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The new address of Chef Morvan and Chef Vaccaro has just opened in the completely renovated building next to the city’s history museum. A very nice discovery.
Located in the middle of the rue du Saint-Esprit, in the heart of the old town, stands the Luxembourg City History Museum. Adjacent to this museum, there is a magnificent, paved courtyard which, until a few months ago, was home to a magnificent beech tree (“un hêtre” in French) that had been standing for 300 years. Unfortunately, this hundred-year-old tree had to be uprooted at the beginning of the year due to disease, but good news for gastronomes, “L’Hêtre” has risen from its ashes and promises to delight your taste buds.
It has taken more than 7 years for the renovation of the city museum building to be completed. “We should have opened a year ago, so we are more than eager to get started,” says chef Mathieu Morvan with a smile. This former sous-chef of the Cristallerie, who left to open his own restaurant “L’Opéra”, is now starting this new adventure, with a wealth of experience. It’s hand in hand with the chef Giovanni Vaccaro, former executive chef of the Sofitel Luxembourg Europe, but also of the Casino2OOO and the Loxalis in Dudelange, that the chef Morvan has elaborated the menu of L’Hêtre.
“We wanted L’Hêtre to be based on four human pillars. Decisions concerning the running of the restaurant are therefore taken collectively, by the chefs but also with Cédric and Olivier, our restaurant managers”, explains chef Vaccaro.
In this beautiful building, the first room has round and square tables along the bay window, allowing you to eat while admiring the town in the background. The floor is made of light wood, warmed by ultra-cosy leather and fabric armchairs and intimate lighting. The second room is decorated with a very pretty fresco with leaves.
Chef Morvan’s ambition is to create a beautiful brasserie with a basis of French cuisine, but also turned towards Europe, with an obvious influence from Italian cuisine – you must try the foccacia with thyme, chef Vaccaro’s signature dish! “We wanted to create a beautiful brasserie with simple dishes, but with perfect cooking, beautiful seasonal products, and seasonings that spice things up”, explains chef Morvan. On the menu, Luxembourgish classics such as beef tartare with sucrine salad, homemade pâté en croute, but also a Milanese risotto with gambas or a marinated and roasted Iberian pork rib.
Every lunchtime, a lunch menu offers you the possibility to discover a starter, a main course and a dessert for 36 euros. A very good value for money with tasty and generous dishes. We were convinced by the homemade country terrine with its vegetable pickles, which is as tasty as you could wish for, followed by a perfectly cooked codfish and its creamy risotto. For dessert, the lemon meringue and praline tart won us over! Chef Morvan, assisted by his sous-chef, is keen to offer a fine selection of desserts, all home-made, to end your meal on a sweet note, but also for a gourmet break in the afternoon.
Indeed, as the restaurant is open during the same opening hours as the museum (closing later in the evening, of course), the chefs have designed a special “small appetite” menu, with great delicacies. So, from 2pm, take refuge in L’Hêtre for a gourmet snack – a must try is the Fôret Noire or the Paris-Brest – but also for a late lunch, with a panini garnished with Parma ham or a fine assortment of Italian charcuterie and homemade terrine.
As for the wine list, with more than 80 references including some exceptional bottles, and a wide choice of 8 wines by the glass – Luxembourgish domains but also a Pauillac, a Sancerre, a Montepulciano or a Côte du Rhône – l’Hêtre will also be the ideal address for an afterwork. Extended by a good dinner with friends, of course!
Once the warm weather returns, the terrace, which offers a superb view of the lower town, will certainly be very popular with locals and tourists alike. Especially as a new tree will be planted in place of the old beech in a few days’ time. This time it will be a 7-metre high silver lime tree surrounded by a green garden. Knowing that this tree can live for up to 400 years, let’s hope that this beautiful new address will have the same lifespan… or almost!
More information: www.lhetre.lu