Bamberger Reiter, the Michelin one-star located in Schöneberg (southwest of the center), is the perfect fusion restaurant—three small, snug, dining rooms that are exactly what the Germans mean when they say gemütlich—and a menu of nouvelle cuisine, "but modern and with a slight German accent," according to chef-proprietor Cristoph Fischer.
My dinner here was superb, from the opener, a "tartare" of chanterelle mushrooms, using fresh, regional mushrooms that are slightly roasted, to the loup de mer (remember, this restaurant has a French accent). Like all the fish served here, the loup is caught with a hook and line, not netted, because Fischer believes that hooked fish tastes better. "A fish caught in a net dies of shock and is already dead when pulled into the boat," he says. "The one that is hooked fights until the bitter end, thus the meat is stronger. It tastes like fish."
In between I had a fillet of venison in Brikteig, a flaky pastry dough, and Waldpilzschaumsuppe, a seasonal soup of local mushrooms that had a foamy lightness obtained by letting the soup boil and then combining it with heavy cream.
The meal pace is sedate—intentionally. His ambition, says the 28-year-old Fischer, is to create the atmosphere of a small Tyrolean restaurant. "Even though it might sound a bit cheeky," he says, "I would say that Bamberger Reiter is unique in Berlin. Everyone else is trying to be very modern and chic. I have always liked cozy little restaurants like ours." $150-$210. Regensburger Strasse 7; 49-30-218-428-2; fax 49-30-214-747-99.