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Zum heiligen Teufel Devilishly good and Italian in Kreuzberg

Tuesday, March 22 2022
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Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday: noon - 4:00pm & 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Monday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Address

Zum heiligen Teufel
Lübbener Straße 23
10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
.How to get there

Bella Italia - that phrase really does always evoke sensual culinary delights. In Berlin Kreuzberg, Antonio Di Santo and Nicolas Avolos have dedicated themselves to this traditional cuisine at the small but extremely fine restaurant Zum Heiligen Teufel.

From an early age, they looked into the pots and bowls of their parents and grandparents and learned the secrets of the best dishes - in short, they grew up with traditional Italian cuisine. Now, as adults (and kitchen professionals), they are perfecting this culinary imprint - and we get to enjoy excellent cuisine that skillfully interweaves traditional Italian dishes and modern upscale cuisine.

The restaurant officially opened in January 2020. It's cosy here at Zum Heiligen Teufel. Art hangs on the walls (self-made, as we learn a little later), there are only a handful of tables and a correspondingly private and intimate ambience. It gets even more personal and unique when you take a seat at the Chef's Table, which can be reserved for four.

Here you sit directly in or opposite the custom kitchen and can look into the pots and bowls of the kitchen team as they work, just as the owners once looked into the pots and bowls of their parents and grandparents. "It's really fun when the guests are here," says Antonio, "It's an experience, they have direct contact with us, with the kitchen. Antonio Di Santo and Nicolas Avolos want to take their guests at Zum Heiligen Teufel to their home country of Italy and not only make use of the excellent quality of Italian food culture. 

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We convince ourselves of this right at the beginning with a selection of starters. We enjoy the classic stracciatella cheese with wild broccoli, salt lemon and bread crisps, and a delicious Vitello Tonnato (interpreted a little playfully with parsley dust). We also particularly like the romaine lettuce, which may not look like much but tastes all the more unusual and delicious for being lightly smoked. 

We are also served a salad of three different coloured beets with goat's cheese mousse, the starter to the weekly changing surprise menu that you can order alongside the à la carte menu (which is also seasonal). The three-course menu (you always have a choice of fish or meat) costs less than 40 euros - which is really fair for what is served here. In addition, there is the option to leave yourself entirely in the hans of the kitchen for the surprise menu. "Then we just let off steam a little. Starters to share, pasta entrees, main courses," Antonio explains.

And so we also enjoy a pasta course that finally sends us into raptures: delicious beetroot tagliatelle with parmesan, miso and truffles. Not only is the deep purple of the pasta visually striking, but it also tastes wonderfully earthy; the pasta is obviously handmade and wonderfully al dente (not that we expected anything else). The warm truffle flavour perfectly complements the subtle acidity of the beetroot. All in all, an excellent dish with a modern interpretation, which we naturally wish for - and get - a red wine to go with it. After a bit of wine tasting at the table we choose a Poggio al Lupo from Tuscany. 

The third course also impresses us, especially with its bold aroma. A pasta mixta with an ultra aromatic sauce of bergamot and shrimp tartar, on top of which a roasted shrimp exudes an intense scent of the sea and its inhabitants - you have to like it, we think it's great. Just like the following sea bass with oyster champagne sauce, lardo and mushrooms and the taco with lamb shank.

Zum Heiligen Teufel demonstrates what Italian cuisine can do, and it can do a lot! Our desserts couldn't be more different: one is enchantingly beautiful. Pera e Ricotta comes with a golden drop of dark chocolate on top. The other, well, let's just say we've seen prettier desserts - but the tiramisu in the flowerpot still has a convincing taste. Every now and then, you have to thank the devil.

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