Elements & DELI, Restaurant, Dresden, Germany
Again Michelin…..don’t worry, there will be reviews coming about restaurants that are not connected with Michelin. However, when visiting cities where you don’t have the benefit of the friendly advice of someone you know there, the Michelin list can be a helpful guide. Visiting beautiful Dresden recently, I found out that there are three Michelin restaurants in Dresden, each with a star. With only one night, I chose a restaurant with the name “Element”. I am always, and here once again, surprised by the criteria for the awards given to restaurants. Is it a direct comparison of the restaurants in Dresden that leads the testers to such results, or is it truly an international rating system? The reader already suspects…! I’m not exactly thrilled with what I was served at Elements in Dresden, and would even venture to say that it was not worth a Michelin star, especially comparing it to other places.
Each course was somehow too much for itself. You also could say: much less would have done more for the taste combinations and the concepts behind them. I actually mean that in a friendly way, because I really liked the restaurant as such. It’s not in the center, where all the tourists crowd Dresden, but east of Neustadt, on a former industrial site, in an old and very pleasantly renovated factory. Quiet, spacious, modern – great atmosphere. Very friendly staff welcome you immediately and put you at ease, nothing like overkill or stiffness, but rather the opposite: casual and dégagé. Aside from the ugly pair of jeans he wore – but this a matter of taste and I apologize for the personal touch right away – the sommelier presented me with two wines I didn’t know:
In particular, this sparkling wine with a great name, Chimäre Brut, was really very nice and recommendable. It is made by Frédéric Fourré, a French winemaker who ended up in Saxony (there are always such great stories behind winemaking, I love it). Should this Sekt not appear in Games Of Thrones – what could Daenerys Targaryen better drink?
In addition to the wine, this restaurant is really about the culinary pleasure of eating. And here you can see a clear handwriting, although my taste buds are not at all convinced of the clarity. When you read the – in the positive sense of the word – clear menu, you are actually happy about the food selection; thankfully it doesn’t sound super ambitious, and has nothing to do with the regional-regional trend, though there is a impressive list of wines from Saxony – however, why should it not be so, situated as it is in the capital of Saxony.
In retrospect, I thought, maybe it would be quite good if Stephan Mießner – that’s the name of chef and owner of Elements – concerned himself a bit more with regional products.
How to say it: the chef just attempted too much at once: the scent of carrot and gravy left no room for the flavor of the ray, which is a noble and fine fish — and which here just tasted like nothing, in that it had no hope of prevailing against the sweet smorgasbord. Too sad.
Why does spinach have to be fortified with mascarpone for the sweetbreads and (already not very light) gnocchi? I felt like bursting after the walk. Again, the accompanying tastes moved so strongly into the foreground that one could not even experience the delicacy that sweetbreads can ideally have. In my opinion, that was not worth a star, and then I think of so many restaurants, especially in Berlin, which are awarded with “only” one star. The dining experience at “Richard” for example (Richard, Restaurant, Berlin) is a world apart from that at “Elements” . Who knows what the food is like in other Dresden restaurants. Maybe in comparison then suddenly “Elements” is great. Sometimes I’m not sorry to write something bad about a restaurant, such as my dining experience in Naples this summer. I readily admit that I am quite sorry to write like that, but I do want to be honest! Let’s hope that these dishes were only on the current menu (December) and there will soon be something different, not such massive “taste variegation”. Because of the space and the wine list I would still recommend the restaurant.
My wife Sonja and I made peace with the evening, ordering a last bottle of a great Southern African wine: Pofadder 2011, produced by the Sadie Family, great winemakers from Swartland (see Columella, 2001)