Leave the best for last as they say, and before leaving Berlin we found a table for four at The Grand restaurant known to serve international cuisine... It turned out to be much more than a simple restaurant.
From the outside it's a building like any other. Inside is a whole structure with a restaurant, a bar, a club and a ballroom. After 11pm all doors open to a fiesta. We started by having dinner while we prepared for the rest of the night.
We were invited to take a seat in the small room next to the large dining space. The story is that this building was an abandoned school before being transformed into a bar, restaurant and club. Where we sat was a glass fridge displaying the cuts of meat.
Black stones cover the floor, walls left as is before it was renovated, dimmed lights and old school chandeliers decorate the walls and tables covered with white table cloth and surrounded by wooden chairs that are far from relaxing. The main area has brick walls that have been left to naturally settle.
I loved the menu. Clean and clear as if it was printed the same day. Thick paper, printed on one side showcasing Italian and meat specialties. They also use a special grill which reaches a temperature of 800 degrees caramelizing the meat and achieving a different, unique taste. Oysters, duck, foie gras, lobsters and some cuts from around the world.
Our waiter, speaking perfect English with a pleasant accent, approached us for the order. We ordered sparkling and still water.
- Irish Hereford Prime is an outdoor beef from the Emerald Isle. Three weeks in Ireland, dry aged on the bone, seven days ripened, it has a strong but delicate flavor of dry aged melting beef.
- The Charolais beef is certified as having been reared in Germany or France with a delicate, fine flavor and almost no fat grain.
- The Grand Coast beef, a northern German, full grown female from east Friesland and Schleswig-Holstein, butchered and processed by Rico Schlegel and at least 35 days dry aged on the bone, very high fat marbling and an intense meat flavor.
- Suckling German veal, butchered and processed by Rico Schlegel and four weeks dry aged on the bone.
Details I liked:
- A bread plate with a butter knife.
- Arthur Krupp cutlery
- Selters waters
- Peugeot salt and pepper mills
- The seafood plate was ½ a lobster, four oysters, octopus salad, pink shrimp, pickled salmon tartar, smoked halibut and North Sea crab salad. It's a double level tower, one with ice and another with a plate of bread bites and a salad. The oysters were fine, the shrimp a bit hard to open, the lobster was excellent and tender and the other plate had bites of crab and salmon on an extremely chewy black bread. The octopus salad had a bit too many onions. A good start that I enjoyed despite the imperfections.
- After that, since I used my hands, I went down to the washrooms. That's something one must have a look at. A long corridor joins the building's two sides. Lightly lit and decorated with a long carpet, the washrooms maintain their old feel. Take the corridor to reach the bar. On the first floor is the club and one floor up is the ballroom. A huge institution.
- Excellent meat, really tender and juicy without any residual blood. A charcoal flavor, watery and enjoyable. Wow, it's way better than the one I had yesterday at Grill Royal. All the family ordered meat and they couldn't stop moaning from joy.
- The sides were as good as the meat. Thick golden fries perfectly fried and salted, spinach tender and enjoyable. The bacon wrapped around green beans was awesome, a piece of art.
- I also appreciated the Charolais meat, tender and delightful but not to be compared with my Irish cut. I reconfirm that The Grand's meat is exceptional.
- Don't skip desserts! The creme brûlée, three small plates served on one big one, are awesome. A vanilla creme brûlée, another pistachio creme brûlée and a portion of red berries and orange quarters. Delicious creme brûlée, a caramelized sugar layer and inside is the cream, rich cream, not sweet, served warm, vanilla or pistachio infused with some notes of coffee. A yummy treat indeed.
The small imperfections:
- The lights are too low.
- On the bar side, under ground near the washrooms, members of staff were smoking in this tight and closed space. My clothes smelled of cigarettes for the night. Is smoking allowed indoors in Germany?
Wow, simply wow, I loved everything about this restaurant except the lighting, which could have been a bit stronger. Recommended for sure.