The latest edition of the Explorator dining guide, now on newsstands
Photo: Maison Moderne
Foodies need not wait any longer: the latest edition of the Explorator dining guide was released this week.
“Explorator 2017” features authoritative reviews of 250 of the best restaurants in the Grand Duchy.
The guide is published in French with English versions of the reviews. (Explorator is published by the same company as Delano, and Delano staff have contributed to the guide.)
The title first launched in 1994, but the evolution of Luxembourg’s restaurant scene has only accelerated since then, said the publication’s editor-in-chief for the past five years, France Clarinval. Over the past 12 months, for example, she has noted an uptick in vegetarian and vegan options.
“It’s not just a ‘trend’. I think it’s something [restaurateurs] realise they have to [focus on],” Clarinval said. “Not to only have a pasta primavera, but to have a real vegetarian offer. Some are really high quality, and some are still trying to figure out what to put on the menu, but at least they have something on the menu, and that was not the case a year ago.”
Shift to digital
This is the 22nd and last print edition of Explorator, and the brand will shift focus exclusively to its digital side, stated Clarinval. “We saw that the restaurants were changing faster and faster, with new openings, closings and chefs changing [more frequently], so the print edition was not always up to date.”
While there are roughly 30 new restaurants in this edition, Amalfi, in Hollerich, for instance, opened too late to be featured in print version, even though it merited inclusion.
Restaurant reviews will now be updated throughout the year, with more emphasis on mobile readers, according to Clarinval. Recently introduced features--such as search using several criteria at the same time, and booking a table directly through the site--were specifically designed for consumers on the go.
Another feature intended to mix things up was the introduction of an annual “Prix de la presse” (press prize) granted by a jury comprised of Clarinval and 11 cultural journalists at other Luxembourg publications. The prize is meant to shine a spotlight on lesser known and more “surprising” establishments. Clarinval was intrigued by the diversity and thoroughness of the deliberations; some jury members nominated restaurants that were true discoveries for other members of panel.
Explorator has had “people’s choice” awards for several years running; online voting for the next one will open later this year.
In addition, Explorator will increasingly focus on live events (in collaboration with the Paperjam Club, which is also part of the same company). That includes this week’s sold out “10x6 passionate professionals” where the press prizes were awarded. The next event will be a C-level wine tasting on 23 February.