Casual dining inside a women's prison Sophia Rudolph is cooking again – at the new Lovis

Wednesday, March 30 2022


Kantstraße 79,
10627 Berlin
.How to get there


At first, it was simply joy. Joy about the fact that in the albeit congenial world of men, a woman had taken over a pole position at the cooker again. In a cool place, the at that time newly opened Panama inside a beautifully restored building in the gastronomically flourishing Potsdamer Strasse. With a very excellent Sophia Rudolph.

That was six years ago. She has since left the casual dining restaurant in a level-headed "I'm off then" manner. Only to finally be back. In an even more exciting place, Lovis inside a former women's prison, built at the end of the 19th century.

Another courtyard, or rather two courtyards. Lush greenery, brick walls, a fairy-tale enchanted place that you don't even begin to grasp when you open the first gate on Charlottenburg's busy Kantstraße. At a second gate, you have to ring the bell in order to enter this oasis in the middle of the big city. Another door leads to another courtyard. But it is no longer recognisable as such, since it has been roofed over.

Lovis Sophia Rudolph I Foto Robert Rieger
Lovis I Melanie Greim (3)
Wilmina I Foto Robert Rieger  (1)
Lovis I Melanie Greim (2)
Wilmina I Foto Robert Rieger
Wilmina I Foto Robert Rieger  (2)
Lovis Restaurant I Wilemina (2)
Lovis I Ava

The former outer walls are now the inner walls of the high guest room. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a view of rampant green plants. Countless bocci lights hang from the ceiling. A starry sky, so to speak, is reflected in the window and creates a twilight atmosphere. Otherwise, an architectural minimalism that suits Sophia Rudolph's product-focused casual dining kitchen.

The Berliner, who partially grew up in France, attended the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon and was Marco Müller's sous-chef at Weinbar Rutz for four and a half years. She offers a four- or six-course menu in addition to à la carte dishes, naturally also as a vegetarian palate experience, with or without wine accompaniment.

As an amuse-bouche, a cute tartelette with red cabbage salad and blue cheese as well as mango, chilli and garlic as a discreetly breaded ball. She also incorporates blue cheese into the menu as an accompaniment to a mixed beetroot carpaccio with hazelnut. At least on the current menu, as she is starting the spring with a new one.

We get an extract from the new menu this evening, and it delivers a cheese-loving favourite too. A half Roscoff onion stuffed with Gruyère foam, resting like an island in a smooth Beurre Blanc. The onion is sweet, the foam strong as a counterpart, a successful interplay of aromas.

Accompanied by a Morillon from Opok 2018, an apple-scented Chardonnay from the Werlitsch winery in Styria. It is a natural wine, by the way, not because it is trendy at the moment, but because this biodynamic wine is simply a very harmonious choice for this starter.

A ruby red Barbera d'Alba Trevigne 2019 from the Vietti winery in Piedmont accompanies the braised onglet, also known as kidney cone. This piece of beef from the supporting muscle of the diaphragm is a cut for connoisseurs; here and there in Berlin you may have already eaten it.

Braised pink, you still have to chew more than with a filet. That's what makes it so appealing, but it's not for everyone. Accompanied by a bit of Jerusalem artichoke puree and mini diced green apple, somehow classic and, for us, a dish that doesn't really fit into spring.

The finale is different: wonderfully creamy and intense blueberry ice cream, pecan, maple syrup and bacon crisps. The latter could also well be preferred as an amuse-bouche, as they are an expression of the evolution of desserts as more than just a sweet conclusion.

Lovis is a place where you can't wait for summer. There is a beautiful, meditatively quiet terrace, a Secret Place, which will rank among the most beautiful in the city. And which you can also enjoy in the morning - even if breakfast is served elsewhere. Because the restaurant is part of the women's prison that was rebuilt over ten years by an architect couple and turned into a hotel. So why not stay there in one of the Wilmina's 44 rooms? For the sheer joy of this new wonderful place.

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Casual dining inside a women’s prison – Sophia Rudolph is cooking again – at the new Lovis
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