Ars vivendi – disputable way of life

The name Ars Vivendi – or better said way of life – sounds promising, especially when an italian is concerned. With high expectations we enter the restaurant on Holsteinische Strasse in Wilmersdorf on a Friday lunchtime. The establishment is unpretentious, newspaper reading gentleman, couples and other guest who seem to be regulars, sit at tables with red checkered tablecloths. An eye catcher is the opulent display cabinet, that shows the kitchens repertoire: a wide selection of antipasti, cheese and coldmeat specialities and the homemade pasta, the restaurant is known for. Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Ravioli with Ricotta and boletus or zucchini filling – all is produced right here. Proven by the machine next door the chef handles every now and then. So far it is inviting. The daily food is written on a straightforward blackboard, there is no printed menue, and sounds good. From the small selection of fish, meat and pasta dishes we choose Cannelloni with Cime di Rape, a typical>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Toca Rouge – only if you’re not choosy

Absolutely hyped and completely overrated. The interior is extravangant, o.k., but nothing else. The tables are small, too small should you want to order more than fits on two plates and you wouldn’t be able to see your food as the LED lamps form circles of light big enough for two plates + your drink. The dishes have funny names like Making Sense, Seven Seconds, Mao’s Darling, A Better Tomorrow… We try Pretty Woman, turnip chicken salad in fish-honey sauce, rather boring if it wasn’t for the 3-4 bits of chillie. My brother takes the Spider Beef, roastbeef in hot coriandersauce, which is o.k. The main courses are Long Life, mandarin noodles in too sour sesame-garlic sauce, and Chop Chop, apparently lamb with mince sauce but so finely chopped and covered in mince you cannot get a taste of lamb at all. No guys, this doesn’t work. You won’t be more than a tourist trap. Yours Saskia Sanchez

€€
Toca Rouge
www.tocarouge.de
>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Sudaka – rather Sudoku…

Not just the head of the catholic church comes from Buenos Aires, but also the Chef of the relatively new, but already pretty hyped restaurant in Schöneberg: Eduardo Andrés Lopez. In the last few years in Portugal and Berlin the chef come artist has taken on the not so unpretentious name of Chakall. Same as the pope you can recognise him by his headdress, in this case a turban, there to undermine his cosmopolitan vita. He named his restaurant in Goltzstr. Sudaka, a depreciative term for a southamerican. Here it is supposed to stand for the crossover of the latin american cuisines ranging from to the southern tip of Patagonia to Machu Picchu. It seems to work. At the weekends there is hardly a free table to be gotten in the ample rooms with brick-lined walls. But it’s different on a Monday, when we arrive at 9.30 pm.

Only two, three tables are taken, the rest is emptiness. The chef himself isn’t is. We are told he is travelling. Maybe visiting his compatriot at the vatican?>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Lavanderia Vecchia – Eating with laundry

The road is a very busy one in Neukölln, not a cosy place. Home to small businesses, and it looks rather like work in progress, when we walk into the restaurant located in the second backyard. Outside, inside everywhere are clothes on the line. Checkered kitchen towels and white tablecloths, old fashionly embroidered – just as if somebody had just hung them up to dry in an old Lavanderia Vecchia, a laundry. As decor it goes astonishingly well with the restaurants unrendered brick walls and wooden tables (without cloths), who would otherwise look too much of being a workshop. Unconventional as the rooms is the concept of the kitchen: Before sitting down one has to pay for food and drink and that brings on the question: Lunch menue with three courses, or only pasta? We are a bit lost and order just a main course and a drink, only to realise that we would have liked to have a salad as a starter, just as the one looking so appetizingly on the table next to us. So we are back>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Taverna Ousies – Καλωσόρισμα

Have you been to Greece? Then you will know what this is all about. Do you want to go to Greece? No? Don’t let the political difficulties hinder you, go! It’s a great place with warmhearted people and great food. In the 60s and 70s a new way of socialising became popular here. Friends getting together for an ouzo or a glass of wine accompanied these by something small to eat, a meze. Today meze are famous all over Greece. Severall small dishes will end up being a whole meal and here at Ousies you can choose from a staggering 119 different ones: Vegetarian, fish, meat, cooked, fried, grilled, steamed, raw… To go with the food they offer a small range of good greek wines. I love the choriatiki (greek salad), saganaki (fried cheese), spanakokeftedes (spinachomelett), kolokithokeftedes (zucchiniballs)… and much more.

The atmosphere of the Ousies is authentic, that of a greek tavern including the noise level.

You should reserve a table and I recommend a window>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Bar Raval – Barcelona goes Berlin

Finding a good tapas bar is difficult in Berlin, but at the Raval you won’t get disappointed. The menue ranges from all time favourites like patatas bravas, pimientos de padron, tortilla española to own creations like tataki from iberico pork, avocado-tomato-mushroom salad and many more that vary depending on the season.

For the big Paella feast the time does not vary: Every first Monday of the month. Along with good eating goes good drinking. Wines and cavas from all regions are on the menue. This trendy, chic Bar has got the matching clientel so dress up for the occasion.

€-€€
Bar Raval barraval.de
Lübbener Str. 1 / Kreuzberg
U1 Görlitzer Bahnhof

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Haifisch Bar – a Kreuzberg classic

Be daring – you won’t see anything from the outside and that is the point. Undetected drinking of cocktails in a ‘laisser faire’ atmosphere. The staff is friendly, the drinks are o.k., the prices too and smoking is allowed – what more can you ask for if you want to do nothing but another drink.

€-€€
Haifisch Bar haifischbar-berlin.de
Arndtstr. 25 / Kreuzberg
U 7 Mehringdamm/Gneisenaustrasse

For the base before the drinking: Restaurant Grünfisch

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Grünfisch – nothing fishy about this place

One of my favourite italians has moved. From touristic Bergmannstrassenkiez to the trendy Gräfekiez. The interieur: classic; the service: very friendly and experienced; the clientele: a good mix of Kreuzbergers. The owner duo are an italian – who does the cooking – and a vietnamese – responsible for the service and wellbeing of everyone. A perfect combination which influences their food: Modern italian cuisine with sicilian roots and asian hints. To start off try the ‚Sicilian Antipasti’ plate whose ingredients are not the usual ones one finds there. Arranged like a painting comes deliciously coated goatcheese, wafer-thin marinated squid, rice balls filled with mushrooms, bresaola dotted with eggplant cream, scampis… and more. Further on the menue you will find exquisite fish dishes, mouth-watering home made pasta, perfectly done meat and lucious sweets. Or try one of their menues, which are very good value for price.

A good companion to all these flavoursome>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Engelbecken – Alpine cuisine

The Restaurant Engelbecken has had a good reputation for years. It moved from Kreuzberg to Charlottenburg over a decade ago and has been able to convince the critical and with compliments unassertive clientel of the upscale area of Lietzensee to sing a quiet song of praise. Quiet, because they do not want to cause to much of a stir. To loud applause could make it even more difficult to get a seat at their favourite eaterie. In the afternoon the place fills up with people enjoying a good piece of cake, sitting outside on the terrace or underneath the modern pictures painted by the chefcook herself. The bright wooden tables have little decoration as the guests eye needs no divertion once the drinks and food are on the table. The staff is highly professional, all waiters being above 30, which makes a wonderful change to those young morons that you find so often here in Berlin. The food is alpine style, a mixture of austrian, bavarian, italian… with the best ingredients on>>   read more / weiterlesen

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Landauer – German cuisine in typical ambiance

Far away from the tourist streems lies the ‘Landauer’ a haven for those who like to try the authentic german cuisine of fish, meat and poultry. For example Sylter Matjesfilets (a herring filleted and prepared with salt, vinegar and herbs), Schwäbische Maultaschen (swabian type of ravioli), Käsespätzle (cheeses dumplings), Schnitzel, Schweinemedaillons (pork medaillons) and in winter time Gänsebraten (goose), Entenbrust (duck), Rehkeule (deer)…

Eight beers on tab, a large variety of wines…you might be needing a ‘Schnaps’ to settle your stomach.

€€
Landauer gasthaus-landauer.de
Landauer Str. 8 / Wilmersdorf
U4 Rüdesheimer Platz

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