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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Restaurant

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

It is astonishing to see how many restaurants have opened during the last few years in Berlin. Einsunternull is another modern and perhaps trendsetting restaurant in the same vein as Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Einsunternull means one below zero, a reference to the floor level of the restaurant rather the level of quality. In Germany, zero is the ground floor, so the restaurant is actually in the cellar.

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Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei

PlDolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5,5 points

Housed in one of the few older buildings in Hanalei, Dolphin is a combination of restaurant, tavern and sushi bar. Fame and legend – both expressions are connected to this fish restaurant — which feels like it’s almost at the end of the world. If all ends of the earth are as beautiful as Hanalei Bay, I would travel more. Jonathan Deckter, who strongly encouraged me to go to Dolphin, was completely right about it. It is a great place: rather easy, half open-air, since it’s never cold at Kauai – and a half-open kitchen, plus some outside seating on the surrounding grass. Continue reading “Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei”

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

7 points

Simply put: this is the best restaurant I’ve encountered so far in Los Angeles. How many years have I been coming to Los Angeles and eating bad or what I’d call just decent food? Even when friends have invited me out somewhere – and of course they always mean very well – they’ve brought me to loud either show-offy event places or simply to uninspiring restaurants.

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Drei Sonnen, Hotel and Restaurant, Serfaus

Drei Sonnen, Hotel and Restaurant, Serfaus, Austria

2,5 points

If you don’t already know an area well, you find yourself searching online for the right places to stay and to eat. Presuming that you read my reviews regularly, you should already know that in most cases I choose hotels on the basis of good cuisine. The four-star hotel “Drei Sonnen” at Serfaus doesn’t offer only high quality but apparently also a “Kulinarium”! (http://www.dreisonnen.com/). What an amusing description. This need to always find or create new terms, like “gourmet restaurant” – another preposterous phrase – Kulinarium isn’t a real word, of course. You might think it would have its origin in Latin, but it doesn’t. Is it a place, a room, or an auditorium where you experience culinary delectability? It is a very grandiloquent notion, which of course suggests something extraordinarily special. Particularly compared to all of its neighbors; in Serfaus every second building is either a hotel, a holiday flat to rent, or a gastronomic establishment. Well, I didn’t make my choice only because of the absurd institution of  “kulinarium,” but because I got a good deal.

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Gourmet Restaurant Novalis, Burghotel Hardenberg

Novalis, Restaurant at Burghotel Hardenberg, Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany

5,5 points

Located some distance from any international hot-spot – unless you would call Hannover a metropolis – Nörten-Hardenberg is a provincial town, too big to call a village and too small to call a town. It lies on the western side of the mid-range mountain area Harz, and the next larger city is Göttingen. This said, the A7 highway (Autobahn) passes by here – the A7 being one of the most important connections between northern and southern Germany. Once a year, Nörten-Hardenberg comes into global focus, during the international tournament of show jumping which is held there. It was reported that one most prominent guests during last year’s event was Bruce Springsteen; his daughter apparently participated in one of the competitions.

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Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (2nd report)

Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo, Kobarid, Slovenia

8 points

Returning a year later to Hisa Franko, the home of Ana Ros, I’ve just had another extraordinary culinary experience.

You can find more information about Hisa Franko at https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/04/27/hisa-franko-restaurant-hotel-staro-selo/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/03/hisa-franko-restaurant-staro-selo-kobarid-2-report/

Her cooking is among the best in the world. Almost all ingredients are from Slovenia, many coming straight from their own garden; meat and selected fruits and vegetables are sourced from the surrounding area. Continue reading “Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (2nd report)”

La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse

La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse, France

6,5 points

This isn’t only a restaurant but a very beautiful residence, comprising a few buildings which are used as hotel, spa and relaxation zones. Surrounded by a park of olive trees, sculptures and a botanic garden, you feel yourself calming down from the first moment, and you really feel a kind of spirit of Provence – although it is on the Cote de Azur.

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Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua

Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua, Italy

4 points

This very classical Trattoria was recommended to me by the receptionist of Padua’s probably only design hotel, called Le Camp (http://www.lecampspa.it/). She is an attractive young woman from Padua, with some Romanian roots, and she told me that Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza wouldn’t be her place as it is rather conservative and doesn’t offer “light” food. Actually this was what I wanted to hear, since I was in the mood for a classic Italian pasta.

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Tetou, Restaurant, Golfe Juan

Tetou, Restaurant, Golfe Juan, France

3 points

What is the right description: brazenness, presumptuousness and / or hubris? Or is it: exclusiveness, exceptional quality and / or “superbe”? Certainly it is “genial” – brilliant – a place you hate or you love. I cannot believe that there is lot space between.

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Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin (2. report)

Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

7,5 points

It’s actually not so long since I wrote about Nobelhart & Schmutzig – please see my last review here: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/09/18/nobelhart-schmutzig-restaurant-berlin/! The concept of this restaurant is the most radical conceptualization of real regional cuisine; Micha Schäfer and Billy Wagner call it “brutal regional”.

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Bieberbau, Restaurant, Berlin

Bieberbau, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6 points

The variety of restaurants in Berlin is really impressive. 19 Michelin Star restaurants (13 with one star, 6 with two stars) among 4650 (!) restaurants in general. The number comes from the municipality of Berlin and it’s not stated clearly whether or not McDonald’s is included in this data. In any case, it’s easy to imagine that there is a lot of competition. Owners and managers of restaurants need to generate special publicity. One may have a great location or a niche cuisine. At Michelin star restaurants certainly, chefs are in the foreground, though according to my observations, flair and atmosphere also count, in particular if you have such strong competition even among top cooks. Yes, you can find any kind of food and cuisine in Berlin. Considering that Berlin between 1945 and 1990 (East and West) was known for poor and rather bad cooking, the development in the past 25 years is impressive.

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De Noantri, Restaurant, Berlin

De Noantri, Pizza & Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

3,5 points by Alexander van Dülmen

I am pleased that today my friend and critical supporter Gasper Gabrijelcic shares his view of his – of course – “best pizza of the world”:

I am honored to be only the second guest reviewer to be invited to post a review on Alexander’s blog; his son Balthasar having previously enjoyed this distinction (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/02/27/arco-antico-pizzaria-san-marco-di-locorotondo/).  Needless to say, pizza is a most unique food – it manages to be many contradictory things simultaneously: very personal, totally ubiquitous, and bitterly contentious. Not only does everyone have their own favorite spot which is also, as Alexander puts it, „the best in the world“ (https://avdwineandfood.net/2016/02/19/pizza-piazza-rossa-berlin/), but these preferences inspire irreconcilable disagreement and occasionally, the desire to „set the record straight.“

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