Stylish cafés and hip restaurants have been all the rage in Berlin of late. We adore them, but sometimes we long for that old-world European coffeehouse atmosphere. So when I was invited to dinner at Einstein Unter den Linden recently, I was pleasantly surprised. Little did I know that the Grill Royal team, together with the former Michelin-starred head chef from Pauly Saal, took over the famous breakfast spot just over a year ago – overhauling the entire menu. Its interior decor, in keeping with the restaurant’s original classic feel that appeals to a wide range of guests, was updated with subtle opulence sans the typical stuffiness. Expect a solid and authentic Viennese high dining experience during lunch and evening hours, featuring carefully selected wines along with delicious homemade sweets. The satiating goulash, ox filet tartar or one of the seasonal specials will surely not disappoint. Casual yet classy: perhaps a new trend for grown-up hipsters. (Text: Rei Matsuoka / Photos: Robert Rieger)
From Tel Aviv to Berlin, Night Kitchen is the latest addition to the House of Small Wonder and Zenkichi family, co-owned by Gilad Heimann and Shaul Margulies. Presenting modern Mediterranean cuisine in a friendly atmosphere in the quaint Heckmann-Höfe, perfectly portioned share plates span from a melt-in-your-mouth tomato carpaccio with Turkish Tulum cheese and crispy quinoa to meaty octopus à la plancha with Jerusalem artichoke and dots of vibrant chili oil. All plates can be ordered à la carte, but we suggest you sit back, relax, and let the chefs do their thing by opting for the “Dinner with Friends” – a fixed price, family-style menu for the whole table, where dishes whiz to your table all night long from the open kitchen. Whether you dine in the atmospheric garden under the stars or choose the cozy bustle of the dining room, Mitte’s newest hotspot for a relaxed night of eating, drinking, and reveling in the company of good friends and family is Night Kitchen. Open to the public from tomorrow (8.9.17). (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Luke Marshall Johnson & Boaz Arad)
In the Northwest corner of Görlitzer Park, next to the Spreewaldplatz pool, resides a restaurant space that’s become notorious over the years for changing hands and concepts many times — without a true success story. Now however, there’s Wildeküche, a restaurant that we think has the staying power to turn this property into the great place it’s always had the potential to be. Focused on vegetarian and vegan food, Wildeküche satisfies with hearty dishes like their Italian burger with a house made tempeh patty, simple artichokes to peel and dip in soy mayo that’s better than the real thing, and vibrant veggie bowls that fill you up without weighing you down. Fresh juices, seasonal soups, and sweet desserts also mark the menu — all organic, biophotonic and free from industrial sugars. With a handful of herb and edible flower gardens on the terrace already, there are plans to add a rooftop garden and revamp the large sandy space that faces Lausitzer Platz. Spend an afternoon on the terrace, eat food that you can feel good about, and cross your fingers that Wildeküche sticks it out at this gem of a location. (Text & Photos: Devan Grimsrud)
It’s all too easy to overlook dining options in hotels, but Michelberger Restaurant is an incredible example of what you might be missing by doing so. Tiled walls glow with warm light from starlike orbs that dangle from the ceiling, and long communal tables are bedecked with flowers, candles and inviting place settings. The food reflects the effortless space with dishes that are refined in their simplicity – a true homage to the quality of Michelberger’s ingredients. From the house-cured duck breast, sliced thin to delicately shelter fragrant melon and finished with fresh herbs to the smooth, smoked mashed potatoes topped with slightly sweet fermented peach and salty, crispy bits of black pudding, Chef Alan Micks takes you on a journey using solely organic ingredients, that are, where possible, locally sourced and seasonal. Pair that with an attentive, knowledgeable service staff, and you’ve got a restaurant that’s raising the bar on approachable modern dining in Berlin – one just happens to be in a hotel. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Luke Marshall Johnson, Michelberger Hotel & Restaurant)
A bright, open space features dark wood panels and floor-to-ceiling windows, which — now that it’s warm — are flung wide open to provide a view over an inviting terrace. Bricole, Berlin’s first “hors d’œuvre” bar, opened in Helmholzkiez in January 2017. Its 28-year old owner, Fabian Fischer, made his foray into Berlin’s gastronomy scene at Borchardt a while back, and today works his culinary magic together with chef Steven Zeidler, of the former Restaurant Schatz, and head bartender Jan Rethemeier, of Hotel am Steinplatz. Following in the footsteps of Borchardt, Fischer focuses on French cuisine, but adapts it to the relaxed Berlin standard and mixes it with international influences. The format is hors d’œuvre — not to be confused with Spanish tapas. They are instead finely composed dishes, complete in themselves, only served in appetizer size. Think asparagus with smoked potatoes, leek puree, crème fraîche and Keta caviar, goat’s cheese wontons with fennel cream and fermented garlic, or tonka bean crème brûlée. The menu of nine to twelve plates — one third of which are vegetarian — rotates fortnightly and is supplemented by craft beer from Berlin and German wine. It’s all served up on wooden tables with fabric napkins at hand. Simple, tasteful and perfect for dinner for two or a small group of friends. Don’t forget to book on weekends. (Text: Robert Strack / Photos: Bricole — Bar Hors d’œuvre)
Robert Strack has lived in Prenzlauer Berg since 2008. He is the Managing Director of Europrint Medien and enjoys Argentine tango and Berliner cuisine in his spare time.