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Exquisite Fare

Well if you've got it, enjoy it, but dress the part. Unless you have the sensitivity of a Semmelknödel you will feel like an idiot if your don't shave and dress the part in Berlin's finer eateries.

Muskauer Str. 9, 10997 Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 612 51 70, Fax: no fax | U1 Görlitzer Bahnhof | Times: 18:00 - 1:00
This gay-run vegetarian and fish restaurant makes a theme of its name, which means The Last Supper - I´d die quite happy if it were mine, providing I´d sampled at least three delicious courses. Set in the middle of the Turkish quarter a little apart from the main drag, it is small & cosy - so do order a table. Chandeliers and religious kitsch set the tone. Service isn't fast but is attentive and friendly. Camp waiters will happily demonstrate how to eat the more unusual dishes. Main courses vary every day and are called things like "Love On The Beach" and "Flaming Inferno". You don´t come here merely to eat - it is a culinary experience. Exquisite starters get the love juices flowing from around 9,50 - expect to pay 30 for a main course and around 12 for wacky theme puddings. The wine list is extensive, the cocktails more than satisfactory and ecologically produced beer is a house speciality.

Franzoesische Strasse 25, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 203 75 18 50, Fax: no fax | U-Stadtmitte, U-Franzoesische Strasse |
Facing the newly-reconstructed Gendarmenmarkt, Aigner offers its well-heeled clientele (mostly besuited businessmen, politicos or couples stopping in before a performance at the Schauspielhaus across the street) traditional Germanic fare, slimmed down, touched up, and ready for the 21st century. The nifty Art Nouveau interior was shipped lock, stock and billiard table from a defunct Viennese cafe, and does much to make Aigner the most stylish of the high-end watering holes that ring the Gendarmenmarkt. It´s certainly possible to stop in just for coffee, cocktails and cigars, but it´s the food that you shouldn´t miss. Befitting the decor, Aigner specialises in Austrian and South German cuisine, as well as dishes from Berlin and its environs. Ingredients and preparation are both first-class--it´s difficult to pick favourites, but the "Farmer´s Duck" and the "Swabian Festival Soup" deserve special mention. (On the other hand, Chancellor Schroeder apparently prefers Aigner´s schnitzel. Take your pick.) The extensive wine list showcases primarily German and Austrian vintners, though devotees of French or Italian wines won´t come away empty-handed. Entrees run from DM20 to around DM60, wine starts at DM20 for a carafe of a fruity Austrian white and continues well into the three-figure range, and you can expect drinks and dinner for two to run around DM150-200. Take advantage of summer warmth, sit at an outside table, and watch Berlin´s pinstriped elite hurry by against the elegant backdrop of the Deutscher Dom.

Ana e Bruno
Sophie-Charlotten-Strasse 101, Berlin - Charlottenburg | Tel: 325 71 10, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Westend |
Has the reputation of being the most expensive and finest Italian dining in the city. Spare decor, inconspicuous service, superb cooking.

Café Einstein
Kurfurstenstr. 58, 10785 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 261 50 96, Fax: no fax | U1+U2+U4+U12 Nollendorfplatz | Times: Mon-Sun, 10am - 2am | Also at: Unter den Linden 42, 10117 Mitte | Tel: 204 36 32 | Transport: Bus# 100, 348 | Times: 9am - 1am daily. | Prices: Milchcafe DM6.50, Frühstücke DM9-19, Hauptgerichte DM30-40.
Walking into Café Einstein on Kurfürstenstr. is like walking into Vienna. The mirrored walls, high ceilings, and red velvet banquettes all echo the grand old style of a traditional Viennese coffee house. So do the small but perfectly executed selection of cakes and the rich, mellow coffee. In summer, take a seat in the cool, quiet garden. They also have a lunch and diner menu in "International, Austrian Style" - try such classics as Wiener Schnitzel or Austrian Pancakes (Kaiser Schmarren). The second, more crowded, less opulent Mitte location also offers outdoor seating, if you fancy a table in the middle of busy Unter den Linden.

Käfer in the Reichstag
Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 22 62 99 33, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Unter den Linden | Bus 100 | Times: 9-16.30 and 18.30-24 | Mains: circa 60
On the roof of the newly renovated Reichstag, Käfer is a treasure for the weary and/or overwhelmed tourist. The menu was limited but satisfactory, the service expeditious, and the food though not stunning was very good. The restaurant 's decor is in keeping with the new upscale design one comes to expect in Berlin... clean, spare and with a delightful splash of color. The walls painted a fabulous vermilion were a perfect backdrop for the architectural artwork and the dark plum colored calla lilies garnishing the tables.

Ludwigkirchstraße 11, 10719 BerlinWilmersdorf | Tel: 885 7820, Fax: 88578241 | U1+U9 Spichernstr, Bus 249 | Times: Daily 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.| Reservations for dinner recommended | Mains: DM28-36.
This establishment offers a unique mixture of the Parisian Bistro, the Viennese Kaffeehaus and the Roman restaurant not uncommon to Berlin. Manzini is owned by partners Marina Mittmann, Carsten Weimann and Johannes Lehye. To have a superb cappuccino, served with a glass of fresh water, to enjoy the range of good food from the exceptional Wiener Schnitzel to a state-of-the-art Risotto, or to delight in the consummate sweet dish, the Austrian Kaiserschmarrn, makes each visit to Manzini worthwhile. The interior is inviting, with its wood and leather furnishings and pastel walls. Whether you settle down for an early breakfast, complete with international newspapers, or meet with business friends for a drink, you will always find it comfortable, quiet and in good style. Manzini offers two excellent dishes each weekday for their business lunch. Manzini is open almost round the clock; opening at 8am, they are open till 2am next morning. It is one of the places where you can settle down from shopping and relax, while the friendly and professional staff take your orders. And make sure you get a place on the sidewalk on a summer evening!

Ristorante Borbone
Windscheidstr. 14,, 10627 Berlin - Charlottenburg | Tel: 323 83 05,, Fax: 324 71 61 | S-Bahn Charlottenburg or U7 Wilmersdorferstr | Mains - 30+ | Credit
cards: AmEx, EC, Visa, MC | Times: Daily, 12-24 h
If you want to impress or treat somebody, then this fine old establishment is the place.

The Borbone has been run by Guiseppe Lapone and his Sicilian family for 24 years. They take pride in greeting all guests personally and offering friendly service. Regulars don't even bother asking for the menu, but are advised by the staff of the day's specials. The wine list is arguably the best in the city for Italian vintages.

One of the restaurant's specialities is fish and seafood. Choice meat dishes such as lamb in rosemary and white wine sauce are also recommended.

With the cosy atmosphere, surrounded by wine bottles and oak, is a pleasant place to spend a whole evening. Different puddings are on display each day, but the winners are definitely the chocolate mousse and the panacotta (the tiramisu is a tad disappointing). A little off the beaten track, Borbone is certainly not sceny, yet it promises quality, and just a couple of visits bring customer recognition otherwise rare in Berlin.

Jägerstr. 54/55, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 202 97 30, Fax: no fax | U2 Hausvogteiplatz, U6 Französische Straße | Times: Mon-Sat 12-14.30 Uhr + 19-22.30 (kitchen hours) | Seats 65 inside, 24 outside. | Reservations a must. | Mains: DM30-60.
For gastronomic indulgence in an atmosphere of understated elegance try VAU - the most hyped restaurant in Berlin. The contemporary yet warm decor is pleasing but not distracting. Care has been taken to keep the noise level down, providing the perfect setting for the convivial appreciation of an extraordinary meal. Do not be surprised if you see Chancellor Schröder or the Foreign Minister Fischer dining here. We started with a complimentary wild mushroom appetizer. Despite the color (black) and ominous name (Totentrompeten--trumpets of death) I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt no ill effects. The menu is interesting but not outlandish; no octopus in curried papaya sauce here. The venison salad followed by pigeon breast with foie gras and mashed potatoes was outstanding. The cryptic "variation of apple" on our dessert menu turned out to be a sampler of apple specialties, a highlight being the green apple sorbet. A similar palette of chocolate desserts was accompanied by a demi tasse of cocoa.

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