A small post to report three very interesting restaurants in Germany. The first one is in Berlin, on Potsdamer Platz: Ristorante Essenza (website). It’s a very stylish and very classy Italian restaurant. The decor is very sober, the ceiling is very high and I really liked the rugged wall with small cases for different wine bottles. The (English-speaking) service is impeccable and waiters are very tactful. But we don’t enter a restaurant only to enjoy the place … Food in Ristorante Essenza is also delicious, pizzas are served in good proportions and sea food is really nicely cooked. I didn’t have the opportunity to taste their wines (by choice; but they looked all very fine on the menu). Finally, icing on the cake, prices are really, really affordable for this advanced standing (Italian restaurants in Belgium will have many lessons to take in order to beat that standard).
A second interesting restaurant is a real German tavern, also in Berlin (on Alt-Reinickendorf, next to the Ibis hotel ; it’s name is simply Alt-Reinickendorf). It is so small it doesn’t have any website, not even visiting cards. But the atmosphere inside and the service are really warm, friendly and German at the same time (don’t ask me what is my definition of “German atmosphere”: I won’t be able to define it; you just have to know it’s positive). I guess there are many other places to taste real German food, cooked by Germans. But here the owner comes to welcome you and makes sure you have a non-smoking area (*), the waitress is speaking enough English to guide you in the menu and the service is very fast. If you want to taste native food, you have to go there.
Finally, the last restaurant we really liked in Germany is in Hannover, on Vahrenwalder StraÃŸe and it’s a Vietnamese one, Lotus. They don’t speak English (and I felt so bad not knowing a word of Vietnamese cuisine) but they have an English menu. The decor is classical for a South-Asian restaurant (I’m always wondering why Vietnamese restaurants are calling themselves “Chinese” although they don’t serve Chinese food). Pick whatever you want in the menu and it’ll be served fast (my suggestions: fried duck or chicken with plain rice ; sauces are served aside as it should be). And, of course, it’s tasty (we went there twice).
Enough! (I’m hungry now). I’m not a critique, these choices are of course personal but these are places I would certainly come back 🙂
(*) It’s one thing that was surprising in Germany: people can still smoke in public areas, including restaurants. In Belgium, it’s forbidden and we didn’t pay attention to this “detail” at first when we planned our trip.