Monday, June 23, 2008

Zur Letzten Instanz

Last Friday morning - Main program of the day is the Swan Lake ballet at Deutsche Oper in Charlottenburg quarter, in children version - the reason why my husband agreed to go while minimizing the risk of getting bored during the short performance - an hour instead of the usual 3 hours.

Once out, we decided to reward his superhuman effort of watching a ballet-for-children by a nice lunch at Zur Letzten Instanz, a very old restaurant established in 1621 in a quiet corner next by an old church in the Alexander Platz quarter. This restaurant is promoted in most tourist guide books as the legendary Berlin restaurant where grand figures such as Napoleon and Beethoven dined when passing by. Even French former president, Jacques Chirac, known as a great gourmet, picked the restaurant out of thousands others in Berlin. We were naturally prepared for an awful bill and minimal service. Since this is supposed to be a reward I said to myself that I was being reasonable, right?

Zur Letzen Instanz serves refined traditional home-cooking in a traditional cosy setting. We fell in love with the atmosphere the minute we came in. I tried out their dish of the day - a very tender and juicy lamb meat accompanied by gnocchis, mushrooms, and sautéed young asparagus, all napped in a delicious brown sauce - while my husband chose boulettes - Berlin local speciality - accompanied by mixed vegetables and pan-fry potatoes. Be careful, their portion is quite big, so better go here when you are really hungry. Verdict: we love the food, it was very delicious! For my husband who is fond of good home food, he was literally in heaven.

Our waitress was fast, nice, and polite but no chit chatting like the usual Parisian waitresses we are used to. This efficient manner of working must be typically German, I guess.

Then the bill. This restaurant is a good bargain for the quality - neither expensive nor cheap - according to our Parisian standard. Food is even quite cheap but water is awfully expensive - almost the same price we normally pay in a middle-level restaurant in Paris such as Ladurée.

In conclusion, this restaurant is an absolute place to eat while in Berlin. The only minor note is the difficulty to get a table when you want to dine in which case you have to reserve at least two weeks in advance. Take a lunch instead on weekdays, like us, and you do not need any reservations.



Post a Comment

<< Home