Robin du Lac is kind of like Narnia – you walk in thinking you’re just entering a furniture shop, but once the scent of fresh food cooking hits you, and you hear glasses and cutlery tinkling, you know you’ve walked into something much more than you expected. Presenting Am’Garage! Past the chic furniture of Robin du Lac, you’ll find an Italian restaurant, a focacceria, a café and health conscious restaurant/shop.
The majority of Am’Garage’s space belongs to Come à la Maison, a restaurant that offers home-style Italian fare, with extra pride taken in their slow food menu options. The restaurant has a very unique décor, and if you like anything in particular, chances are you can find it next door at the furniture shop. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and genuinely excited to share their favourite dishes with guests. I, too, get very excited about good food so when someone exuberantly tells me which dishes absolutely cannot be missed out on, I listen.
As soon as I bit into the amuse-bouche — polpette di melanzane — I knew I had made the right choice to forfeit cooking dinner for my husband and I that night.
The entrée was a vegetable carpaccio, a sort of lasagna made up of layers of eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and sprinkled with parmesan. It sounds simple, but sometimes the most satisfying and delicious meals are the simplest, and these are the real gems at Come à la Maison, especially those cooked in their delicious tomato sauce.
Unfortunately, the bill creeps up rather quickly, so if everything on the menu looks appealing to you, you may be better off ordering the four course tasting menu, for €38 a person. Of course, lunch is also an option, where you can order a filling plat du jour for €13.90 (BONUS: gluten free penne is available!). There is no wine list, but there is a wine shelf. Guests are encouraged to take a look at the bottles on the shelf, and bring whatever they like to the table. The staff is keen to assist in wine and food pairings; that said, though, you can always stick to the aperol spritz.
For those who enjoy culinary adventures and communal dining, I would recommend booking a spot for the restaurant’s Tuesday dinners, when a guest chef comes and cooks a delicious mélange of Italian food with fresh ingredients, and diners can enjoy 6 small courses for €49. There is no shortage of fun vibes and things happening at Come à la Maison – each time I’ve been, the back room has been booked for a private function, and all the food coming out of the kitchen has tempted me to sneak in.
The freshness of the ingredients used at Come à la Maison is noticeable, and extends to their focacceria on the other side of the building.
This kitchen is open throughout the day, so if you find yourself randomly craving an Italian style sandwich at that awkward time between lunch and dinner, this is your spot!
Here you can select a baguette sandwich or a focaccia filled with delicious meats, cheeses, or roasted vegetables. There are different salad options, too, and the mozzarella one is always a good choice. Lasagnas are a regular menu item here, and quite popular from what I’ve witnessed. There are also a variety of Italian treats, pastas, oils and sauces available for purchase here, in case guests find their meals extra inspiring.
A proper tasty and strong coffee is the perfect finale to a filling Italian meal. You need not go further than just a few steps, where you will find Knopes café. The staff here takes their coffee seriously, and can recommend all sorts of flavours and brewing styles, depending on what you are craving, all for a decent price.
I recently enjoyed an espresso made with beans from Brazil, and am still dreaming of its creaminess and subtle chocolate flavour.
If you find a certain coffee to be extra delicious, you can have it ground up and enjoy it on your own time. If you’re more a of tea drinker, Knopes has also got you covered! They have green, black, and white teas, as well as some herbal options like their delicious rooibos blends. Knopes staff regularly switch up different coffee blends they promote, and you can enjoy these with some of their baked goods, while perusing all the coffee/tea accessories they have available for purchase. In preparation for summer heat, Knopes is also starting to offer cold coffees, to give you that necessary afternoon boost and help you stay cool at the same time….
As if these food and drink options were not enough for one venue, there is also Nature Elements, a health conscious food store and restaurant. Here you can find all sorts of gluten free products, and organic oils, teas, sweets, and even some cosmetics (though I would recommend visiting their Howald location, where they have much more of everything). Lunch at Nature Elements is always a delicious surprise, as the menu here changes daily. Quiche is an everyday delight, but if you’re lucky you can also enjoy giant mushrooms with quinoa, or a very satisfying panini with goat cheese roasted vegetables. These come with a crunchy salad and a standard plat du jour price. For the very hungry, or those pressed for time, there is also a sandwich bar located outside, and you can choose from a variety of vegetarian and pescatarian baguettes.
Am’Garage is a very unique place, and what I like to think of as an amusement park for food and drink. There’s something for everyone in this large building, the only risk being that you can very easily pass half the day away here munching around!
70 route d’Esch, L-1470 Luxembourg
Come à la Maison: Monday-Tuesday: 11:45-18:30, Wednesday-Saturday: 11:45-22:00, Sunday: 12:00-16:00
Focacceria: Monday-Saturday: 9:30-18:30, Sunday: 12-18:00
Knopes: Monday-Friday: 8:30-18:00, Saturday: 9:30-18:30
Nature Elements: Monday-Saturday: 9:00-18:00
Come à la Maison: 40-75€
Nature Elements: 10-20€
Featured image: Karrie Zych