Postkutsch – the name couldn’t be more Luxembourgish… This stylish restaurant in Esch-sur-Alzette offers traditional cuisine with a refined touch. At the helm of this establishment is Claude Magnin. “When we moved to Luxembourg in 1987, we opened our first restaurant in the Hôtel de la Poste. It was the meeting place for the inhabitants of Esch – a sort of restaurant-club (without windows) on the first floor, packed with regulars. It was wonderful.” The Franche-Comté native has worked all over France – from the east to Pas-de-Calais and then to the south-west. And in 1995, it was time to move again – a little further afield this time.
Postkutsch, meaning “post house,” opened on Rue Xavier-Brasseur, opposite the magnificent post office, after which Magnin named his restaurant. His dream was to take his customers on a journey. Each of the elm and mahogany burl wood walls features a window – each window looks out onto a different landscape, so you feel as though you’re travelling. At the back of the room which can seat 60 people, a large mural depicts a stagecoach with a coachman struggling to keep his horses under control. This is a reinterpretation of “The Gotthard Post” (1873) by Swiss artist, Rudolf Koller. “When we had the mural painted, I was in my thirties. The man in the original painting was older and bearded. I preferred to make him young,” smiles the man who now admits to making him “look too stern.”
His clientele followed him to Postkutsch. At the time, he served “typical French dishes like cassoulet. We were hungry for work. Over time, our philosophy has changed. We now prioritise continuity and wisdom,” he says, explaining that he is happier with less tables than being run off his feet.
The franc-comtois signature touch is a cheese basket served alongside his French dishes. “I was told: ‘You’ll see, the Luxembourgers won’t like it.’ Well, that’s not true! Our clientele likes to travel with food, to experience new things!” Over time, the cheese basket became a tray, then a trolley. Today, it’s a must-have at Postkutsch. Even if the food were not so exquisite, people would still be queuing up outside for this attraction alone!
“Gastronomic menus that change, not monthly, but weekly, and a cheese trolley with some 70 varieties.”
With 70 cheeses, it’s more like a carriage than a trolley! “We refine many of the cheeses in-house,” explains Magnin. “We receive them raw and then mature them in our cellar with calvados, basil, truffles, beer… the possibilities are endless! You’ve got to try the one with amaretto, pistachio and apricot!” His main supplier? Van Tricht from Antwerp. “We have more than just a business relationship with them. This company knows our tastes and how to advise and guide us. It’s a relationship built on trust.” And what about the wines? “La Provençale and the wine merchant, Cote & Vins in Esch. And they rarely get it wrong,” confides the man who does not drink wine, but still understands it.
What else sets Postkutsch apart? Well, there is no à la carte menu – and no cassoulet either, for that matter. There are only set menus that change, not monthly, but weekly. “My chef of eight years, Lionel Delval, never decides the menu based on what our suppliers have to offer, but according to the season, the produce available, current trends and his own inspiration,” explains Magnin. The chef even adds two daily suggestions to these weekly menus! In these ambitious dishes, everything is flawless. “The chef intricately designs each dish down to the last detail,” says Magnin.
This chic, friendly restaurant (frequented primarily by regulars) also stands out for another reason: its prices. A weekday set lunch which includes two amuse-bouches, a main course and a café gourmand is €30. And it’s just €67 for the full menu which includes two amuse-bouches, a starter, a palate cleanser, a main course, cheese and dessert.
8, rue Xavier-Brasseur — L-4040 Esch-sur-Alzette
Tel. +352 / 54 51 69