I decided, I’ll do a little catching up this week – out of whatever reason, some of my absolute favorite places in Berlin have not yet been covered on this blog. And we’re starting with one of my most beloved places for dinner: Drei. Although I’m not even sure that’s the official name.
This restaurant is just next to and belongs to Bar Drei, that infamous place filled with artists, curators and theater people located behind Volksbühne and certainly the artiest spot to hang out after sunset in Mitte. The interior and exterior is perfectly minimal thus unobtrusive and easy to miss. The floor plan with its curved outer wall with huge windows is repeated in the horseshoe shaped bar, the lights are dim, the furniture dark. The drinks menu is equally minimal, there’s mainly Kölsch beer (and two other beers), a white and a red wine served in small glasses, the usual long drinks and of course some soft drinks. That’s it. No fancy cocktail-frenzy, no crazy drinks menu sourced from all over the world. Still, it’s almost always crowded from when they open at 9pm (except Sundays and Monday) until they close around 4.30am. (It’s a smoker’s bar, just so you know.)
The restaurant goes by a similar concept, where the same minimal interior style is adapted to a dining room – same curved wall with huge windows, an open bar and beautiful minimal furniture. The number and arrangement of tables is defined by the lighting, simple light bulbs hanging from long black cords above each table. The menu is copied from a handwritten paper and written on a large blackboard by the entrance. The offered food reflects the overall style, simple yet elegant dishes based on Italian and French classics like artichoke with aioli (6 Euros), puntarelle salad with anchovies, lemon and olive oil (7 Euros), octopus salad with celery, ravioli filled with eggplant, walnut and ricotta (9,50 Euros), Daube Nicoise (16 Euros) or Osso Bucco (16 Euros) and the very popular Steak Tartare with shalottes, egg yolk and capers mustard (19,50 Euros). In case you wonder why there’s no fried or pan roasted option on the menu – the answer lies in the simple kitchen, they don’t have a professional exhaust outlet and thus can’t offer it. But I’m not missing it, would you?
Regardless of how hungry I am, I rarely leave this restaurant without having dessert – their chocolate ice cream is a favorit as is the cheese plate where you can choose from goat, Camembert, Reblochon, St. Nectaire, Tomme, Comté, Stilton and Munster with caraway. Also, the wine menu is a lot more extensive than in the neighbouring bar, of course.
The atmosphere is relaxed and serene, they’ve always got the nicest staff and later the night, the chef is coming out to share a drink or two and if you like some more mingling, the bar is just next door. As I said, a favorit place.