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Berlin: anything new I should try in Mitte?

I did make it to Katz Orange--a fun atmosphere, excellent fries and a nice salad--and also really enjoyed Lokal. Thanks again for the recommendations! I look forward to trying some of the others you mention when I'm back in town.

One warning--stay away from Pauly Saal in the maedchen schule. A truly terrible meal--undercooked chicken and freezer spinach reheated in le cruset pots--not to mention painfully slow service, douchey clientele, and an enormous bill at the end. This space deserves much better.

My best meal this time in Berlin was back at that old favorite, Renger-Patszch, in Schoeneberg. A rabbit dish wrapped in bacon, served with fried sage and polenta fritters--astonishingly good, even better than I remember. And still unpretentious.

Oct 20, 2012
newyorkberlin in Europe

Berlin: anything new I should try in Mitte?

thank you!

Oct 13, 2012
newyorkberlin in Europe

Berlin: anything new I should try in Mitte?

Back in Berlin after a year away, and planning a nice (but not bank-breaking) Saturday night dinner out with German friends coming in from Hamburg. Curious if anything new has opened worth checking out? A nice atmosphere and decent wine list would be a plus.

Sep 26, 2012
newyorkberlin in Europe

looking for north Italy agriturismo with great food/wine

A report, with many thanks again to everyone who responded with such useful, specific suggestions to my vague query. At the last moment, we found out that Corteforte's restaurant was closed, and we ended up changing our plans and heading for Piemonte, despite the longer drive. We stayed at Castello di Razzano in the Monferrato/Asti area—great suggestion, swiss chef! It was the perfect base-–a working winery and agriturismo, quiet and relaxed, ideal for exploring the surrounding hills, which are dotted with un-touristy, slightly grubby little towns full of vineyards and culinary surprises. We were impressed by the friendliness and graciousness to be found most everywhere we went in the area, despite our poor Italian—and, of course, we were impressed by the food. We barely scratched the surface, but here follows our brief introduction to the area.

Upon our arrival, we went to the simple but very charming Osteria L'Ermite in nearby Castell'Alfero. As with most of the places we went, the antipasti stole the show, all Piemontese classics, carefully executed: peppers stuffed with tuna, vitello tonnato, anchovies in a red pesto, carne crudo (I gave this a pass), etc. Our primi: tagliatelle with a sausage ragu and another pasta with gamberi. We skipped secondi and went straight for the fig gelato to finish. We drank a delicate Ruche from a vineyard literally around the corner: it tasted faintly of rose petals, in a nice way. A small, family place patronized only by locals, and totally unpretentious—our server wore a superman t-shirt, her mother was doing the cooking, and her young daughter helped bus the tables. Recommended.

Also in Castell’Alfero on Serra Perno is the more ambitious but homey Ristorante Casot—here you will find a printed menu. We had a very rich aubergine and tomato tart, more vitello tonnato, and a too-sturdy agnolotti del plin, served in a parmesan bowl that reminded me of American dinner parties of the late 90s. The highlight of this evening was some very delicious lamb roasted with lavender and other herbs. We finished, 4 hours after we began, with a nectarine crostata. They have a large selection of Barberas here—not our favorite grape. The one we chose, at our waiter’s urging, was a barrique bomb. Not terrible overall. . . and yet I might skip this one next time.

Informal lunch on the balcony without reservations at More e Macine in La Morra, following a morning of Barolo-tasting—wines by the glass, very good vitello tonnato, excellent grissini, and a huge hunk of burrata served with tomatoes so luridly, juicily red they resembled organs. Less happily: a seemingly bottomless bowl of inedibly salty anchovies in pesto.

Reservations a must at Osteria La Torre in Cherasco, a town that looks like a film set. La Torre has gotten plenty of Chowhound attention, well deserved. In a lovely back garden, we enjoyed a trio of standout antipasti, a welcome deviation from the usual suspects: a smoked trout salad with rasperries, a tomato and tuna terrine, and a carrot soufflé in a parmesan béchamel—all perfect. The mushroom risotto for two that followed seemed pallid in comparison, but the Barolo—an inexpensive but excellent 2007 Revello—made up for that. All in all, a special place that feels contemporary without being pretentious or formal. Beforehand, I’d suggest a stop by Neive, a tiny gem of a nearby town, for a stroll and an aperitivo.

One lucky discovery was the more old-school Ristorante La Muscandia in Pino d’Asti. We dropped by without a reservation for lunch one very warm afternoon after visiting the Abbey at Vezzaluna. We spent the afternoon on the restaurant’s veranda overlooking the hills, along with a few tables of super-friendly locals. No menu. We were presented with a vast spread of fabulous antipasti, including some very welcome vegetables, but also cold rabbit, along with the other classics (vitello tonnato, anchovies, etc). The pasta was exceptionally fresh: Tajarin ai tartufi and a superior agnolotti del plin. It was 95 degrees + that day, so we opted for an Arneis, but we were the only ones drinking white wine. Lots of back and forth with the truffle shaver with our neighboring table. At the end, we were presented with a truffle for the road.

Again, huge respect to this region. We’ll definitely return and explore further. . . but maybe in the late fall next time.

Osteria L’Ermite
14033 Castell’Alfero

Ristorante del Casot
14033 Castell’Alfero

More e Macine
12064 La Morra

Osteria La Torre
12062 Cherasco

Ristorante La Muscandia
14020 Pino d’Asti

Aug 20, 2012
newyorkberlin in Italy

looking for north Italy agriturismo with great food/wine

We haven't gone yet--after much highly enjoyable deliberation--we considered every single one of the recommendations above, all hugely appreciated--we booked Corteforte, simply because of logistics, and wanting a shorter drive after a long flight. It was a very tough choice, but maybe we'll still be able to make some day trips into ER. . . Next time we're in Italy, it'll be Langhe, for the Nebbiolo. Thanks to all of you! I'll report back in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'll be drinking plenty of Amarone and taking notes.

Aug 04, 2012
newyorkberlin in Italy

looking for north Italy agriturismo with great food/wine

My boyfriend and I will be driving down from Zurich for a week of r and r in August, and we're looking for recommendations for someplace gastronomic to stay. We're open to any region within striking distance--Alto Adige, Piemonte, Emilia Romagna; we'd like to find a restful, picturesque base in the countryside or mountains from which to explore. Our tastes tend toward the simple and rustic; needn't be "fancy," but the rooms should be nice enough to hang out in. Many thanks in advance for any ideas--we're a bit late in the planning.

Jul 11, 2012
newyorkberlin in Italy

Chilean/South American in Berlin?

Hi! Does anyone know of a good place--or anyplace, for that matter--to get Chilean food in Berlin? I live in Kreuzberg, but will travel for a pisco sour.

Sep 24, 2010
newyorkberlin in Europe

vegetarian/pescatarian in Alsace--recommendations?

Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions--I will report back if I make some new discoveries!

Oct 23, 2009
newyorkberlin in France

vegetarian/pescatarian in Alsace--recommendations?

Hi John--of course you are allowed, and I agree it's a bit nutty for two food lovers who don't eat meat to go to this region, which is what motivated my initial appeal. In fact, it wasn't our choice; the trip was a gift from my German boyfriend's parents, in celebration of getting his doctorate, and it is they who chose the region and hotel. Everything else is up to us. And we are very excited to go! Just a bit flummoxed, as you can understand. We do certainly love Alsatian wine, and look forward to exploring that aspect of the local gastronomy, as well as checking out some of rrems' suggestions. (A bit starved for a good meal here in Berlin, but that's another subject.) I do feel a bit lame not to be able to take a "when in Rome" approach, but when one hasn't eaten pork in over a decade, a romantic getaway isn't the time to start.

Oct 22, 2009
newyorkberlin in France

vegetarian/pescatarian in Alsace--recommendations?

My boyfriend and I are driving from Berlin to Alsace for a week's holiday later this month. We'll be based in Ribeauville, and we're very much in need of restaurant recommendations in the surrounding area--we don't mind a scenic drive. We're very keen on sampling the local wine and cuisine, but we have one serious limitation: neither of us eats meat (except fish and seafood). I welcome any suggestions at all, from the simple to the Michelin-starred; wineries we should stop at; lunch and dinner. Rustic is good; not remotely interested in "trendy."

Oct 20, 2009
newyorkberlin in France