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Apr 9, 2008 11:29 AM


My husband and I are off to Berlin for 4 days/nights. We like small/owner/chef places with excellent/innovative food...but we do not like trendy spots. I have a small list (not including the stands/markets/dessert places) and would like input on the following restaurants.

Weinbar Ruth

AND, Diekmann -- Which is the better place for us: The one near Potsdamer Platz or the one in Charlottenburg. Are both open for dinner? We want to have an early dinner the evening we arrive.

Any other suggestions are most welcome.

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  1. Where are you staying? Public transportation is excellent, so the question isn't *that* relevant, but it'll help narrow things down.

    Weinbar Rutz has a fantastic wine list & good food;

    Never been to Maxwell, so I'll leave any reviews about it to others.

    Oderquelle gets consistently rave reviews, and it's in a 'hip' part of town (Prenzlauer Berg), though the interior is more reminiscent of an old Berliner Kneipe (pub). Could be trendy, tho.

    Trattoria Paparazzi, also in Prenzlauer Berg, has reliably awesome pasta at good prices.

    N Q 14 near Südstern (Kreuzberg) has upscale Italian, Blumberg is on the same street and is a small place with good food.

    Kabuki on Olivaer Platz in Wilmersdorf (near Ku'damm) has the best sushi in town, and a fantastic lunch deal (9.50 € for three plates incl. miso soup and bottomless tea).

    I've only been to Diekmann at Postdamer Platz, and the food was very good. Potsdamer Platz itself is pretty horrible.

    Oktogon on Leipziger Platz (nearby) has a good lunch deal as well, 2 courses for less than 15 Euro iirc. Hope this helps, let me know if you need more info.

    Are there any cuisines you are particularly fond of?

    4 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Diekmann: I've eaten at both and find the smaller one in Charlottenburg to be very charming. One wall is taken up entirely by an old apothecary chest of drawers- thing (don't know what its called).

      You should check out Hartmanns Restaurant on Fichtestr. 31 / 10967 Berlin (Kreuzberg) if you like small chef owned places. He is so enthusiastic about feeding you well and its clear he is proud of what he puts out. Highly recommended.

      1. re: desylicious

        See, desy -- I first wanted to recommend Hartmanns, since everyone is touting him to be such an up and coming star. However, I went there with my man last year in March, and was underwhelmed. I'm not saying it's not good food, but for all the hoopla that's been made about the place I frankly don't get it... maybe the food he cooks is too pedestrian for my personal taste -- if I pay that kind of money, I want something slightly more memorable, and I thought the food was hit or miss. Again, not bad at all, but not extraordinary either. Perhaps it's gotten better, we went there shortly after it had opened. Nice atmosphere, tho.

        only 3 more days to berlin .... yay!

        1. re: linguafood

          I went in June or early July and I loved it. I had a trio of foie gras that was really wonderful, really memorable. Here's the thing- I went with some well known music people ("world-famous in all of Germany", you know the types) who were also regulars, so this meal might not have representative of what gets served on a daily basis. That said, I have no qualms recommending it to someone else, and hope to return again soon.

          And welcome back to Berlin! The sun is finally poking through after endless days of rain. Hope it lasts.

        2. re: desylicious

          I forgot to add that I didn't think the food at Diekmann in Charlottenburg was particularly fantastic, and the place was filled with older couples. While pretty, it didn't feel like anything "fresh" was going on.

      2. sorry to say that i haven't been to any other than maxwell, which was fine, but the first place that came into mind when you mentioned small/owner/chef was bandol sur mer on torstrasse. it's a teeny french/provencal place, you must book ahead - and unfortunately they do 2 sittings, but there's nothing pretentious about it at all.

        3 Replies
        1. re: e_ting

          E ting
          Do you know what time the two seatings are at Bandol sur Mer....we are going to Berling the end of next month....how far in advance should I book?

          1. re: glsebs

            hi glsebs - if i remember correctly the first sitting is at 6, so i imagine the second would be 8-8.30. depends on the day of the week, last time i booked maybe a day or 2 ahead, and we (2 people) got the later sitting, which was fine by us. i think it was a weekday that we went.

            1. re: e_ting

              I looked it up, sounds really nice:
              Bandol sur Mer
              Torstrasse 167
              10115 Berlin
              two rounds, first at 18:00, second at 21:00
              Plätze innen 22
              Plätze außen 24
              +49 30 6730 2051
              Ubahn Rosenthaler Platz

              The thing I want to warn diners about is that in Berlin not all restaurants take credit cards. Most often only cash and then maybe EC cards. I would check first or you might be searching for a bank at midnight or washing the dishes.

        2. Thanks all for your suggestions. We want all sorts of German/Austrian/Swiss food, of all kinds-traditional to daring so these are the restaurants on our list. Of course we will go to KaDeWe and the Saturday market.
          Weinbar Rutz
          Bandol sur Mer - If we want french
          Diekmann in Charlottenburg

          We won't get to all, but we'll try!

          7 Replies
          1. re: doubleffs

            KaDeWe!!!! So much fun. I really liked the place where they grilled fresh fish. The French section is a lot of fun too.

            1. re: Pappardelle

              Oh yes, I really enjoyed Gugelhof as well. So filling though. After appetizers, I could have shared an entree. I loved the atmosphere.

            2. re: doubleffs

              Let us know how things went. I'm curious to hear about your experiences.

              1. re: desylicious

                I've just had another recommendation of Engelbecken. Opinions? Finally, does anybody know what good restaurants of the type we want are near the Staatsoper? Thanks again.

                1. re: doubleffs

                  If you want to go all out (and it may just be outside of your financial range, because it IS expensive), check out Margaux. It's near Unter den Linden, and the food is spectacular. So are the prices, but one does not *have* to get the 5 course dinner with wine, I suppose :-D

                  Hands down one of the most impressive experiences I've had.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I just looked at the Margaux menu; the prix fixe offerings range from 80 euros (3 courses; 40 euros wine suppl.) to 140 euros (7 courses; 90 euros wine suppl.). Compare the a la carte offerings -- desserts are 25 euros!


                    1. re: glasshousejmb

                      Well, yeah. As I said, it's a magnificent splurge, but totally worth it in my opinion. With the $ rate the way it is... crazy.