The restaurant has received rave reviews on social media and in the local press for its service and value for money
Photo: Jan Hanrion/Maison Moderne
If, as the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first, then the warm palette of colours that seems to be the signature of dishes at Les Copains d’abord is a most pleasurable way to satisfy an appetite.
The newish restaurant in the old town, tucked just behind the palace, opened at the end of last year--a first location was already well established in Metz. The rue de l’Eau venue has two dining rooms, a contemporary brasserie-like space upstairs (which suffers from the occasional blast of cold air when diners arrive or leave) and a cosier looking cellar. The furnishings and the crockery are discreetly stylish, though not always entirely practical.
But guests are given a warm welcome and the service is for the most part attentive and cordial--we did wait rather longer than necessary before being asked if we would like dessert. Even so, with a full dining room at lunch time, we were still in and out, having enjoyed two courses, in just under 90 minutes. The restaurant has received rave reviews on social media and in the local press for its service and value for money.
The main attraction at lunch is a plat du jour, which at €14.90 seems reasonable. One of us plumped for this choice, which on our visit was stuffed courgette with sausage meat, served with perfectly cooked rissole potatoes, colourful carrots and salad. For €7 more, the plat can be augmented by a café gourmand with three mini desserts, including a refreshing pineapple smoothie, a well-balanced salted caramel ice cream and a rather disappointing deconstructed chocolate-pear tart.
The regular menu includes some tempting choices, such as a selection of gourmet burgers, casserole dishes, main course salads and steaks. But these were eschewed for one of the specials from the blackboard. A delicately cooked veal entrecôte with morel mushrooms was served with a wonderfully balanced sauce, a pea purée and a colourful array of carrots and wafer-thin slices of other root vegetables. Accompanied by a very reasonably priced glass of organic pinot noir (from Domaine Oury-Schreiber on the French Moselle), this was a real treat. Dessert, from the board again, was a rich passion fruit cheesecake with a chocolate biscuit base.
The atmosphere is friendly and lively, as one would expect in a brasserie. But, as is so often the case, the experience didn’t quite live up to all the hype. Les Copains d’abord is good, but not exceptional. 24 rue de l’Eau, Luxembourg-Centre. 2620 0273