PARIS-MOSKAU - Berlin’s Haute Cuisine Rarity
The location alone is worth it, I thought to myself when I parked the car in front of PARIS-MOSKAU on Alt-Moabit 141. Believe it or not, that small half-timber house has been there for 125 years now, right among chancellery, the government district and Berlin’s central station. For a long time, it was the one pub of local significance, a meeting point for East and West, and it was practically the only building on the site that survived May 1945. Today it bids defiance to the massive construction site right behind it.
Wolfram Ritschl bought the seemingly deserted witch’s cottage in 1984 and dubbed it JOSEF until he renamed it PARIS-MOSKAU in 1987. Marc Biederstedt is today’s chef and whips up mouthwatering dishes everyday. A decade-long tradition, ingredients are fresh and seasonal with a focus on meat and fish. The wine menu lists 300 different bottles from 14 countries, Berliner Pils is on tab, and in addition there’s a great list of well-established digestifs.
The original interior being merely represented by a Gründerzeit credenza, the premises mainly show off a surprisingly charming 80’s imprint - unagitated and cozy. The menu on the other hand is excitingly appetizing, so we quickly decided on the appetizer ‘Venison Tartar, pickled Wild Mushrooms, Nettle and Cranberries’ and the entrée ‘Wild Duck on Elderberries, Chestnut and Pumpkin’. We were talked into ‘Razor Clams and steamed Mussels in Pear Vinegar’ between the courses, and had ‘Sea-Buckthorn, Carrot and Honey’ for dessert.
The amuse-boche ‘Trout Rillette and Trout Meat with Horseradish’ is an outstanding start into the evening. The venison is equally good and, with all its seasonal flavors, a convincing alternative to the usual beef variation. My friend was head over heels for the mussels, the razor clams didn’t do it for any of us though. Some things are just not made for everybody - mussels were definitely not made for me.
The wild duck knocks us off our feet again. Tasty drumstricks, aromatic chestnuts! A well-orchestrated overture for the approaching poultry season. You see, every season’s got its upsides! The dessert is so light, my friend took it in easily and I decided to excite the duck in me with a quick espresso shot. It was a beautiful evening!