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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Michelin Star

Weinbar Rutz, Restaurant, Berlin (3rd review)

Weinbar Rutz, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

8 points

There’s really not much more for me write about Marco Müller and his restaurant Weinbar Rutz in Berlin? Or is there?

Last November, Rutz joined the very exclusive circle of Michelin two-star restaurants in Berlin – and with that, Marco is to be counted among the best chefs in Germany. I recently tasted his current menu and am, once again, as enthusiastic about his culinary artistry as I am impressed by his enthralling creations. He certainly engages with the “regional” trend, while managing to avoid the excessive dogmatism of some others in Berlin, such as Einsunternull (Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin) – right around the corner.

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Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica, USA

7 points

Let me begin with perhaps an unfair quote: This restaurant is cursedly expensive. This is quite a controversial statement since passionate chefs, engaged restaurant entrepreneurs, and audacious sommeliers all have to calculate very carefully: top quality, super fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fish, seafood, meat and other ingredients, and exotic or rare fruits. Regional does not automatically mean less expensive, since the work and desire of farmers, fishermen, and cultivators is the same almost everywhere on the planet. Raising organic shrimp in Vietnam is probably cheaper than in Louisiana – but causes pollution due to long transport distances. And how many hours does a chef spend just on thinking, testing, and creating a new dish? And to what end? Isn’t it well known that salaries in the field of gastronomy are rather low? In the US, tips are a crucial part of the income of any server.

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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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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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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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Horváth, Restaurant, Berlin

Horváth, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

7 points

There are two really interesting similarities between Nobelhart & Schmutzig (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/09/18/nobelhart-schmutzig-restaurant-berlin/) and the restaurant Horvath in Berlin: both had sturgeon and chicken on their menu at their main courses. The philosophy is perhaps not even too different either as both chefs are using local ingredient – vegetables, fishes and meat – almost only out of the region around Berlin a bit farther. The chicken wasn’t from Brandenburg but Schleswig-Holstein, a northern county of Germany.

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15 East, Restaurant, New York

15 East, Japanese Restaurant, New York, USA

7,5 points

Once a while ago introduced by my friend David L. Molner I discovered one of my absolute favored restaurants in the world: 15 East! The name is the address: 15 East, Manhatten.

Although you can find reviews about Sushi restaurants time by time at this blog, (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/06/12/nobo-budapest/) Japanese cuisine – sushi, sashimi etc. – is usually not my most preferred food. It is always a very welcomed alternative as it is fresh, in certain regards light and probably healthier than much other stuff. The most problematic aspect about this food is that it needs to be fresh and it – let’s be honest – needs people who are ready to pay decent amounts of money for it. Both aspects are probably the reason why we can’t find too many really excellent Japanese Restaurants in Europe (in particular Germany) comparing to USA.

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Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin

Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

It took me a while upon this review. I slowly got my thoughts and impression into something you can read: My master of wine – Billy Wagner – and his partner Micha Schäffer succeeded generating a remarkably positive hype about their new restaurant called Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Not everyone has expected this as it is an unorthodox but dogmatic concept which they are following. Without real compromises, the sitting arrangement, the way of cooking and obviously the selection of wine is unique in Berlin! It takes you almost your breath when you get into the place first time so inspiring and even for Berlin standards unconventional it is. Some critics already wrote that it nuts to need ringing the bell to get access to restaurant as the door is locked. This indeed is pretty seldom in Berlin but probably also a concession to the interior because a wall between entrance and the sitting areas provide snugness for those who otherwise would have the door in their back. 28 seats along a three side counter which goes around an open kitchen and the bar. 14 seats on big table. Cool music out of gramophone records…

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Jean des Sables, Restaurant in Hossegor

Jean des Sables, Restaurant in Hossegor, France

5,5 points

Beautiful location, great architectonic and stylish building above the beach of Hossegor (30-40 km in the North of Biarritz) – so your expectation are reasonable high as the internet is full of some ecommendations, too.

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Belvedere, Restaurant, Warsaw

Belvedere, Restaurant, Warsaw, Poland

7 points

Wonderful location – wonderful food!

This is actually what would be enough to describe the restaurant Belvedere. The restaurant’s home is the new orangery in the Royal Lazienki Park in the middle of Warsaw.

NowaOranzeria

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Restaurant Rotisserie Weingrün, Berlin

Restaurant Rotisserie Weingrün, Berlin, Germany

5 points

Almost everywhere you can find chicken on a menu at a café, fast food place or any restaurant. Except it is an extraordinary location or perhaps Michelin Star restaurant the typical selection of chicken contains breast, filet and sometimes chicken wings. In Europe usually only Asians offer some different chicken dishes which could include meat of other parts of this ratite.

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