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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Restaurant

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Restaurant, New York, USA

7,5 points

It’s an experience, no question. Delicious, really on the highest level! The wine accompaniment remarkable. The dining area – if you find it: stylish and like a very elegant showroom that still offers a cozy, almost snug ambience. Quite different than the way some have described it.

For a few days now, I’ve been asking myself how I should describe my experience at the 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Chef’s Table in New York. Hard to beat, I would like to write, because it is. And yet, a nagging thought has crept in, which reduces the experience a little. And the longer this thought settles in, the more space it takes up. Is it really only possible to cook on such a divine level if you combine ingredients from three different continents (!) for a single course? The inspiring concept of César Ramírez is surely to use only the BEST ingredients in the world: beef and seafood from Japan, foie gras from France etc…. It is amazing how César Ramírez lays down various “taste trails” that end on the tongue and on the palate in a path that unites all the elements and components of the various taste ideas, leading to an explosion that proves all the power of enchanting cooking, even composing. It’s like one of the greatest and, above all, the most intelligent symphonies you might recall.

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Elements & DELI, Restaurant, Dresden

Elements & DELI, Restaurant, Dresden, Germany

5 points

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:

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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?

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Skykitchen, Restaurant, Berlin

Skykitchen, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

7 points

Alexander Hoppe has Richard’s deer. Which is funny because a few days before I finally made it to Skykitchen Berlin, I visited Richard, another Michelin star restaurant in Berlin, and there was no deer there – see here my review about Richard Richard, Restaurant, Berlin

Not that you should get the impression that I go exclusively to starred restaurants, but Berlin makes it quite easy, given that there are a total of 21 restaurants with altogether 28 stars – more than any other city in Germany and currently in 12th place in the world, and in Europe coming in right after Paris, London, and Brussels at number four! This said, I do not think that restaurants are necessarily better just because they have a star. There are many I’ve visited in past years they would easily get one from me, if I were a tester. But there are many cities and places in world that Michelin does not even test. And since I’m not ruining the career of a chef or a winemaker because I may not like what I’m served, with my recommendations you can take them or leave them. A friend from Los Angeles recently visited Brawn in London (Brawn, Restaurant, London) and enjoyed it very much. It is not listed among the almost 80 restaurants with a star there. And it’s certainly interesting to see how different all of the Berlin Michelin star restaurants are – or what makes them similarly unique on the other hand. This kind of field research is best done in my current hometown.

Skykitche view

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Crustaocean, Restaurant, Los Angeles

Crustaocean, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

6,5 points

If I told my friends in Los Angeles to come and eat in Beverly Hills, right on North Bedford Drive, shaking their heads would be probably the friendliest reaction I could expect. This is not a cool area, of ​​course, and most of the restaurants there are noisy, slick and simply characterless, or to say it another way, even more brutally: you really don’t want to spend your evening with the people here. Sometimes, though, it may be good to be a stranger in a city that you know quite well, but with far fewer prejudices than locals might exhibit. There are some people who would rather drive to Downtown LA, even though they live in Westwood, before deigning to eat out in Beverly Hills.

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Layla, Restaurant, Berlin

Layla, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

6 by Alexander van Dülmen

Already the third time: another review by best friend Elisabeth Burghardt – this time about a new hot-spot restaurant in Berlin

It’s been a few years now that Israeli chefs have been leaving their mark on the international culinary scene, especially with their imaginative use of traditional oriental ingredients, spices and herbs. Foodies across the world have become devoted disciples of stars like Yotam Ottolenghi, Gal Ben Moshe or Meir Adoni. The latter, well-known for his hugely popular restaurants in Tel Aviv and New York, has just recently opened Layla, a new hotspot smack in the middle of Berlin.

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Richard, Restaurant, Berlin

Richard, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

Point 6,5

Having already heard several times about Richard, at some point it got through to me and I wondered why these mentions had actually intensified in the past few months. Perhaps it has to do with the innovations of the chef: Christian Schagerl has been cooking there since mid-2017 and changed (as it is described in some articles) the type of cuisine, and therefore the direction of the restaurant. Obviously very successfully, as he managed to avoid disappointing his audience while meanwhile the restaurant has steadily become more popular.

The best proof for this introduction is my friend Susanne Wuest (her main profession is acting). Popular restaurateur Sarah Wiener (from Austria, like Susanne) once told her that she was anorexic, which was really a remarkable insult, knowing Susanne’s sense of good food and the reliable joy she takes in sending me an sms once in a while with tips for good restaurants in London, Berlin or anywhere else she may be. Just two days before I finally went to Richard, she recommended it to me.

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Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Stelo (3rd report)

Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Stelo, Kobarid, Slovenia

8 points

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What should one write when one is utterly speechless from so many impressions and experiences? Sometimes it is said that a good meal or great wine brings one closer to heaven. Seen in this way, Hisa Franko is truly a temple – where one of the greatest goddesses cooks: Ana Ros. Now I do not want to pay limitless homage to her, but I have been to Kobarid again – this time with my partner Stephan Wagner – and it was simply most heavenly, absolutely everything that we ate and drank.

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Venissa, Restaurant and Vineyard, Marzzorbo (2nd review)

Venissa, Restaurant, Marzzorbo, Italy

4,5 points

Returning after ca. three years to Venice, I revisited the restaurant Venissa. Maybe my expectations this time were simply too high, due to my amazing initial experience there (see here: Venissa, Restaurant and Vineyard, Marzzorbo), but it was a real disappointment: in terms of both atmosphere and cuisine much poorer – and simply too expensive.

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To The Bone, Restaurant & Bar, Berlin

To The Bone, Restaurant & Bar, Berlin, Germany

6 points

4 points by Alexander van Dülmen

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I am very pleased to have Till Schmerbeck writing a review of one of our last dinners – this one at one of Berlin’s newest hot-spots called ToTheBone. Not only that he is a “to be on the go” producer – his latest success was German Horror “Heilstätten”, he is also someone who really enjoys food and wine. Here his review: 

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Today we meet in Berlin’s trendy Mitte district. Anyone who opens a restaurant here should have a clear idea that the audience in the tough selection of culinary options in this area may honor. TO THE BONE at Torstr. 96 stands fancy in red neon above the entrance. The room concept and interior are similar to the successful localities such as CORDOBAR and TORBAR, where an opulent counter hits in the middle and the dining tables are around or in the back. Here, too, a sense of community should arise and almost everyone is allowed to examine your plate. A flirt with the most international guests can be tried even from the table.

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