It’s a special occasion to dine as fine as one will at Les Solistes, a restaurant by Pierre Gagnaire, one of the most popular chefs of today’s French cooking. In Berlin, he created a casual fine dining restaurant inside of Hotel Waldorf Astoria in 2013, where the Belgian Roel Lintermans is head chef. Lintermans gained the restaurant its first Michellin star and16 Gault Millau points in the first year after opening, and was awarded the title “Berliner Meisterkoch” last year. You’re in for a treat, is what I want to say. It is very special to eat here, because Lintermans’ food is outstanding, refined, elegant, fresh, balanced and will have you leave very happy.
The dinner starts with a variety of amuse-gueule, served one after another before the starters and mains are coming. Also coming early is a basket of bread by bakery Gaues from Hannover – who delivers his breads to many fine dining restaurants in Germany – with some fresh made butter, which was the most exciting to me.
Look at these perfectly sized cubes of vegetables in this waffle cone. With all cubes shaped equally, the flavors of this mini-salad spread evenly, giving this one an amazingly even taste-profile. The following two pictures also show amuse-geule, one of them creamy ragout of mushrooms and very white almonds, the other a celeriac with amaranth.
After this, my starter called “Spring” (27 Euro) was served, containing of three different dishes: green asparagus with sorrel puree, chard and a pearl of cidre fermier; morels with coffee and a small cabbage filled with cabbage; as well as a Bouillon Zézette, a signature dish of Pierre Gagnaire, a white wine and herb soup served with green vegetables and parmesan gnocchi (pictured on top of this article).
The elegance and ease of these dishes delighted me. The soft and crunchy textures, the melodic flavor compositions and the lightness albeit stunning complexity was what I remembered even days after the dinner. The food at Les Solistes exudes a certain politeness, it is more subtle than provocative, more classic than aiming for innovation, however, it is so on point in terms of colors, flavors and plating and yet so creative and surprising, you won’t regret one dish. There was literally no criticism coming to my mind.
Sure, it’s a hotel restaurant and hence the interior can seem a little sterile. Also, there are loads of waiters taking care of you, get ready for being pampered. However and admittedly, one has to spend quite some money on this dinner. And I will also have to say that I was invited, not by Les Solistes though, so my praise comes directly from my food-loving-heart.
Which might also have to do with this fantastic and obviously perfectly made dessert: a classic French bourbon vanilla soufflé with ice cream made of Tahiti vanilla. I am wondering whether one can get a table at Les Solistes only for this dessert… You can, I called in to ask. Consider this a serious recommendation, because I would certainly spend 20 Euros for this one. It also comes with lemon fruit cocktail with orange espuma and a lemon tartelette with Italian meringue and dried blood orange.