Riding the express train from Hamburg to Berlin was a very pleasant experience, crossing, as it did, open fields and farmland for many miles. The day was cloudy and overcast, but our spirits were bright because we were out exploring the world and, in particular, heading to Reinstoff, our first experience with a two Michelin star restaurant. (This post and the post about lunch at The Jane were not written in chronological order.)
Reinstoff is close to the Berlin train station, one of the reasons we chose it, but nonetheless we decided to take a taxi there. It is good that we did because I doubt we would have found it in good time, given the final few turns that were required.
The restaurant is housed in a refurbished industrial space where formerly light bulbs were made under license to Thomas Edison. The multitude of silver globes hanging from the ceiling are not only an interesting and functional design element, they also nicely symbolize the building’s historical importance. Other design elements include judicious use of mirrors, colors and lighting as well as a room within a room motif. The result is a space that is small and a bit industrial, but still warm and welcoming.
A young woman met us at the door, took our jackets and escorted us to a small corner table. There were thirteen tables, but only about three or four were filled while we were there. This was probably due to Reinstoff only recently opening for lunch and a general preference of Berliners to dine out in the evening. Consequently, Reinstoff may offer a rare opportunity to book lunch at a two Michelin star restaurant on short notice. I expect this opportunity will not last long, however.
The menu offers three, four and five course lunches. We chose the five course lunch, but when asked if we preferred to end with dessert or the cheese course, we answered “yes” and so had, if effect, a six course lunch. We were a little pressed for time as we wanted to beat the evening rush and catch the 3:00 PM train back to Hamburg. The staff calmly took this all into account and provided our expanded lunch in the allotted time without making things seem rushed in the least.
Service was first rate throughout the lunch. After a little initial stiffness, the staff we interacted with were professional, but also warm and relaxed. This contributed a lot (along with the interior design of the restaurant) to creating a feeling of being almost at home. I am trying to remember a flaw to report in the service, but cannot.
The food at Reinstoff was prepared in a modern, contemporary manner and was, according to the Michelin guide review “refined, inspired and sometimes original”. I especially appreciated that, although the preparation was contemporary in style, the chef had not lost touch with his German culinary heritage and included a game dish (venison) in the menu. Including an ingredient like red cabbage in the macaroons is another example (which was a little weird, but not at all bad).
Our overall experience at Reinstoff was memorable and I would highly recommend you go if you have the opportunity.
Reinstoff has received two Michelin stars. The restaurant’s website may be found by clicking here. Please note, the information in the Michelin guide says Reinstoff is only open for dinner, but the restaurant has recently opened for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays.
Finally, an interview with executive chef Daniel Achilles appeared in 2011. The interview also contains that recipe for goose liver ice cream you have been looking for!