Taverne Nefeli A journey through Greece

Tuesday, February 28 2023

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - midnight


Taverne Nefeli
Suarezstraße 49
14057 Berlin-Charlottenburg
.How to get there

price level

Sometimes it's the famous connections over three corners that give rise to something new: Saki and Nikos, two brothers who run a hotel complex in Saloniki, wanted to see more of the world and decided to open a restaurant in Berlin. An acquaintance gave them the opportunity to take over his Berlin restaurant and brought them together with sommelier Kiriakos Sarantou and chef Tasso, whereupon they opened Nefeli together on 01 November last year.

The Taverne Nefeli, named after the song "To Tango tis Nefelis" by the Greek singer Haris Alexiou, also a mutual acquaintance of all involved, is a cosy Greek restaurant that does completely without clichés. Instead, there is a small, select menu, Hellenic delicacies and a choice selection of wines.

Nefeli itself is also small: The Charlottenburg restaurant has just sixteen seats and four bar stools, so reservations are recommended. And yet it is big in many respects. You won't find amphorae or pictures of the Acropolis here.

Nefeli I Kiriakos Sarantou I 2-2
Nefeli außen I Maximilian Zeh

The interior, decorated in subtle, dark earth tones, invites you to relax and enjoy while you embark on a culinary, but above all, oenological journey through Greece - from Crete to Attica, from the Ionian Islands to Thrace.

The host Kiriakos has long been known in Berlin as the expert on Greek wine and offers his guests the opportunity to explore the diversity of Greece through wine and to dispel clichés here. Admittedly: We, too, came with a particular idea of Greek wine. Personally, I usually found the red wines too sweet and therefore limited myself to the more tart Retsina. So what an excellent opportunity to be proven wrong by the expert.

The menu reads well: a range of starters complemented by a few salads, snacks and only five main courses. The cuisine at Nefeli is refined, elegant and yet honest. "We serve traditional cuisine with light influences from Italy, France and Germany, beautifully presented - because the eye eats with you," explains Kiriakos. The dishes come in reasonable portions, but Nefeli is as much a wine bar as it is a restaurant. A visit for a glass and a snack is therefore just as worthwhile.

We start with a trilogy of starters (12.5o euros): Fava, a golden-yellow puree of peas, carrot and onion, white taramas with chilli threads, which tastes much creamier and more delicate than the pink-coloured supermarket version, and a salad of beluga lentils. The starters are accompanied by a glass of Ble Tracter from Kir-Yianni, a long-established winegrowing family from Naoussa that was the first Greek winery to bottle wine.

The mineral-fruity cuvée of Assyrtiko, the oldest white wine variety in the world, and the French varieties Viognier and Chardonnay complement the starters and the octopus salad (12.50 euros), which we enjoy as an intermediate course, wonderfully. The octopus is firm yet tender; you immediately notice its freshness, quality and preparation.

The same goes for the creamy, aromatic moussaka (18.50 euros, also vegetarian), which is always prepared on the same day. The second main course comprises tender, nicely arranged lamb chops (22.50 euros) on a bed of aubergine mousse, Mediterranean vegetables and potatoes.

To match, Kiri pours us a Nemea from the Papaioannou winery: "The grand dame of Greek red wines, with this I catch almost everyone who thinks that there are no good red wines in Greece. True Story. The low-tannin, velvety red wine definitely "catches" us. We are too full for dessert, but even that can be solved with a liquid.

That's why Kiri lets us taste another extraordinary drop, which alone could be the subject of an article. Tasting is a good keyword because the orange dessert wine produced by Kiri's family on Samos is noble and correspondingly expensive.

The wine is produced entirely sustainably from cultivation to maturity and is even bottled by hand. Subjected to spontaneous fermentation, the Muskateller was allowed to mature for three years and convinces in taste all along the line: Full-bodied with an almost honey-like sweetness, every little sip allows new aromas to emerge. For lovers of dessert wines, this is probably the supreme discipline.

The Tavern Nefeli attracts all those who want authentic Greek cuisine and want to embark on an oenological journey through this multifaceted country, not least because of its warm hospitality. In any case, this is not the last time the tavern will see us.

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Taverne Nefeli – A journey through Greece
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