Restaurant 'Chiggeri', Luxembourg

1 Conversation

My lovely wife and I like to go out for a nice dinner from time to time, and Luxembourg offers a variety of restaurants that meet all the needs and cravings you may long for.

This time we looked for something very nice, bordering on gourmet style, so we decided to check out Chiggeri, located at 15, rue du Nord in Luxembourg City.

Entering the restaurant we noticed the decor, pleasant colours and interesting designs on the walls. A narrow winding staircase took us the two stories up to the restaurant proper, the ground floor being more cafe - bar style dining.

We were greeted by the waiting-staff and shown to a nicely laid table in the corner of the room. Again, the decor seemed inspired by aboriginal and American design.

The menu was small, one page with 3-4 items in each category of starter, vegetarian entrees, fish, meat and dessert. They also offer a 'Degustation', a set menu that allow you to taste what the kitchen is capable of in the various regions of cooking.

While trying to select food and wine, we sipped a pastis, a nice way to prepare for dinner.

We settled on asparagus with Avocado-creme and cucumber-lobster salad for starters, and main course was Salmon with asparagus and I chose the Veal Medallion with polenta.

The menu may lack in volume, often a good sign that the chef is not spreading himself and the kitchen too thin, but the wine-list is a completely different matter. It contains wine from all over the world and all prices imaginable (and some prices you just wish to forget). It was hard to decide on the wine, so we asked the wine-waiter for a little help. We like wine that is spicy and complex, but for salmon and veal we thought something lighter would do the trick. A Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon was suggested, having both the lightness and complexity we sought, and trusting the man, we agreed to try that.

As is often the case in restaurants around here, we were served a small appetizer, a piece of Terrine de Saumon with herbs in oil, and that little morcel lifted my spirits in anticipation of the meal itself. Delicate and well-balanced.

The wine was poured for me to taste, and sampling the bouquet told me that our waiter had not left us in the lurch. The nose was nicely rich and varied but not as strong as our usual Chilean wines. Also the taste was great and just what we were looking for, complex but light enough to be good with both the salmon and the veal, and also the starters.

Our starters came, and just the layout of the food was indicating that we would not be dissapointed. My cucumber salad was a ring of thin cucumberslices, a little oil, vinegar and salt, and in the middle a heap of lobster in a mayonnaise dressing, all garnished with water-cress. The taste was bordering on the sublime.

Herdis' asparagus and avocado-creme was equally delicate, but given the nature of the ingredients not as strong tasting.

One little glitch was when my main course arrived. The veal slices were nicely arranged on a mound of Polenta and looked just as nice as the starter. However, it was a couple of minutes before Herdis' salmon arrived, I think that maincourses should arrive together, especially when the restaurant is not overly busy, as was the case this Tuesday evening.

Again, the taste and decorations of the food was excellent, and we continued to enjoy the evening, the company and the atmosphere.

Dessert proved to be out of the question, the first to dishes satisfied the hunger, so we looked at the after-dinner drinks card. To my great joy I found that they served tea. No, not in teabags, but real loose leaf tea and several pages of various teas were offered and I picked a Golden Yunnan which arrived in a cast iron teapot, with lumps of crystal sugar in a cast iron bowl and I had a cast iron cup to drink from. Herdis did get her cup of coffee, even if it wasn't mentioned in the menu.
With my tea I had a glass of 'Vieux Rhum', a 1977 Chantal Comte, from Martinique, if memory serves. Fully equal to a good cognac or malt whisky, both of which I enjoy very much. Unfortunately our waiter told us that is was not available in stores, it had been hard to find for them as well, so I guess we have to return some time.

So, what did all this fine cooking cost us? Well, at this level of cooking, there is a price to pay, the check was 5560LUF or 138Euro, but it was worth it.

(Update: I have since found the 1977 Chantal Comte Martinique Rhum in a shop in Luxembourg, so I have a bottle sitting in the drinks cabinet at home, still an extremly pleassant drink and enjoyed when I feel I deserve it ;-) )

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