Thursday 21 April 2016

Mädchenitaliener: a Review

[Image description: interior shots of the front dining area]

We arrived for lunch at a quarter past midday after a recommendation from the proprietor at Stetson on Münzstraße, Berlin (one of the main shopping zones in the city) to try out Mädchenitaliener on Alte Schönhauser Straße 12. The place was empty other than a very obviously in-love couple. We enquired of our affable server whether we were early for German luncheon. She advised that we were not. We ordered the apéritif from the specials' board, a cocktail of Prosecco, raspberry purée and fresh mint - tasty and refreshing with a wonderful, fruity aroma.

As a starter, Vorspeise, we ordered a sharing-platter for two. From the photographs below one can observe just how colourful and healthy it was. Nought remained once we had devoured every last morsel.

[Image description: sharing-platter & cocktails]

We ordered a dry, white wine to accompany our mains & desserts. My companion opted for fresh, spelt spaghetti & pesto rosso with fresh mint and Parmesan. I ordered the gnocchi. For the first time in my life I experienced gnocchi that had been sautéed after being cooked to give a satisfyingly crunchy outer texture before reaching the soft centres. Fresh mint had been added which had the texture of Chinese seaweed. Nothing went back to the kitchen. My only criticism was that the portion of gnocchi was too large and slightly over salted.

[Image description: spaghetti & pesto rosso and sautéed gnocchi]

I ordered a panna cotta for dessert, Nachspeise, with was decorated with poppy seeds, freshly grated chocolate, raspberry coulis and topped with a physalis. My chum ordered honeycomb & honey with whipped cream and sourdough. Again nothing remained on our platters other than tell-tale smears of deliciousness!

[Image description: panna cotta and honey, cream & sourdough]

Mädchenitaliener was incredibly relaxed and friendly: so much so, that we ended up conversing with the folk on the next table. Richard and I were there for the longest duration. Most other diners seemed only to want a quick one- or two-course meal. As we left there was still nary an empty seat - surely a good sign.

[Image description: diners eating]

We had a friend coming to meet up with us in Berlin, so we attempted to take her for dinner. Alas, the place was so popular we could not get a seat without waiting at least an hour. Instead we booked for the following night: even then we were the last space available!

The evening's service was not at all comparable with that of lunchtime. We waited in a line streaming through the restaurant, completely ignored by staff. An acknowledgement, even a quick explanation to us all would have been the courteous step to take.

We were not led to table and had menus thrust into my hands. It took thirty-six minutes from reaching our table before we even received our first drinks. Our starters took fifty-five minutes to arrive. Given we were booked in for nine pm we were famished by the time the food arrived. There are no images because we were so hungry we all three just tucked in.

The food was delicious. The mains - tagliatelle with fig (mine), gnocchi (2nd friend) and tagliatelle Lorenzo (1st friend) - were completely consumed. So stuffed, none of us could continue on to dessert.


[Image description: tagliatelle with fig, top; gnocchi, middle; tagliatelle Lorenzo, bottom]
We did give a 5% tip, but explained to our waitress that had there not been such long delays we would have given a 10% gratuity.

The food is well worth visiting this restaurant. If in any kind of hurry however, turn up for lunch NOT dinner.


No comments:

Post a Comment