99% of restaurant experiences pass by rather breezily. Whether the food is good or not, hiccups are usually of a similar ilk and so it’s rare for a meal out turning into such an event. That is why, when I was in Luxembourg recently, a particular restaurant visit was so eventful (or not) that it’s worth a whole blog post here.
SO. After traipsing through tripadvisor looking for a decent place to eat, we came across Gastronomica. It was well reviewed on tripadvisor, also a ‘cheap eat’, which is great. The pictures promised delicious looking spreads such as this-
So we set off with much promise. It was a reasonable ten minute walk from our hotel, away from the city centre and instead tucked away in a little street far which housed a second hand furniture shop, a car garage and not much else. A strange location, but it looked nice! We walked in and the downstairs was also really nice! A huge deli counter, people sitting round chatting and enjoying dinner..
‘Table for two please’
‘Sure, go upstairs.’
How puzzling. A downstairs which was by no means full, but atmospheric and pleasant, but apparently not hospitable to us, so upstairs we went.
Not a soul. Except for one waiter who didn’t speak a word of English. He sat us down, spoke a bunch of words we didn’t understand- I asked for a menu (the same in French, which he spoke) and then he turned away and gave up. We never did get that menu… Eventually, and by eventually I mean a good 30 minutes, another guy with limited English came over and offered to make us a starter platter. We tried to navigate this conversation successfully… we didn’t. With a promise of vegetables and meats, plus two beers, we settled down to the thought of receiving what we’d seen in the images on trip advisor.
We were served this…
JUST CHEESE. Not once did I hear the word ‘fromage’. But cheese is all we got. So we ate our cheese, as we were bloody hungry, and we drank our beers and then we sat. And sat. And sat.
Then some enthusiastic other waiter came and asked where we were from. We said London, to great aplomb, the owner has three restaurants in London- hurrah! He came over, had a little chat (spoke English, wasn’t baffled why we only had cheese (??)) and then promised us discount cards for when we ate in the London restaurants. (we never did get those discounts.)
The enthusiastic waiter then came over with two GIANT glasses of Limoncello, which was a lovely gesture, but these are dessert drinks, right? So we were thinking, hmmm, are we ever going to see a main course menu? We didn’t. We sat for about an hour, sipping these GIANT (GIANT!!!!) limoncellos, which were very alcoholic and sweet.
After about three hours in this restaurant we got the bill, headed into town and got a giant kebab, because by now we were starving.
A right ol’ experience that perhaps my writing doesn’t do justice. There was just so much waiting in anticipation of nothing, not much food other than cheese, and a weird atmosphere of absolutely noone. I’m sure the restaurant is lovely, but it was bizarre, and surely handing out menus after a starter (or even before?) is universal?!