Berlin itinerary, plus some questions
I am working up a Berlin itinerary.
I've looked at some previous threads regarding dining in Berlin, and have come up with the following.
We will be in Berlin a total of 8 nights.
6 nights can be focused on having a nice dinner.
So far, I'm targeting these 6:
Thursday -- (see below)
Friday -- Hartmann's
Saturday -- Reinstoff
Sunday -- Horvath
Monday -- (headed for an overnight to see wuppertal tanzteater)
Tuesday -- Remake
Wednesday -- (see below)
Thursday -- NoiQuattro
Friday -- Weinbar Rutz
 Do those 6 look like a good lineup? We'd like to have the 'two best' be the first Saturday and last Friday. Reinstofff and Weinbar Rutz look pretty special. Sound good? Changes you would suggest?
 The first thursday and the wednesday, we hope to be seeing the Berliner Ensemble perform. The first performance is short, ending 8:45 or so, the second ends at 9:30. We'd want to get something light or simple, either in that area or near Potsdamer Platz (where we are staying). suggestions?
 Jewish Restaurants? My heritage is easter european Jewish. In Prague last year we found some wonderful places that served the food of my ancestors. Are there such places that you can recommend in Berlin? This could be for lunch or dinner.
Thanks for any help you can provide!
Yeah, I'd say you got yourself quite the list there! Clearly, money doesn't seem to be an object, so why not go to Fischer's Fritz -- the only resto in Berlin with 2 Michelin stars, and do a total blow-out meal? I mean, on top of all the other blow-out meals on your list '-D
There's the Beth Café in Mitte on Tucholskystrasse for Jewish, but google should turn up more, I think.
As for something light and simple near the BE, there's Brecht's (moderate German place practically around the corner from the BE), or Brasserie Ganymed.
Good Time on the corner of Tor/Chausseestr. is a very good Thai/Indonesian restaurant, or Tartane on Torstr. just off of Chaussee -- small menu with good food.
Thanks, linguafood and shekamoo.
Yes, I did notice that in 2012 there are 3 michelin 2-stars.
I picked Reinstoff because it seemed more adventurous and also less of a formal atmosphere than the other two, even though the reviews are a little uneven.
linguafood -- if I were to add Fisther's Fritz, which existing choice would you remove to make room? Am I correct in saying it's a bit more formal than the others I've chosen? Do you feel it's a cut above most of the others?
Beth cafe look like a charming location -- thanks for that. Possible lunch stop.
Brechts and Brasserie Ganymed both look nice. Ganymed has a lot of shellfish plates on their menu -- have you tried these and would you recommend them? Berlin is fairly inland....
Very little interest in Thai food here. And what's the reason for bringing in Tartane? Not close to Berliner Ensemble, right? Is it just a place you like? If so for lunch or for dinner?
I personally have eaten at Horvath, Hartmanns, Tim Raue's former place Mâ, Noi Quattro and Margaux. I actually found the atmosphere at Margaux to be the most stuffy.
I have not been to Fischer's Fritz, but if you're a seafood lover, I would highly recommend going there. The fact that Berlin is "fairly inland" is about as relevant to seafood freshness as the fact that Las Vegas is fairly inland -- AFAIK, Michelin-starred restaurants (at least in Europe) tend to be quite picky about their suppliers and supplies.
The reason I brought up Tartane (one tram stop away from the BE) is because it's got some small dishes and has an interesting vibe, more pertinent to Berlin than most high-end restos which generally could be located in any other city. It would be a place to grab a quick bite -- something you had in mind for the theater eves.
Is there any particular cuisine you're interested in, other than 'not Thai'?
Also, feel free to peruse my blog (found on my profile) for more information.
Thanks again, linguafood! Tartane now makes more sense now that you've explained it.
I wouldn't doubt the freshness of seafood at Fritz, of course. I was thinking more of Ganymed. Those types of big shellfish platters can be a favorite for me, but they've got to be beautiful and fresh. I guess they must be, if they are such a specialty of the house.
As for cuisine: I'm very open. I do love German food, especially anything that comes with that wonderful cooked red cabbage. But often the traditional stuff is very heavy to me, so I figure we may hit more traditional places for lunch when there's walking before and after.
Thai cuisine happens to be the one thing I'm not crazy about. My very favorites are Japanese, French, Italian and Moroccan. I did a brief search and did not see anything especially enticing that was Japanese. Do you have one to recommend? Or a wonderful Moroccan place?
Ah. Thanks for the pointer to your blog. I've taken a look. Some very interesting stuff there. Some comments/questions...
Tell me about these dance halls! Just seeing the phrase there puts me in mind of a piece by Pina Bausch's company (which we plan to see once more on a side trip to wuppertal).
We do hope to hit Renger Patsch and/or Jolesch for lunch one day.
Rogaki sounds intriguing -- I love smoked and pickled things.
Yarok: I also love lebanese food, and San Francisco (my home) does not really have much of this. Worth seeking out?
Italian: yup, Noi Quattri seems to be everybody's favorite so we're definitely heading there.
Your comment on "Gourmet" -- yes, I hear you and I understand your view. But what can I say, I do love this sort of food I've always loved it (when I was a child, my friend and I used to play a game "hors douvtres" where we'd spend hours lining up bites of food along the counter, changing the order around, and when it was ready we'd eat them in sequence). Since trends come and go, and the tasting menu phenomenon is blossoming right now, I figure take advantage while I can. And I would hope that at least there is a local/German spin on the concept at some of these places? (That's another reason I left out Fritz -- from the site it appeared to have no trace of Germany in it., like it might as well be Paris) Plus, I'm not traveling with my boyfriend so that last activity you mention is not of importance on this trip. :-)
Sadly, no Moroccan place that I know of. Yarok is a bit of a hole in the wall (not sure it would fit your itinerary as it seems to focus heavily on higher-end cuisine), but their vegetable mezze platter is a thing to behold, as is their homemade ayran with mint.
You also might want to look into sampling some Turkish cuisine while in town, given it's our largest immigrant group.
Clärchen's Ballhaus is definitely worth a visit (not for the food, but they have a decent wine list) and the atmosphere is just.... unique.
Rogacki is a wonderland of smoked & pickled fish, awesome people watching, and just in general kind of a must-visit. Like the food department at KaDeWe, just smaller and slightly cheaper (tho not by much). I think you'd really enjoy it.
I don't believe RP is open for lunch, but Jolesch might be.
I also probably used a bit of hyperbole about gourmet restos in Berlin (both here and in my blog) -- Hartmanns, Horvath and Weinbar Rutz most definitely put a German spin on their foods, as it's mostly locally sourced things prepared in a modern, lightened-up style.
Tim Raue's food is heavily influenced by Chinese cooking, which you may well be aware of. Personally, I'm not sure it was worth my money when I went to Mâ a few years ago, but that is entirely a personal preference.
If you go to Noi Quattro (and if it's on the menu, duh), DO get their riff on vitello tonnato. >swoon<
Great kaiten-style sushi at Mr. Hai, great traditional sushi at Sasaya.
As a general rec, I'd pretty much stay clear of most restos on Potsdamer Platz. They're just not worth it (not talking about the fancy hotel restos such as Hugos or First Floor, obvy), as it's the epicenter of tourist masses.
Good news about no boyfriend. You'll be able to eat till you burst '-)
Thanks again, you really are a fountain of information.
I do love Turkish food as well, so if you have a recommendation, I'd love to know.
Of Yarok, your Turkish recommendation, Rogacki, RP, Jolesch -- do you think any of these should knock out any of our evening selections? Every night does not have to be a tasting menu festival, but you had so many places that appealed, and these were the first things I was attracted to.
And would you say Rogacki is a good lunchtime option?
Also I had not heard of KaDeWe. I just googled it. Forgive my ignoranc,e but Is this a famous department store? Is a visit here a fun daytime activity? The whole store or just the food department? (I'm not a big shopper, but still my friend and I lost an entire day at Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, half of it in the food department, with a similar experience at Harrods, so this is not out of the question.)
Lastly -- the Ballhaus. Is this a dinner experience, an after-dinner place, or what? I'm totally unfamiliar with the concept, and the site is in german so I can't understand. Does one go to watch? Participate? Please explain to the degree that you can, it sounds very intriguing...
Not sure which resto I'd take out in lieu of any of the places you mentioned for dinner....
Both Yarok and Rogacki are great lunch options, in fact, I don't believe Rogacki is open for dinner (FYI -- this is not a sit-down place. You eat standing up at bistro tables.)
I'm amazed you've never heard of KaDeWe, but yes, it is the famous Kaufhaus des Westens department store. You can drop a lot of money in any of their departments, but the food department is particularly fun. Also a great lunch option.
As for Turkish, I'd recommend Mercan on Wiener Str. in Kreuzberg, which is a very low-key, home-cooked meals kinda place.
Ballhaus is an old-style dancehall with many dance events during the week. People from all ages gather for swing night, or salsa or tango night, and it's a great atmosphere (if a bit humid later in the night). You can dance or just watch.
Tango night! I'm so in (as an observer I'm afraid.) What time does one go? Is this an after-dinner option?
Don't be amazed that I have not heard of KaDeWe. This is only my second time in Germany. First time I was in Berlin for only 72 hours (1998. LOVED THE CITY and vowed to return) and then off to Paderborn for a conference.
We'll defnitely try to hit up Yarok, Rogacki, Mercan and/or KaDeWe during the day. Next task for us is to work out our daytime itineraries, and we'll likely plop those on days when we are sightseeing in their neighborhoods, if possible.
Again, I can't thank you enough for your help. If you ever need tips for San Francisco or New York city, let me know. (Is there a way to diretly message someone on here? hmmm)
Here's the current itinerary -- it's in German but decipherable '-)
it's def an after-dinner thing, with stuff generally starting at 9 or 10 pm.
I bet you will have a great time! I get back mid May and cannot WAIT!! There is no PM system on CH, but I'll keep ya in mind for SF & NYC trips.