BERLIN, Germany If I told you that Berlin, the German capital, has all it takes to be the next foodie destination of Europe, would you think I'm nuts?
Well, its restaurants might be at the avant-garde of what's best in restaurants, right now.
Lately, one of the great foodie trends is to pair local ingredients with techniques from around the world. These techniques and recipes are sometimes complemented with some of the most classic recipes of the hosting city. Of course everybody knows that Germany has a great culinary history, including the mastering of the world of charcuterie and sausage-making.
Today, Berlin wants to eat. That's the reason why many of the great chefs have decided to go there to work. This newly discovered attention to the German capital has allowed us to find and rediscover some of the best German chefs.
In the German capital, here's how one can have a real luxurious foodie trip!
Because we're going to make a real restaurant tour, we need a real hotel. In order to sleep properly on a full belly, one needs a great bed! Ritz-Carlon Berlin has everything needed to cuddle and nurture that stomach that will spend the week getting assaulted -- in the best possible sense of the term -- from all sides, including a restaurant, Brasserie Desbrosses!
Restaurant: Tim Raue
Let's take the plunge: the best-rated restaurant of all Berlin, with its two Michelin stars, 19 Gault-Millau points, and with its 52nd place on the San Pellegrino list, is Tim Raue. The chef and his eponymous restaurant offer a true intellectual food experience. There is no foodie on this planet that will not be surprised -- and maybe shocked! --by the dishes, the service, the wines.
Restaurant: Cinco Paco Perez
Although there is no other restaurant better rated than Tim Raue, another chef can hog the spotlight. Paco Perez is an El Bulli veteran, disciple of the Ferran brothers, and has become as known as his masters. Cinco -- for the five senses, all called upon in this restaurant -- is in the spectacular Das Stue Hotel, in Berlin's Tiergarten. And the equally spectacular meal that lasted almost six hours is explained in great detail on my blog, Continents & Condiments. This meal is meta-travel!
Tim Raue et Paco Perez are exceptional chefs that lead exceptional kitchens, and Sebastian Frank absolutely deserves to find himself in the same sentence.
Chef of a small restaurant in the hip neighborhood of Kreuzberg, chef Frank, 34, has received his second Michelin star in 2015. That's quite the feat.
Horvath's dishes are 100 per cent inspired by Austria.
Hotel: Hotel am Steinplatz
You'll really need more than a few days to visit the all-new foodie Berlin.
Might as well try more than one hotel!
Hotel am Steinplatz is brand new and feeds upon the ambiance and feel of the 1920s. The building hosted a hotel back then and has now been renovated from roof to basement. It's a modern hotel and the great rooms and new technologies combined with the vintage side of the concept go very well together.
Eat, drink: the theme of this article. Next stop: Reinstoff, another establishment that's been awarded two stars by the Michelin guide.
Here, the tastes are clearly on the classic side, as opposed to Tim Raue's, for example.
However this doesn't mean that they're not any good. Quite the contrary. Attention to detail, finesse, artful presentation, subtle flavours, perfectly mastered dishes overall play nice with the elegant and sober design of the restaurant. And it's located in an old factory in the Mitte district. Awesome.
Snacks and lunch: Curry36, Max und Moritz
A true, real, thorough foodie tour can't be complete without delving into the culinary traditions of a destination. And Germany as a whole has a serious food history!
Curry36 is a simple sausage stand like the ones found on each corner in Prague or Vienna. However in Berlin, the specialty is currywurst, a white sausage covered with ketchup mixed with yellow curry powder. It's usually washed down with one of the many exceptional German beers. That,s a great snack!
Max und Moritz is a classic German restaurant with the traditional dishes of the country. An old-timey décor and comfort food -- pork and potatoes, mostly -- are found within the walls of this restaurant.
Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin
Oranienstraße 162, 10969 Berlin
Since luxury never comes alone, it's important to know luxury when we see it and stay at the Regent.
The Regency-era decor, opulent and rich, is mandatory in all the Regent hotels of the world. And the lobby at Berlin's Regent hotel has what it takes to wow fans of this type of thing.
Obviously, since this is a luxurious hotel, service is excellent. Of course.
A good night's sleep is needed, because any good foodie doesn't take breaks. Let's eat!
Classic among classics, Borchardt's dining room is large, has big columns and sports mosaics on the walls. Food has been sold there one way or the other for more than 200 years! German and French classics are served, but Borchardt's real signature dish is the schnitzel. The restaurant is located around the block from Checkpoint Charlie, one of the tourist attractions most visited in town, so it's not rare for Borchardt to be full of tourists!
Come on, all of these calories need to be burned somehow. What about a jog around the Tiergarten?
In this series, Cédric Lizotte visits some of Europe's best restaurants. On his blog, Continents & Condiments, he shares his inside knowledge about the best places to sample the delights of some of the best chefs on the planet. Follow his gastronomical journey on social media with the hashtag #CedricInEurope.
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