We headed to Lochner because it has good reviews and is a short eight minute walk on a picturesque path from the Intercontinental hotel in Berlin. The restaurant is lovely with hidden beauty like the spiral staircase, strawberry plants in glass vases on the tables and a wide and welcoming elegantly set patio area for al fresco dining.
Service was warm, impeccably timed and gracious - it set the tone for a wonderful - if tragically short evening (sadly my husband had to return to the hotel within 100 minutes for a late scheduled business meeting). With the timing difficulty was there hope for our romantic and great tasting meal? Absolutely. Chef Lochner's creations transported us for almost two hours to a place where we reveled in great food and wine, cared for by gracious hosts in a lovely setting.
In Lochner - named for its very talented Chef, there are several tasting meal offerings with optional wine pairings offered, plus a la carte dining. In other restaurants, it has been my experience that wine pairings are not always good, but Lochner's were well matched with their inventive and harmonious dishes, and wonder of wonders, from sparkling to whites and reds, all wine pairings were German. Fantastic!
Chef Lochner's team gave us the flexibility required to have a heavenly meal within what could have been a stressfully short time period. The staff took care of us in every way, their introductions to dishes or wine offerings were graciously timed and enticed us to learn more without condescending to the client or disregarding our other commitments. How novel to have three women so adept with timing and making guests feel at ease, that they were able to give us such a rich and welcoming experience and still get us to work on time. Thank you, Lochner!
The meal was amazing, one of the best we have had in Berlin - without any of the fussiness or stress so often present in other environments. The staff provided a warm and beautiful setting, paired wines with our a la carte meals so well that they perfectly complemented the dishes artfully crafted and presented by a very talented chef, and transported us with flavor. From the amuse-bouche of fresh salmon, calamari and fresh dill, to the appetizers of pork three ways and an incredibly magical veal tartare wrapped in a thin slice of deep red fresh salmon, we were entranced by the depth of flavor and impeccable balance. On every plate the vegetables are not garnish but pack an incredible depth of delicate flavor that was at once delightful and strong enough to balance the rest of the dish with precision.
In the face of the meal, there could be no more thoughts of business, just the joy that came with incredible service, perfectly paired german wines with deliciously balanced dishes and great company. The star of the evening was how much we enjoyed our time at Lochner.
Seriously, we loved this meal. Our only regret is that we could not stay for dessert. I had many great meals in Berlin this week, at Lokal, Katz-Orange and Weinbar Rutz to name just a few...but Lochner created a night that I will treasure for years to come. If you are interested - the menu changes according to the availability of elements, our entrees were cod with kohlrabi "noodles" and a dish of venison with chanterelles (and a deeply flavored jus). Wonderful! I hope to return to Berlin as the food has been incredible.
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