The food that truly excels at Les Jardins d’Anaïs in Luxembourg-Clausen
Photo: Mike Zenari
If you are going to open a restaurant with specially designed crockery, and even go so far as to commission a signature knife, then you better make damn sure the food delivers. Luckily for owners Annabelle Hazard and Pascal Soutiran, chef Christophe Quentin has created crisp, clean, classic cuisine that leaves a lasting impression.
The French couple took four months to renovate the former Maho, and its impressive garden, before opening Les Jardins d’Anaïs (named after their daughter) in June. They had spent four years looking for a Luxembourg location after deciding that the city was the ideal place to open their second restaurant--they also own Les Grains d’Argent near Epernay in Champagne.
The dining room has undergone an upgrade, looking more chic than ever, but retains its natural lighting and views of the impeccable garden. Service, overseen by maître D Philippe De Kimpe, is also faultless and not without a welcome touch of theatre for those who enjoy that sort of thing.
But it is the food that truly excels. A starter of white asparagus perfectly cooked in a papillote accompanied by a delicately smooth eggs mimosa, roquette, grated dried caviar and a delightful beurre noisette sabayon is a fantastic explosion of flavours.
A main course of line-caught St Pierre from Brittany is steamed in citrus fruits and served with peppermint oil and a splash of slightly acidic sauce on top of colourful batons of carrots from the famous Kirsch family farm. A rich dessert named after the Brazilian Bahai islands features wonderfully crisp feuilles de chocolat atop a dark Caribbean chocolate mousse with caramelised hazelnuts. The mignardise--moist madeleines, beautiful lemon meringue tartlets, raspberry macarons-- to accompany coffee, are served in the fashion of a British high-tea.
As you would expect from an establishment that unveils its showcase dishes with the impeccably synchronised lifting of cloches, prices--including a choice of three set menus--reflect the luxury fine-dining experience. For those of us who have decided to dine out less regularly and focus on excellence, it is well worth surrendering a couple of semi-decent meals at lesser establishments for a visit to this oasis in Clausen.
Les Jardins d’Anaïs, 2, place sainte Cunégonde, Luxembourg-Clausen Tel : 27 04 83 71 www.jardinsdanais.lu