We had high hopes for Lochner, after reading all the great reviews. We both love to cook and we dread those dining out experiences that leave us saying "We could have done this better at home" so we can be hard critics. Lochner lived up to all our expectations. The setting is stylish in an understated way and the service was stellar, from the moment we walked through the door till they bid us farewell after calling a taxi for us. Nothing was too much trouble and all the staff went out of their way to offer advice, interpretation, any assistance we wanted - we didn't have to ask for it but we never felt pushed. We opted not to have the wine pairings on offer, rather to buy a single bottle of wine. Our knowledge of German wines is limited but when we explained to our lovely wait person Dahbea the type of red we enjoy, she explained the selections so we were able to make a choice we were very happy with. Since we chose a wine that was actually on offer in the menu pairings, she even let us taste from the open bottle before we committed to our choice.
The menu works very simply: there are two 'sets', each comprising five courses; I think they change each month. Prices are given under each dish if you wish to order only one or two. Otherwise you can choose 3, 4 or 5 courses at fixed prices (cheaper than the sum of the individual dishes). If you want wine pairings, they too are priced by the 3,4 or 5 course rates. You can dip in and out of either menu with your choices.
If we thought the service was good, the food was simply amazing - one of the best meals we've enjoyed anywhere, absolutely world class. The taste blitz began with a wonderful amuse bouche: a shot glass with a parfait of black lentils, topped with beautifully flavoured chopped veal tongue, and crowned with a creamy and delicate carrot puree - a perfect marriage of flavours and textures. We both chose the marinated trout for starters, which was fabulous and for mains we had the Brandenburger saddle of venison, which was cooked to perfection (I'd say medium-rare) and practically melted in the mouth. We tried both the desserts on offer and were as impressed with them as we were with the rest of the meal.
Lochner isn't cheap but we considered it to be good value as it really was a wonderful dining experience. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and hope we get back there some day.
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