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BONVIVANT GOES LOCAL — CUISINE FROM FORAGED INGREDIENTS AND INNOVATIVE COCKTAILS

BONVIVANT GOES LOCAL — CUISINE FROM FORAGED INGREDIENTS AND INNOVATIVE COCKTAILS

As a gastronomer, how can you make sure you get the best ingredients? One way is to just gather them yourself – and that’s precisely what Bonvivant’s chef Nikodemus Berger does. He looks after the cuisine at the Schöneberg cocktail bar and bistro and has been rolling up his sleeves to collect some very special supplies for next week’s Berlin Food Week (20-26.09.2021). Berger and the kitchen team have been on foraging trails around Berlin to source the yarrow, cornelian cherries, redcurrants and wild apple that feature in a three-course vegetarian menu they will serve all next week as part of the festival’s Stadtmenü program. The focus: sustainable, seasonal organic ingredients served in a relaxed way (“Eat-Easy Cuisine”, as it’s called here). The venue for the feast is the vibrant copper and velvet interior that has been catching our eye since we encountered Bonvivant in 2019. As for the dishes, you’ll just have to try them yourself, but expect the likes of parsnips served with smoked yeast, quince, chervil, sunflower seeds and cornel cherries. To accompany are three cocktails which take bold and beautiful blending to the next level (apple cider vinegar, carrot, ginger and chilli, anyone?) If you want to enjoy these innovative flavors outside Berlin Food Week, you can book a table at Bonvivant any time and sample the latest treats gathered by the kitchen team. Like we said: tasting is believing…

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Bonvivant & Johanna Rademacher-Flesland

We are giving our readers the chance to sample the Bonvivant menu free of charge. For the chance to win a dinner for two, send us an email with your name, telephone number and Instagram account if you have one. Deadline for entries is 19.09.

Bonvivant, Goltzstr.32, 10781 Berlin–Schöneberg; map
Dinner: Wed–Sat from 18h
Brunch: Sat & Sun 10–15h

You can make a reservation online or by telephone on 0176 6172 2602.

@bonvivantberlin

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CAFÉ FRIEDA — DAS BIODYNAMISCHE BISTRO FÜR ESSEN AM TAG UND APERO IM HELMHOLTZKIEZ

CAFÉ FRIEDA — DAS BIODYNAMISCHE BISTRO FÜR ESSEN AM TAG UND APERO IM HELMHOLTZKIEZ

To ensure the natural wine doesn’t stop flowing, Café Frieda serves cuvée and Grüner Veltliner on tap. And for good reason: owners Ben and Samina, who also run Mrs Robinson’s down the road, believe biodynamic food and wine should be made readily available. Stepping inside this 3-in-1 café, restaurant and bar is like immersing yourself in a melting pot of dining and drinking cultures. Offering entry-level fine dining, Frieda serves a line-up of dishes that fuse east and west in a way that suits all tastes. Walk-ins here are welcome: groups are offered front-row seats by the open kitchen while lone diners can immerse themselves in more secluded seating to enjoy the impressive hi-fi system that pays homage to Tokyo’s audiophile listening bars.

Frieda’s Michelin-star-trained team are adherents of the nose-to-tail philosophy popularized by British chef Fergus Henderson. The freshly-baked sausage rolls make full use of their ingredients: smoked Erdhof Seewalde veal, Mangalitsa pork and off-cuts of crunchy croissant dough. Think pigs in a blanket but with prime meat and months of recipe development. Currently served 12-18h, the main food menu includes line-caught white Albacore tuna sourced from one of the few remaining artisan fishing ports in Europe. It comes soaked in a bath of tart chili and yuzu kosho, topped with layers of hollandaise emulsion and served with crispy matchstick fries. Beautifully cracked and creviced tomatoes and shishito peppers are doused in a shoyu and Sicilian olive oil vinaigrette and topped with smoked kombu seaweed in lieu of salt. As for beverages, you can expect homemade soft drinks, Belgian beers and specialty Scandinavian ciders. To finish, try the plum sorbet and a glass of red pepper and angelica root vermouth, soundtracked by eclectic avant-garde vinyl.

Text: Claire Mouchemore / Photos: Robert Rieger

Café Frieda, Lychener Str.37, 10437 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Wed–Sun 10–22h; kitchen open 10–18h

@cafe_frieda

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AV — INTIMATE RESTAURANT FOR MULTI-COURSE MENUS, FLAVOR-PACKED FERMENTS AND ZERO WASTE ETHOS

AV — INTIMATE RESTAURANT FOR MULTI-COURSE MENUS, FLAVOR-PACKED FERMENTS AND ZERO WASTE ETHOS

This new kid on the busy block of the Schönhauser/Eberswalder crossing in Prenzlauer Berg feels like a welcome anomaly in an otherwise unmemorable area. AV is an intimate yet chic eatery run by Italian chef Antonio Vinciguerra, who personally brings you his creations on beautiful tableware from Neukölln ceramic producers Helka. Following culinary training in the north of Italy and a spell traveling and working in kitchens around the world, Antonio ended up in Berlin – a fortunate fact, since it’s the ideal place for his experimental cuisine. The menu is innovative and contemporary, focusing on seasonal and regional ingredients that work together with the restaurant’s curated selection of natural wines. AV’s zero-waste cooking philosophy means they’re big on fermentation, allowing otherwise-wasted food to be preserved while creating lots of tangy taste experiences. Regularly changing menus are offered omakase style in both non-vegetarian and vegetarian versions, accompanied by sourdough bread baked to perfection in-house by the sous chef. Expect beautifully presented clean food which, thanks to the team’s probiotic concoctions, is full of umami and nutrients. Among the currywurst stalls and kebab shops, AV is a haven of flavors making dining here a special occasion. Time to treat yourself? We think so.

Text: Rei Matsuoka / Photos: AV

AV, Schönhauser Allee 44, 10435 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Lunch: Thu–Sat 12–15h; Dinner: Wed–Fri 18–22h30 & Sat 18–23h

@av.restaurantberlin

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GAIA: FARM-TO-TABLE DINING IN GERSWALDE’S GROSSER GARTEN

GAIA: FARM-TO-TABLE DINING IN GERSWALDE’S GROSSER GARTEN

Escaping the city and al fresco dining are two essential Berlin summer activities, and Gaia has both on offer. Since June 2021, founders Julia Heifer & Zsuzsanna Toth have been serving seasonal, farm-to-table focused á la carte lunches and aperitifs amongst the overgrown pastures and poppy-filled fields of the repurposed Großer Garten. The restaurant is located in Gerswalde, just one hour’s drive from Berlin in the Uckermark. Inside the glass-paned Palm Haus and former orangery adjacent to the garden which previously hosted Café Zum Löwen, the culinary team crafts an array of rustic dishes, building a menu that is ever-changing and dependent on which organic produce is growing on-site that month. Julia Heifer, one-half of Gaia, believes that the eyes eat too and that cuisine should appeal to all of our senses. It’s a philosophy that the team executes well.

To start, the freshly-baked focaccia and light, fluffy Buchteln bread are prime examples of Gaia’s simple and honest approach to gastronomy. Vibrant plates of pickled produce and artisanal raw-milk cheese from the neighboring Alte Milchcrew exemplify what living off the land has to offer. Homemade pasta, topped with sautéed zucchini blossoms, preserved lemon pesto, and newly-harvested herbs, is a menu mainstay composed of ingredients that change with the seasons. This is true too of the crispy glazed galettes, which come filled with tangy rhubarb stalks and rich, elderberry custard. For those with a sweet tooth, the ice cream topped with a drizzle of decadent fig-leaf oil is not to be missed. All dishes are best served with Gaia’s special edition sencha- and Rwanda tea-infused Bouche kombucha, a curated selection of natural wines and the fresh, countryside air that is one of the restaurant’s greatest offerings.

Text: Claire Mouchemore / Photos: Ina Niehoff & Gaia

Gaia at the Großer Garten: Dorfmitte 11, 17268 Gerswalde; map
Sat–Sun 12–18h

The best way to get there is by car or the RE3 regional train.

Sign up to the Gaia newsletter for updates on seasonal menus & opening hours.

@gaia_feed

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KLINKE: THREE KREUZBERG SIBLINGS SERVING CASUAL CUISINE WITH A HOMETOWN TOUCH ON ORANIENPLATZ

KLINKE: THREE KREUZBERG SIBLINGS SERVING CASUAL CUISINE WITH A HOMETOWN TOUCH ON ORANIENPLATZ

You can’t get more Kreuzberg than this: not only is Klinke right in the middle of it all between Oranienplatz and Kotti, but at the helm are three real Kreuzbergers. Siblings Jette, Lilo and Moritz grew up on Schlesi and are no strangers to Berlin’s restaurant world, having run Mirika near Moritzplatz for several years. The trio found their second location through a childhood acquaintance, who hooked them up with a cafe owner who was giving up his joint. The corner space now shines with new splendour thanks to trained designer Lilo, who has transformed the place into a sophisticated yet casual bistro which retains the vibe of the down-to-earth pub it replaces. Wooden chairs and floors create a warm and uncomplicated look, while the spherical lights and marble counter lend cosmopolitan elegance. Food wise, it’s a similar story with attractively constructed German small plates to share.

This sharing philosophy means it’s best to come to Klinke with several good friends. It’s particularly practical if, like me, you rarely prepare German dishes at home or have friends from overseas visiting. During our visit, we particularly enjoyed the crispy fish croquettes, the tender fried chicken and the cucumber salad as a refreshing addition. Many of the ingredients in these dishes are organic, while the bread and meat come from regional partners (the latter from Havelland). Despite this selection, we didn’t accompany our food with German beer – opting instead for summery, light drinks perfect for outdoor dining. From autumn onwards, Klinke will open its indoor space for cozy gastropub-style dinners and drinks, though you are just as welcome to drop in for lunch to try the simple weekly menu. While the weather allows, grab a seat on the terrace for a slice of Bienenstich and make a toast to Kreuzberg, the Kiez which never gets boring. Speaking of which, the district features in almost every detail: even Klinke’s plates, which are made by a local ceramic artist, are modelled on Viktoriapark. As I said: you can’t get more Kreuzberg than this.

Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Kateryna Firsova

Klinke, Dresdener Str.119 10999 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
Tue, 12–15h, Wed–Sat 12–0h, Sun 17–0h

@klinke_berlin

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