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PALSTA: NORDIC PLATES MEET NATURAL WINE IN SCHILLERKIEZ

PALSTA: NORDIC PLATES MEET NATURAL WINE IN SCHILLERKIEZ

Tempelhofer Feld is a hot contender for Berlin’s best sunset spot — where blushing light casts shadows across the asphalt in distinctive shades. Since August 2018, that same subtle light has been spilling onto the tables of Palsta, where you’re invited to wine and dine with small plates from chef Filip Sondergaard — best known from his work at Dóttir, and natural wines supplied by a variety of local purveyors. Accompanied by a golden-hued glass of Els Bassotets 2016 from Spain, we started with a subtly sweet shrimp tartar, dotted with black pepper mayo, dill and citrus, finished tableside with a tangy spill of buttermilk. Followed by buttery fried anchovies with baby gems and green tomatoes, then fresh Icelandic cod — flown in only hours before hitting our table — with charred cabbage and a vibrant parsley sauce, each carefully constructed plate seemed to one-up the last. As the last of the sun’s peachy golden rays hit our table, we gazed at our fellow diners as they savored the dishes we so enjoyed. After one last glass — a musky, oak-aged Italian red (Le Coste’s Rusticone Rosso), available, as all their wines are, by the bottle to stay or go — we headed out into the late summer evening, the sky now as crimson as the wine still on our palettes. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Luke Marshall Johnson)

Palsta, Oderstr.52, 12049 Berlin-Neukölln; map

Wed-Sun 15-24h, Kitchen open from 18-22.30h

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MARIELLE KREIENBORG RECOMMENDS: ŠLJIVA

MARIELLE KREIENBORG RECOMMENDS: ŠLJIVA

Šljiva [pronounced "Shleeva"], a promising new addition to the Arminius Markthalle in Moabit, has what many (Berlin) restaurants still miss: the power of women fuelling it. Owner and Chef, Cathleen Potter left behind the security of her job in project management to devote herself to her passion project, a Balkan bistro which brings together the best of the region’s culinary culture on one menu. There’s “Karadjordjeva Schnitzel” filled with bacon & kajmak, homemade Serbian pasta (“Miinci”) and “Krempita” for dessert: a refreshing blend of baklava-like puff pastry and vanilla cream. When contemplating Balkan cuisine, mountains of meat may come to mind. That’s not the case at Šljiva, where Potter wants to do things differently: More enjoyment, less belly. Of course, the legendary “Ćevapčići” (grilled minced meat) is a menu mainstay, but here it comes served with vegetables, grilled octopus and my personal highlight: the specially-created Šljiva salad with celery, apple, walnuts, dried plums, mayonnaise and the delicious Duvan Čvarci (pork scratchings). To top it all off, the plum brandy “Šljivovica” — the namesake of this culinary journey through the Balkans — was offered as a digestif on the house. (Text: Marielle Kreienborg / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Restaurant Šljiva, Arminiusmarkthalle, Arminiusstr.2-4 10551 Berlin-Moabit; map

Mon 18-22h, Tue-Fri 12-15h & 18-22h, Sat 12-23h

Having studied languages at Humboldt University, Marielle Kreienborg has been living in Neukölln for six years and working as a freelance writer reporting on Berlin and beyond.

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ELEGANT MEDITERRANEAN COURTYARD DINING: SHISHI

ELEGANT MEDITERRANEAN COURTYARD DINING: SHISHI

You’re acquainted with the charismatic Tel Aviv eatery Yafo? Let us introduce you to its elegant yet laid-back younger sister, Shishi, the second restaurant opened by Israeli restauranteur Shani Ahiel, in August 2018. The trickiest aspect of a visit here is choosing where to sit: The cosy interior with its pink corduroy curtains, concepted by interior designer Idan Gilony of UY Studio, sets a feel-good tone, while the sprawling brick-framed courtyard offers a refreshing al fresco dining experience. Once you’ve picked your spot, settle down to a glass of natural wine supplied by Cantine Sant’Ambroeus and peruse the short, Mediterranean-inspired menu. It’s prone to change depending on what’s on the market that day, but here’s a teaser or two: grilled kohlrabi with fresh cheese, sesame, thyme and green chili, beetroot and peach carpaccio, hazelnut vinaigrette and crème fraîche, or grass-fed sirloin tartar, onions in sumac and greens. Shishi may be a younger sibling, but an evening spent in its presence will leave you feeling as effortlessly elegant as it itself. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Fotos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Shishi, Ritterstr.12-14, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map
Mon-Fri 12-23h

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PIERA WOLF RECOMMENDS: DAN THAI FOOD

PIERA WOLF RECOMMENDS: DAN THAI FOOD

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CAPPERI: FRESH ITALIAN FARE & NATURAL WINE AT MAYBACHUFER

CAPPERI: FRESH ITALIAN FARE & NATURAL WINE AT MAYBACHUFER

Can’t make it down to Italy this summer? Spend an evening at Capperi and Italy will come to you. From its prime Maybachufer location, this Italian “natural kitchen & craft wine” bar unites three Berlin gastronomy enterprises: Chef Thomas Mudersbach, formerly of May am Ufer (the restaurant’s previous iteration), Alessandro Denni, ex-Neontoaster, and Vincenzo Costanza and Pietro Nicotra of specialty importers Siziliessen. The result is a welcoming wine bar, restaurant, and deli that invites you to stay for a glass, aperitivo or a full dinner menu. The carefully-selected, well-annotated, all-Italian wine list makes a substantial contribution to Neukölln’s burgeoning natural wine scene. Ask Vincenzo for his recommendation, based on what you’re eating. Here it’s simple, fresh and light: For aperitivo, it’s hard to go past the Mozzarella di bufala DOP from Campania, served with olives, followed by the Tagliatelle “alla Genovese”, with green beans, potato and homemade basil pesto — and the juiciest pine nuts — makes for a delectable summer main, and a mini holiday for your taste buds. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Gianluca Quaranta & Olga Slotina)

Capperi Italian Craft Wine & Kitchen, Pannierstr.32, 12047 Berlin-Neukölln; map

Mon-Tue & Thu-Sat 17-23h, Sun 11-23h

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