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Happy Rediscovery The Brasserie at Gendarmenmarkt

Tuesday, March 28 2023
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Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday: noon - 10:00pm

Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm


Easter

Good Friday: noon - 10:00pm, Easter Saturday and Sunday 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Easter Monday closed.

Address

Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt
Taubenstraße 30
10117 Berlin-Mitte
.How to get there

Contact

...
030 / 20 45 35 01
.brasserieamgendarmenmarkt.de

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For a long time now, I've been wanting a gastronomic section of forgotten favourite restaurants, culinary gems with perennial comfort food that, for whatever reason, have disappeared from my own focus. So let's start with one such rediscovery that also satisfies my Francophile soul (and the stomach that goes with it): the Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt.

Let's start precisely: it's around the corner from the beautiful square on Taubenstraße. But then you can't miss it when the wide pavement terrace there is furnished with wicker chairs and boxwoods, creating a pretty terrace border. The Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt has been around for decades - it opened in the summer of 1999. It's been 24 years now, and next year it will be a quarter of a century - which implies consistency and quality.

The sober building façade, with the green awning as a splash of colour, reveals nothing about the interior, about the interior's journey back in time to Art Deco. Plank flooring, red benches, red armchairs, huge wall mirrors, lush bronze figures and - what finally gives the brasserie its charm - large-scale artworks with restaurant scenes in the style of the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka.

Seating niches and room dividers define the layout of the large dining room as a cosy and open whole. Plenty of light, right down to the bronze table lamps, creates the right comfortable atmosphere - a contradiction in terms, but authentic. Which has been readjusted once again in Lockdown. Brasserie founders Rüdiger Gawlitta and André Nissen have used the time to modernise without attacking the "patina".

brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt
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Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt (10)
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Brasseries in France are everyday restaurants with decent cuisine. Perhaps also to be defined as a social pub, a place for all (pleasure) people, which is unagitated and thus gives space to the guests. This creates a relaxed atmosphere and, at the latest with the Crémant poured at the table, makes everyday life completely disappear from your consciousness.

The cuisine is French, but it also allows for a few international dishes, such as a Wiener schnitzel and a Caesar salad. For me, however, a brasserie only needs to draw from the local recipe pool, which is both classic and modern, and the choice becomes a beautiful torment.

Escargot, snails in herb butter, wonderful. The boudin noir, black pudding, bought, as Brasserie Gendarmenmarkt does just right, from the "Berlin black pudding knight" Marcus Benser, served with mashed potatoes and apple-cassis chutney. Or the shrimps, the fried king prawns with aioli, which transport me to the South of France.

Which could be deepened with the bouillabaisse as the main course, but the culinary heart beats for something else this evening. But even this decision is not made easily. A down-to-earth tarte flambée, a tarte flambée with crème frâiche, bacon, leek and cheese (13.90 euros)? Or the brasserie classic par excellence, steak frites, even in the form of a chateaubriand for two (89 euros)?

Good, if your companion opts for steak frites (27.50 euros) (theoretically). An extra steak knife cuts so gently through the premium meat, cooked exactly medium rare and tender to the point (practical), that I, unfortunately, don't get anything to taste. And the fries are hot, crispy, and not too greasy - that's also hearsay from my counterpart.

But my choice, served by a very friendly, nimble service, also bears the culinary stamp of soul food. The steak tartare of finely diced beef with capers and quail fried egg (25-27.50 euros) is happiness on a plate. What also pleases. You can choose a small or large portion, 100 or 150 grams of beef and instead of toasted farmhouse bread, you can also get French fries as a side dish.

So you enjoy a sibling of the steak frites created by the brasserie and look forward to summer on both terraces - the leafy courtyard terrace is also a gem. The wine might not be an open red Roy Charles from Bordeaux but a white wine from France, Germany or Italy (around 60 bottled wines), such as a Chateau Grand Jean, an uncomplicated Entre deux Mers also from Bordeaux.

Perhaps there will be room for a dessert - a sorbet, a crème brûlee, a mousse au chocolat, followed by cheese to close the stomach. But perhaps the dishes of this evening will simply be enjoyed al fresco once more.

But now that Easter is just around the corner let's take a look at the Easter menu at Brasserie Gendarmenmarkt: wild garlic cream and salmon praline, followed by Atlantic monkfish fillet and rock octopus on tarte tatin or Easter lamb loin under apricot crisp and, as a finale, rhubarb trifle (69.90 euros).

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