commence inside this year. Not a surprice since the weather is really tricky this year. Nevertheless, the sun came out and people arriving an hour later were blessed with both sun and al fresco dining.

Big boys….they really are growing so fast.

We were joined by Angel, the big boy of Chef Arnaud and host Edwige. A big boy himself now at 12. Nice to have some grown up chat at the table. Thanks for your company Angel.

I forgot my camera, so I apologize to you readers and to Arnaud if the photos are not quite up to par. Two rounds of (very nice) amuses – which were both tried and almost liked by the boys 😉 –  were followed by my starter:

Variations of tomato

A summer dish, typical for the style of Arnaud, and it was very nice if not out of this world. The crunchy bisquit was a great combo to the delicate tomatoes. A decent starter where the southern or even Italian  influences were clear with pesto and mozzarella etc. 7.5p

Cheeks of veal, macaroni stuffed with tender small pieces of veal shoulder or leg. Can one call that rilette of veal ?

Great dish, the meat so tender, the reduction VERY tasteful, the different preparations of carrot fitting. Really up there among the top for such a simple dish 8.5p

The menu was followed by the usual sweets and 90 min had gone, the boys, mostly due to Angel, had behaved fantastic, even though I forgot the entertainment in the car.

.

Emil and Oscar both had veal on basmati rice with vegetables and as soon as the green leaf on top was removed they loved it…

“Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes”
Alice Cooper 1972

Well we had class today. And so did the menu and wines. The wines today were chosen – and served blind as I like it – 2 white chardonnays were followed by a beautiful red. To get such a great taste from a simple appellation. Well chosen dear Julien

Nice drop.

Conclusion:

I hope dear boys we can re-do this traditon every year for many years to come. It was good practicing for the upcoming lunch at Lameloise. And you did well, if not perfect. The food was in good Clairefontaine style. I do think that meat cooking is one of Arnauds strongest sides and the veal today was no exception.

As most times we were today given the seperate salon, which allows the boys to fool around a bit. Didier was his usual charming self, playing with the boys. The staff on their toes and nothing really to complain about. Was the food out of this world ? No. but it didnt need to be. After all it was just “family guy” establishing a little bit of summer tradition and – “an education” for two aspiring gourmets. And they tried both amuses today, and the first one even without any kind of pressure. Well done my boys. You make it all worthwhile. Restaurant Clairefontaine is still holding on strong to its position as the best (terrasse!) dining in town – and among the best anyway. Thanks for having us.

My rating for this visit;

Food 8p (10) service 5p (5) ambience 5p (5),  Total Score  18p (20)

Restaurant La Mirabelle, Luxembourg – 9 February 2012

Restaurant La Mirabelle is the top brand of the group of restaurants in Luxembourg that call themselves – Espaces Saveurs. These days they celebrate the 20th anniversary of La Mirabelle – but actually the collaboration between Olivier Fellmann and Dominique Colaianni started already in 1987 in Cave Gourmandes. So actually the two of them celebrate their “Silver Wedding” this year. Together with some investors they have build up a small imperium of restaurants that includes Come Prima, Goethe Stuff and Sapori among others.

Today I was invited as a “member of the press” -the new press so to speak. Newspapers are slowly but surely dying at this age in time. Unfortunately. I wonder what our kids, or grandchildren will thin kwhen we tell them about the time when you went to the shop every morning to pay for “old” news. The fastness of our world is not always a good thing I reckon.

Nevertheless, here I was, proud to be invited – and happy that La Mirabelle has recognized this change of the tide – by the way as the first restaurant in Luxembourg I know of.

So it was a big table – 13 people – fixed menu – in one of the small rooms upstairs – which I most certainly prefer to the semi-modern styling of the the main restaurant.

And here it was the table – om the table to greet us the usual sundried tomato “mash” – and the rilette with freshly roasted ciabatta. Great stuff. All you need. No need for any other amuses in such a restaurant in my opinion

Sundried tomatoes with bread

Terrine of fois gras

Lovely presentation, the gelantine to the right was done of – I think pomegranate – anyway, I think it was a great mix- the pomegranate with  the added orange balancing out the fatness of the dish. Served with a glass of sweet Chenin Blanc from Loire, but still with enough acidity to make the wine lighter and thus not as irritating sweet as many Sauternes. 8p

The wine for the dish to follow

My kinda wine...

Really a crowd pleaser, not even too sunny or too much wood. Just a good balanced Chardonnay. Not the depth or minerality of a lets say Chassagne Montrachet – but it does not need to have that in my opinion. I would order this wine – or buy a box given the chance.

Second dish…

Scallops with vegetables julienne, and a small coconut inspired sauce on the side.

Scallops has to be cooked perfectly to be interesting. It is very weasy to cook them to much, and too little I find them too fishy for my taste. These were cooked just as they should be. The plate with the running green stripe from side to side a beauty. I love Asian cooking. But I adore French cooking with Asian touches. The coconut would probably offend most French gastronomes…but I thought it was just right. Not to dominant, just a good companion to the still crisp vegetables. 8p

Filet of veal

Great looking dish, great jus, great creme of the root of persille, stunning millefeuille of vegetables, celaric, carrots…I think was in 10 or 12 different vegetables – slowly cooked, but wauw…what a result. With a touch of sea-salt on the top. That part of the dish was the highlight of the day for me and deserves an extra 0.5 point. Meat perfectly cooked. Great dish – really. 8.5p

With the veal we has a light female style of Bourgogne

Your average good Chambolle Musigny 2006

This wine did not blow me away as such, but off course Pinot Noir is a perfect companion to veal – and I think the raspberry in the wine goes well with fois gras, and as you can see from the picture the filet was done Rossini Style. Maybe a touch of raspberry within the dish would have brough that more out in the wine. But then again it might  have taken away the focus away from the lovely “millefeiuille”. Guess you can´t have it all.

Most appropriate - dessert based on mirabelle

Especially the caramel stribe behind the “cake” and the nutty ice cream made this dish work in my book. It had softness, crispness, sweetnes…and was actually a very light and nice finish to a great menu. 6.5p What followed was some sweets and coffee.

Here is two shots of the hosts of the day…

Dominique Colaianni

Olivier Fellmann

My conclusion:

As I said, being recognized as a member of the press, was something else for me. I know it is the ways of the world and there is nothing that can stop that. Still somebody need to be the first and Luxembourg is normally not that innovative to say the least. So I thank you Mr. Fellmann and Mr. Colaianni for that. The menu today was a step up in compare to the menu I had last month here. But then – it was a set menu for a set number of people. But it was good. It was not perfectly matched with the cold weather outside, I mean this menu I could repeat in the summer without a problem. But it was dishes that all looked and tasted nice, all were justified and all had great ingredients or good produce treated correctly and with a great result.

I much prefer the rooms on this floor to the large modern room down-stairs – but that is off course a matter of taste.

On another note I got to talk to Olivier Fellmann about Come Prima. And I was so happy to learn that they offer gluten-free pasta dishes. Come Prima we actually gave up when the gluten allergy of the missus was diagnozed. So – Come Prima – see you very soon….. Great news. Actually it always a pleasure to talk to professionals – about their experiences with the business, with wines, with ratings etc. etc. That makes it all worthwhile.

As for my rating today -service – well we had great service – but it was a closed table in a closed room. But I have judged it as I would have done it in the restaurant.

Thanks for having us.

My rating for this visit:

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

La Mirabelle, Luxembourg – 6 January 2012

La Mirabelle is situated on a busy street, but with parking just across the road. I have not been here since the mid nineties, and a lot has changed. The restaurant has always been known to serve (almost) gastronomic food. Today the concept is a little changed. I would rate this as a high level Brasserie, but not real gastronomic. Only just below that. Its a favourite of my new friend Gijs, and thus was a natural choice for our lunch.

The decor is modern. It didnt really hit my wauw spot…but I have seen a lot worse. And I cannot put a finger on what it was. Maybe it was just not my style. I like the fact that they had wooden floor and not tiles. I hate tiles, and you will find that in around 90% of all restaurants in Luxembourg . The large counter in the middle of the room with a wall of wines worked the best in my opinion. On the other floors there is possibility to have a private room for larger parties.

The center of La Mirabelle

One of the private rooms upstairs -more classic

We were greeted by the staff and the menu was presented on a board. The waiter described each single dish, which is nice (and time consuming) – and then left us for a few min in order to decide.

The menu. starters, fish and meat...

We opted both for the veau as a starter at 19 eur. Wine list was brought, and that was a big surprice. Fairly priced – in Luxembourg that means 2-3 times engros price, but that is still better than the average of 4-5 times. And furthermore there was some really nice choices. I especially studied the Bourgogne section. Wonderful wine list. One of the best I have seen in Luxembourg. We opted for a Meursault and a Charmes Chambertin from Dupont-Tisserandot, which brought back good memories of many a visit to his cellar in Gevrey-Chambertin.

Tomato and Rilette and nice bread

Lovely, great. I would just leave it at that. Why waste time, money and energy to produce some wanna-be amuses when this is actually good enough. Well, La Mirabelle did not. They served the following amuse….

Vegetables on a cheese creme and a small pumpkin soup

I generally think that a restaurant should only serve these amuses if they have something interesting to present or some easy going stuff, like roasted almonds, the rillette and dried tomato thing from before was excellent. The pumpkin soup was actually very nice, if not overly sexy. But the vegetables thing was truly boring and rater tasteless. Now had it been left out, I would have had less to critisize. Sometimes less is more. 4p

Galette - filled with veal...

Great dish, best of the day. Great presentation. The Jus de Veau, perfect, the salad dressing and egg, great as topping on those wonderful, gallettes. Inside the galette there was veal, fois gras, apparently sweet-bread. It all came together as a very tasteful and delicate dish. 8.5p

Rib-eye...

Great tender meat,-  and a beautifully arranged potato. Baked in the oven with creme and bouillion –  and the long slices then arranged as a rose. I loved it. Presented as – “with a pepper-sauce”, it was nowhere near that. If it had not been for the 5 green pepper corns I would not have known. It was not bad. just not up to par with the rest of the dish. The biggest complaint about the dish was however that the vegetables – which on my plate was arranged on a nice creme of artichoke  – were an exact copy of the vegetables on the dish of my friend. For at restaurant at this level and a price of 30 eur – well I think its not good enough. Again, I f I had not had those vegetables on my plate I would not have missed them, and now their repetition was a subject of irritation. As I said sometimes less is more. So I will have to adjust for that in my judgement of the dish. 6p

Poulet....

Actually two servings – the upper left corner being the breast, wonderfully cooked, moist as it should be. And in the bottom right a gateau, cake consisting of confit de poulet (I think) and a mash. The vegetables as you see, even the order they were same and excact copy of mine. But here they were more justifed in my opinion. Anyway, Gijs liked it. 7p

No rooms for dessert.

My conclusion:

I think I expected gastronomy and I got brasserie food. But I got brasserie food at a very good level. I think the produce used was impecable. Very nice meat, very good salads, bread etc. And the price level with 20 eur for starters aand 30 eur for mains are as it is in Luxembourg. Not cheap but standard. It would not be my choice for a romantic evening, I know other places that are more my style, but for a business dinner or just another night out, I would definetely consider coming back. As I said, the wine list was outstanding. The service and attention from the staff was good if not out of this world. The waiter suggested a bottle when we had chosen our menu. I like that. Even if we opted for our own choice. So even with the minor flaws I experienced in mind I think La Mirabelle is understandable a popular restaurant and I think on most lunches or Friday evenings it is advisable to book ahead. Thanks for the fun Gijs. Looking forward to developing our friendship. You are officially my youngest friend by the way.

My rating for this visit:

Food 6.5p (10), service 4p (5), ambience 3.5p (5), 1 Bonus point for the GREAT wine list. Total Score  15p (20)

Der Butt, Warnemünde/Rostock – 16 August 2011

Der Butt is situated in the wonderful Yachthafenresidenz Hohe Düne – which I have written about previously

https://foodwinerocknroll.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/yachtresidenz-hohe-dune-warnemunde-rostock-germany-august-2010/

Der Butt is still proudly holding on to its 1 star Michelin Rating, and chef Tillmann Hahn continue to improve. Apart from the restaurant he is also involved to some extent in the other restaurants inside the resort. Tillmann Hahn has been with the resort since 2008 – and was chosen to cook for a German G8 summit, a few years back so he is probably good enough to cook for me. The restaurant holds only 26 places so booking is essential.

The resort offers a little bit of everything. I shall just hightligt the following reasons that we keep coming back.

  • A splendid view of the Baltic Sea, and Der Strom – you can just drift away on your balcony and wish the stay will never end.
  • Great rooms
  • A full-time children care – possible from 10 am to 7 pm, with each day having a special theme. The kids LOVE it.
  • A GREAT bar, with all you could wish for – a huge selection of cocktails, champagne, whisky, gin etc. etc. etc.
  • A good selection of children friendly restaurants
  • An amazing breakfast buffet, with a-la-carte chef preparing omelettes etc.
  • Der Butt, one of the best restaurants in the region, and for sure worth a visit
  • Top-service from all staff within the resort
  • Warnemünde with shops and beach just a stone-throw away

Hey, did I get carried away ?. Well we love it there. We had read on-line that the service was not as good as it used to be. We experienced nothing like that. Not a fraction.

But…this time its about Der Butt and Tillmann Hahn and his team,

The missus at the Kamin Bar, Der Butt in the back-ground

Ray Tschörner, the tall smiling waiter had already spotted me a day or two before and we had a small chat. Im a sucker for recoqnition. It always work on me. Upon reserving we had noted the gluten-free issue as well as the vegetarian status of the missus.

So when entering it was a releave to see a speical basket of bread prepared for her. Why do I keep mentioning this. Because you have no idea how stressy and irritating it is when this issue is not handled correctly. Apart from the emotional stress – the health is at risk. So thank you all you chefs out there who does in fact realise this and adjust accordingly.

4 different thematic menus are offered, a classic, a meditteran, an exotique and a vegetarian menu. You are free to cross choose from all 4 menus, and the price of menu varies then from 65-115 eur depending on how many dishes you order.

Small selection of tasters...

The new Sommelier, Sven Mähnert, made a good impression, and was very service-minded and attentive throughout the evening. We opted for a Pouilly Fuisse for Astrid, and also the wine menu for me – I felt like trying something different than just Chardonnay.

3 kinds of extra virgin olive oil, 5 kinds of salt

This was an improvement to previous visits where we were offered to choose from 20 different kinds of salt to go with the bread and wonderful oils. This was much better and not as time consuming, – and how much salt do you need to try. Great selection, the olive oils delicate, all of them.

2. amuse

Wonderful, the lightness of being. Hahn cooks ever so light. And we like that.

3. amuse for me

- and for the missus.

Again, wonderful, again respecting her non-meat eating status. We felt this was going to be a wonderful evening.

Fois Gras

A highlight for me, wonderful dish, pretty and so delicate and tasty. 10p

The dish of the missus...Tartare of Langoustine with avocado and mild chili granitê

Lots of details, Astrid could have wished for a bit more chili in the granitê – but I guess we like it more spicy than your average customer. 8p

The best wine of the evening I found was this one….

Chenin Blanc from South Africa

Primeur de Provence, 3 kinds of veal...

Actually it was one of the starters on the 4 menus, but I decided to throw it in as small something in between the dishes. The kitchen decided it would be boring for the missus to watch me eat, they had prepared a little something for her too…(nice touch).

Brook trout on beans and "Satureikraut"

Both great little dishes, I love the presentations. And you have no doubt in your mind that the kitchen works with best of produce available. 8.5p

Grilled Yellowtail-Kingfish with mango salsa and choriander

I loved this dish, the missus found the fish a bit on the dry side. 8.5p

Poached Turbot for the missus...

- lamb for me...

Both dishes very strong. The presentation of the lamb was maybe not the best, but the tenderness and the taste made up for that. SIMPLY GREAT. 9p

Chocolate Grand Cru with full-ripe cherries

Great stuff again 8.5p

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for honey...

Conclusion

If you are ever in the resort, dont miss out on Der Butt. Its good. Its not outstanding or re-inventing the wheel. But its sometimes classic, its sometimes a bit innovative, but most of all its a kitchen that treats the products with respect with good presentations and the service match all that. The wine list is a bit on the expensive side like in most 5 star resorts, but the selection is good and leave you many choices from overseas etc in the lower end as well. Should you feel like drinking Chateau Margaux or Ornellaia, well then there is choices there as well.

At the end of the meal, Tillmann came to our table and we had a good long talk. We were happy to tell him that this was the strongest achievement of his kitchen we had experienced so far. And that the food throughout the resort had also improved from last time. There was no apparent flaws in the other restaurants as last time, except maybe for lack of salt and pepper on the dishes….Würzen fellows…würzen. But that off course was not the issue in Der Butt.

Thank you Ray and Sven for taking so good care of us, on our last evening at Hohe Düne. We for sure hope to be back next year. So do the boys. Thank you Tillmann Hahn for great food and for your inspiration.

I shall leave you with a few shots from the resort…and with my rating of Der Butt below.

Room with a view..

.

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), Ambience 4p (5) and service 5 (5)  Total score 18p (20)

Lameloise, Chagny – 26 June 2011

Had a rough start going to Bourgogne this time. Trip was postponed a day, due to a shortly announced school show performance of Oscar, and litterally minutes before leaving I smashed my car coming back from the baker. First accident in around 30 years, and no-one to blame but myself.

We arrived in Beaune – safely in the old Volvo – and were greeted by blue sky and 27 degrees. The day was spent, calming the nerves with Meursault, with good Friends Jörg and Sus, who had decided to join us for the following days big lunch at Lameloise. It would be their first visit to Lameloise, my 11th or so.

Chagny is a small dull village but on any Sunday, the town center is extended and filled with a market AND A LOT OF PEOPLE. If you ever in the area dont miss this market – nor Lameloise.

Some shots from Chagny go get you started

The Town Hall

Onions anyone ? All kinds....

Old friends enjoying a good morning discussion, what was the topic you wonder, Greece ? Sarkozy ? We will never know.

The reason for our visit...

With such a great Maison and entrance it is difficult not to have your hopes way up in the sky for an extraordinary culinary feast. We were greeted warmly with recognition by some of the staff, the sommelier, the elderly waiter and off course soon after Frederic Lamy came to our table and personally asked the boys who were Oscar and who were Emil. Nice touch, and something that always work in my book. Monsieur Lamy has an elegant style, but with a down-to-earth touch that makes him come over as a genuine warm person that I am sure has an eye on every table – and waiter. During the meal he passed our table a few times, and was increasingly impressed about the boys good behavior. Even though Emil was a bit ill, they both did a fine job, and severeal issues did inded make proud parents on this “Lazy Sunday afternoon”.

I shall not give you a break-down of all the dishes this time, but just note that the menu this time was de facto flawless. Gluten free bread was offered through-out the meal to the missus. The amuses had a gluten free version for her as well. A minor mistake were that they had forgotten or not noted my information that she is semi-vegetarian (no meat) – so the first version had to be changed – which were done without a fuss and rather quickly.

Wines were ordered…a Rully 1. Cru from Jacqueson 2009, lovely crisp, followed by a Chassagne Montrachet 2003 – damn I forgot the producer, but I got a big smile from the sommelier, a smile to show me he loved my choice. And later on we had another Chassagne Montrachet from 2006, all whites – all PERFECT whites.

Amuses 1

Langoustines Chaud & Froid

A highlight for all of us. The best dish of the day. Simply stunning.

Blanc de Turbot, with rhubarbe and sabayon moutarde

The Sabayon FANTASTIC, the fish cooked perfect. The rhubarbe adding a nice twist to the dish. The razor mussels…..well they will never be my favourites.

Homard Bleu, with artichokes and tarragon

Great dish, I love lobster and with the creme of potatoes, just like I learned to cook it at Clairefontaine. Second best dish of the menu.

Veau de lait Limousin, with Girolles

Great dish, the veak cooked to perfection. After having had less succes with veal elsewhere lately, its nice when you are finally presented with a great cooked piece. The girolles, very tasty. A great and very classic dish.

The cheese trolley...

All sections and some cheese nicely presented. And this is what landed on my plate according to my wishes…

Say "Cheese"

Pre-dessert - Crumble

Pre-dessert - sweets

My choice of dessert - Pommes & Passion

Astrid's choice - Chocolate, raspberry...

Last round....

Emil not up for being shot at this point....

My conclusion:

It is always good to be spoiled at Lameloise. And I doubt that anyone will leave disappointed or hungry. The service at this visit was top-notch – flawless, the small room with three tables simply cosy. The food classic but this time with some fresh new touches.

You feel like a king at all times. The gluten allergy was almost treated as good as it could have been. At least an effort was made, and that was nice to experience. I asked by a copy of a chldrens cooking book by Eric Pras, exhibited at the entrance. It was duly signed with a message to Oscar and Emil, and – hey – put on the bill – but for the prize of 0. I thank you for that, and note that the personal touch was just what I had hoped for when requesting the dedication.

I think our good friends felt the trip was more than worthwhile. I dont know what impressed them more – the behaving of our boys or the food. Lets just say – Boys you were great. All boys. Oscar and Emil – and all you boys at Lameloise. Thanks for behaving and spoiling us. Jörg and Sus, we treasure our friendship and its good to feel as if we have never been apart, even though you now live in “la chic Suisse”….

My rating for this visit:  Food 9.5p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  19.5p (20).

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)