The Frankfurt Files (V): Silk/Micro

Fond of electro, techno and house music? Ever heard of the DJ legend Sven Väth? If yes, the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt should be immediately on your mind. If no, but you are food-interested, or maybe a real foodie, you should definitely add this location due its fabulous restaurants Silk and Micro where Mario Lohninger is both chef de cuisine and host… Restaurants in a club, hmmm…

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Michelin 2010 Germany – Consolidation?

An anniversary year for Michelin in Germany – the 100th edition. So, time for ground-breaking news? What is very apparent from the stats is that Germany has seen a rather promising development since Juliane Caspar had taken over in 2004

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Joachim Wissler – Up to New Heights?

Vendome (thanks to Food Snob)

Vendôme (thanks to Food Snob)

A new menu concept? Interesting.

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Aqua – Play it Again, Sven!

After all the recent praises you might wonder whether I would ever again report about bad meals (remember King Kamehameha and Can Fabes!). Contrary to professional restaurant testers I can choose the restaurants I visit and most of the time I choose wisely, especially in the last months 🙂 So don’t be disappointed that another highlight will follow now… (Actually I had two quite dissatisfactory meals whereas I will not report on the first as it is not worth the effort and maybe needs some double-checking on the second).

In the last months a lot of foodies approached me to get insights about how Germany’s new three star chef Sven Elverfeld is doing at Aqua. Although I had been to Wolfsburg in November last year for the International Food & Wine Festival (a very good diner of Passard by the way) I had not eaten the creations of Sven Elverfeld since November 07 when the third star was clearly in sight. Time for an update…

The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg

The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg

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Margaux – One of A Kind

Most chefs at high-end restaurants are obsessed in a very positive way – either with execution, product quality, presentation or creativity. Michael Hoffmann of Margaux in Berlin is all of that but maybe to an even greater extent. In the last couple of years he built up an immense knowledge of herbs both known and forgotten and developed a touch for vegetables which overall results in a very unique cuisine.

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The Frankfurt Files (III): Français*

After the Guides had been out it was clearly time to revisit the Restaurant Français at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, the only Grand Hotel in Frankfurt. After the hotel and the restaurant have been renovated before the Soccer World Championship in 2006 Patrick Bittner, the chef de cusine at Français, had been cooking with new esteem but the brigade and very much the atmosphere stayed the same.

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The Frankfurt Files (II): Großfeld – Gastraum der Sinne

Ha, this is not a Frankfurt restaurant strictly speaking, you might say and you are right. Großfeld’s Gastraum der Sinne is located in Dorheim, a part of Friedberg about 20 minutes from Frankfurt. But, my files files intend to give you some orientation on your journey to culinary delights when you are in and around Frankfurt. Maybe the “around” enlargement is due to the fact that in Frankfurt itself good fine dining is rather rare.

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The Frankfurt Files (I): King Kamehameha Suite*

Not only since the recent financial crisis eating out and especially fine dining has been very difficult in Frankfurt. Why one is tempted to ask? In a city (previously) full of wealthy investment bankers, consultants and the like one would think of plenty of money pouring into gastronomy which in turn could lead to an increase in food quality on average. It turns out that in fact prices are (still) very high on the one star level (about €110 for 5-7 courses for what you get a nice “small” menu at most of the three star places) and the average quality below the starred restaurants is generally perceived as quite poor – some exemptions will be covered in separate later post….

Reasons? I can only suspect that the normal Frankfurt fine diner is more of a business client who wants a decent lunch or dinner and is not that much interested in breathtaking experiences which could interrupt the flow of business. One piece of evidence is that three of the one star places are closed on the weekend (Erno’s Bistro, Francais, Villa Merton). Only outside of Frankfurt, about 20 mins south, Juan Amador has successfully established a high-end restaurant now carrying three stars.

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Happy New Year!

After a year of wonderful and less wonderful meals, it is time to lean back and share some thoughts after, well, after a short night full of delicious food, delicious wines and nice company. We ended the event by having some delicious “Berliner” which are jam-filled doughnuts traditionally eaten at NYE and around Karneval (Mardi Gras) – taking this simple shot took me so long that I cannot publish on Jan 1, grrr…

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Sackmann – The Third Power in Baiersbronn

The pittoresque village of Baiersbronn is a gourmet treasure – in-midst of the Black Forest you can find seven Michelin stars – three for Harald Wohlfahrt at Schwarzwaldstube in the Hotel Traube Tonbach, three for Claus-Peter Lumpp at the Bareiss (promoted in November 2007) and one for Jörg Sackmann in the Restaurant Schlossberg in the family-owned Hotel Sackmann. More than in Bergisch-Gladbach which hosts two three star chefs (Nils Henkel and Joachim Wissler) and, well, I haven’t done the math, maybe with nearly the same stars per capita ratio as in San Sebastian. Quite remarkable.

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