This year’s Explorator guide features original reviews of some 370 restaurants written by an experienced editorial team. The reliable reviews are in French but include an English summary of what each restaurant has to offer and, in any case, Explorator serves as an indispensible listings guide for anyone looking to eat out in Luxembourg.
As editor France Clarinval explains, the basic theme of the guide has not changed because it is key to Explorator’s success: the guide provides restaurant reviews and also a “magazine” section featuring portraits of local personalities, details of the winners of the Prix du Public as well as articles on a variety of subjects linked to food and wine and nightlife. “What is new is the dedicated commitment of the editorial team to conducting reviews and carrying out tests on things like burgers and delivery services,” she says. Another addition is that Explorator has included 45 restaurants selected from the Greater Region--15 from each neighbouring country--and the guide also has more maps.
“Although the guide is mostly in French, English content is important. We have included an article about bars with games or indoors sports and all reviews feature an English summary,” explains Clarinval.
This is the 19th edition of the guide and Luxembourg is now spoiled for choice in terms of dining out. Have standards also improved, we ask? “I think the financial crisis has made people more demanding. They want to pay for something tangible, not just for a nice atmosphere with trendy people…that is no longer enough. So standards are improving, especially in the "smaller" restaurants. One can now find good sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers…”
Clarinval and her colleagues spent much of the spring and summer testing restaurants for the guide. So, we ask which three restaurants she would always return to for pleasure rather than business? “Only three? Let’s say Notaro, Mama Loves You and Brasserie Schuman… and if I had the means, I would go to La Distillerie more often.”
The Prix du Public winners:
Business restaurant: Clairefontaine
Wine list: Chiggeri
Welcome and service: Um Plateau
Terrace : Um Plateau
Atmosphere and decor: Toit pour Toi
Quality-price: Le Fin Gourmand
Fine dining: Ma Langue Sourit
French cuisine: La Mirabelle
Italian cuisine: Notaro
Asian cuisine: Kamakura
Mediterranean cuisine: Lisboa II
Organic & vegetarian cuisine: Mesa Verde
Explorator 2014 is available for just 10 euro at newsagents and bookstores or directly online from the Maison Moderne online shop.