Restaurant review: A colorful experience

Newsroom 29/11/2010 | 11:54

Lime and Lemon, No 5 Luterana

It is a neighborhood restaurant directly opposite the huge Le Bistro in Luterana.  I refer to it as a neighborhood restaurant as it is used strictly by locals. After all, Luterana is a short street that leads to nowhere and as it contains no shops or offices you would probably never find yourself in it.

It is brightly painted in a riot of fruity colours, but not in a garish way. So we went there for lunch and settled down for a pleasant experience. The locals started arriving, most of them being drop dead beautiful blondies from the nearby World Class fitness center. As befits fitness people they predictably ordered fresh juices and salads. They then equally predictably all lit up cigarettes – how fit is that!

The sight of these beauties distracted me from the music which was annoying, unnecessary and blasting loud. Things got better when our bread arrived. I recognized it immediately as being supplied to the House by the baker Deli France. It is of the highest quality and is also supplied to most of the top hotels in town.

The House signature is the fresh juices, all priced around

RON 14.5. Based upon orange, mango, grapefruit, apple, pear, banana, carrot, plum, pineapple, peach, melon, papaya, cherry, kiwi, grapes and cranberry, they offer an amazing 128 combination of juiced fruit drinks.

So away to the menu. They had a breakfast section operating between 8.00 and 11.00 a.m. offering six different omelettes, cheese dishes and toast, coffee and jam packages.

Having been pleasantly surprised with their bread, we ordered from the sandwich section, which offers small or large butties, a total of 16 choices. I had to smile at one of them, which was a “Caesar”. Making a sandwich from the ingredients inspired by the world’s most famous salad was an initiative I applaud. So naturally it contained bacon, capers, egg, parsley, Parmesan and lettuce. And just for the local fitness freaks, each sandwich is listed with a calorie content.

I normally pass on salads, but they had a selection of 24 on offer and I could not resist their Gorgonzola salad containing pomegranates, Gorgonzola, lettuce, grapes, pear and celery. It was both creative and exciting, as is the rest of their salad section.

Now, off to the hot section. We ordered a lasagna, which was what it said it was. You really cannot do  a lasagna badly, and they did not do it badly! More interesting was their farfalle (butterfly shaped pasta) with shrimps, squash, white wine and parsley. This was a total failure. The chef had fried the shrimps instead of adding them at the last minute to the boiling pasta water. This made them hard and flavourless. The wine was indiscernable and there was no parsley.

I asked for olive oil to add to my dish and they gave me a spray aerosol bottle of oil. It was awful. You can only use spray-on oil to moisten the metal grill of a barbecue, as it has no flavor whatsoever. It was an honest mistake by the House and I am confident they will rectify it. But it got better.

We ordered a perfect soft, moist chicken in pear sauce. We passed on their chicken with butter, oranges and ginger, but I will not make that mistake next time.

And now for their crowning glory, desserts. Every one of them was excellent. I simply could not believe that they had not ordered them from a commercial bakery. But no! The waiter assured me they were all made in house. Their apple strudel was as good as anything I have eaten in Vienna, and for RON 10, it was huge.

There was a total of 22 goodies on offer, many of which were on display in their chiller cabinet. So prepare yourself for fig tart with cream, Amarreto and vanilla, or pear and ginger cake, or chocolate cream with a vanilla crust, or several gelatos.

Our experience there was a successful venture. But one last word. Their toilet was a dream: a Japanese, automatic, electric self-cleaning toilet seat. You  just have to see it in operation. As a word of advice, just don’t be sitting on it when you press the button!

Go out of your way to get there if you are staying in the neighboring Radisson, or if you are shopping in adjacent Calea Victoriei. It is well worth it.


Michael Barclay

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