Restaurant Ballet – A Berlin Hot Spot Earns Its Michelin Stars
On our trips, we always try to schedule one “big night out dinner” in every major city, which, if we’re lucky will be another way to remember our time in that city. Ahead of a recent visit, rather than search for a Berlin restaurant in guidebooks or online, I asked my friend Frank, a native Berliner for a recommendation.
With a Little Help From Our Friends
By the way, I find this one of the joys of Facebook. I now have friends, mostly connected through our mutual love of music, in cities around the world. I have helped them, and in some cases had dinner with them when they visited Toronto, and in turn, they’ve helped me when I visited their hometown.
Two Michelin Stars, Chef of the Year
Frank suggested Reinstoff, a Berlin restaurant operated by chef Daniel Achilles and his team, which has been awarded two Michelin stars. Gault & Millau had also recently recognized Achilles as Chef of the Year.
Reinstoff is on the ground floor of the historic Edison courtyards building, where Germany’s first light bulbs were manufactured in the 1880’s.
A Nice Table by a Window, Please
The restaurant accepts email reservations, so I sent them a short note, mentioning that this would be a special trip to Berlin for us (any trip to Berlin is special), and if we could have a nice table for two by a window, that would be wonderful.
I received a prompt confirmation, and we were set.
The day came, and we arrived at their reception. We were shown a table, next to the windows in a corner. The maître de, with a slight smile on his lips, asked, “Is this a nice table?” a quiet acknowledgement that he had read the note. Indeed it was.
A German Red Wine?
We started with a glass of champagne (a favorite habit), and then each chose versions of the 5-course tasting menu.
The sommelier came by and asked whether he could be of assistance. Yes, please. We told him of our menu choices, at which point he suggested a German Pinot Noir. A German red wine? Really?
Then came the next little delight. “Yes, certainly. This is a very good producer. I believe you’ll enjoy this. If not, I will gladly take the bottle back, no questions.” Well, what could you say?
Like Nureyev and Fonteyn in a Berlin Restaurant
Now the choreographed magic began. We had already noticed how smooth the service in the room seemed. The wait staff, dressed in crisp black and white, moved gracefully through the room.
Two approached our table to bring us the first course. The dishes touched the tablecloth at the same nano-second.
We finished the champagne and the red wine appeared, a 2010 Liaison by Enderle & Moll. A small pour to taste, and indeed, it was perfect. This bottle was not going back.
What followed should be the demonstration video for how to deliver service in a fine restaurant. Each course arrived as precisely as the first. In fact, from our vantage point, we could glimpse a corner of the kitchen entrance. The servers for each table would meet there and leave at the same moment to arrive at their table together. A quick glance from one of them, and the dishes touched down. It was something to behold when they had a table of four – four servers in tight formation.
Care and Pride
There was magic in these performances. Such care for their guests, such pride in their work. I mean how many times have you dined out where one person was left waiting for minutes for their dish to arrive, while the others hovered over their food, wanting to be polite while it cooled? Not here.
I wish I had either photographed the menu, or asked for a copy. At any rate, everything was delightful, fresh, often surprising in the flavors that widened our eyes in appreciation.
On our next trip to Berlin, we’ll be back to Reinstoff. Maybe they’ll have any more of that German Pinot Noir.
Reinstoff, Edison Höfe, Schlegelstrasse 26c, D-10115 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 30 88 12 14
Will You Share Some of Your Best Restaurant Experiences?
We’re always hungry – all that travelling works up an appetite.
Will you share one of your recommendations for an exceptional restaurant experience? Anything from a family diner to a night with Paul Bocuse.
Let us know in the comments below, so we can put in on our list. Thank you!
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