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I first tried Lussmans almost by accident – looking for anywhere in central St Albans that had a last minute table on a Friday night. Lussmans is very centrally located – hidden away in Cathedral Close, it sits only a few hundred yards away from the cathedral and is only a minute away from the High Street.

~~The Surroundings~~
Walking in, I was surprised by the elegant décor – leather seats, wooden floors, potted palms and modern artwork. The wall that faces the ancient stonework of St Albans Abbey is made almost entirely of glass, giving a feeling of spaciousness and light. The restaurant has three floors which are set into the side of a hill. This emphasises the views, as well as making it impossible for passers by to look through the glass walls into the restaurant.

Noise levels in a restaurant are very important to me now days (I often find it difficult to hear about the chatter of other diners) so I was pleased to find that Lussmans has been cleverly designed to minimise noise. No matter how busy the restaurant is, the noise seems to be muffled and contained so that ordinary conversation can take place.

~~The Food~~
When I looked at the menu, I was delighted to discover that Lussmans pride themselves on using local produce, organic and free range food which (as they say) “champions artisan producers”. Ethically sourced food is very important to me -I do not eat red meat but I am reassured to know that when it is on offer, only ethically produced meat is used. The bistro style menu is ideal for my family, as three of us don’t eat meat but one of us loves it. Two of us love fish, but two of us hate it – etc, etc. The range of food on offer means that everybody can order exactly what they want.

For starters, we ordered a Lussmans platter for two. This included roasted peppers, mozzarella, artichoke, salami, parma ham wrapped around wild rocket, olives and tzatzki. In addition we ordered mushroom and goats cheese bruschetta, and roasted tomato and thyme bruschetta. We all shared these and found that everybody could find something that they loved.

For main course I ordered Pollock with a creamed leak and brown shrimp sauce; my son had tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella pasta; my younger son had free range chicken schnitzel with chips; and my husband had grilled halloumi and vegetable skewers. All the food was very fresh and tasty. The portions were fairly small but still filling enough and the whole presentation reminded me of sitting in a French restaurant, with that special way they have of arranging the food to look its most attractive as it comes out of the kitchen.

For desert, we shared a plate of regional British cheeses, while the boys ordered sticky toffee pudding and chocolate and walnut brownie. All of these were as delicious as the main courses.

A nice touch was the inclusion of information about the suppliers of the food on the menu. Next to each dish is a small circle of information – for example, the chicken dishes told us that it was bred in Essex, the Anglais Red Cornish and White Rock chickens are allowed to grow to full maturity. The same type of information was available for all the menu options, including the organic juices and wines.

The kitchen was open plan so that customers could view everything that was being prepared. The chefs looked very professional and the noise did not intrude at all into the meal.

~~Conclusion~~
It is lovely to find a restaurant that doesn’t have a particular theme, but just provides a huge range of quality food from different cultures. It is a rare thing in my family for everybody to find their ideal selection on one menu.

The service was excellent, the food was delicious, and the bill came to just over £110 for the four of us, which I thought was very reasonable considering we all had the works. I would highly recommend Lussmans eatery to anybody.

There are two other Lussmans eateries: one in Hertford and one in Bishop’s Stortford. Although I have not tried either of these, I assume they match the high standards of the St Albans branch as they adhere to the same principles of fresh, regionally sourced, free range and organic food.