30 July 2019

Clairefontaine*

It has been a while since I have been to a Michelin-starred restaurant. In fact, I didn't visit any such restaurant at all in 2018. The last time was when we spent a weekend in L├╝beck and dined in Wullenwever*. So when I was out of town, in Luxembourg, for a business trip, earlier this year, I took the opportunity to make a reservation for dinner in Clairefontaine*. I was in town for two nights for training, and it was a great occasion to wind down for the evening.

The restaurant is located in a very pretty area of the Old Town. I had some time to burn before my reservation, so I walked and explored the neighbourhood. I was actually in Luxembourg back in 2013 for the first time, so it was nice to see again scenery that I once saw before. Luxembourg is definitely pretty, and it has a quintessential European feel to it I must say. In any case, when the time came, I entered the restaurant, and took the plunge.

The service was marvellous, right from the start. This restaurant was the first one where I encountered a dress code in the reservation form. Hence I didn't show up in casual attire. The staff gave me a warm welcome at the door, and took my coat. They even remembered my preferences (I noted in the reservation form that I don't drink alcohol, which they remembered). I had a nice seat with a good view of the dining area.


The entire dinner was like a show. And my table was where it was all happening. I love the setting, the table arrangements, the way the cutlery was positioned, the way the napkins were folded, etc.


They began with an amuse-bouche: three little glass cornets filled with different tasty items, all intended to be eaten with a small spoon, presented in a steel elevated platform.


The first course was a foie gras presented in a very interesting way: wrapped in vegetable jelly, and paired with green apple, breaded lemon marshmallows, with pink berries and fresh coriander. It was very innovative, I must say.


This was followed by a fish course: poached sea bass, with passion pepper and mashed potatoes with leeks, paired with red quinoa risotto and a cannelloni made with oysters from Utah Beach.


The main course was pork rib, which was more on the traditional side, but nevertheless was well-executed.


There was the option to have cheese, but I declined. So I went to dessert, which was an amazing sight. It was an apple tree, re-imagined on a plate. Not very sweet, it was just right. It was an apple cake, more or less, that was contained in a crystallised red ball, and yes, I wonder how at all that thing was made.


Finally, I opted to have a small espresso, which they delivered with some small goodies to wrap up the entire dinner.

Of course, I enjoyed it. I was reviewing my training materials while I was waiting for my food, but I must say, I kept on being distracted. If you want a fancy place to eat in Luxembourg, then this perhaps is a good choice.

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