The restaurant Die Quadriga in Berlin has 840 different German wines in their wine cellar providing Chef Bobby Bräuer with the perfect playground to pair his culinary creations.
Die Quadriga is an intimate restaurant that has rightly earned its star from Michelin. Edward F. Nesta and I had dinner at Die Quadriga in March 2006, and had the opportunity to meet with Chef Bobby Bräuer and talk about his culinary vision.
After the interview with Chef Bobby, we began our evening in the Quadriga-Lounge, chatting with Bartender Christian Brugner about cocktail trends in Berlin. One thing you won't find on the Quadriga-Lounge menu is classic cocktails, what they do have though, are innovative cocktails with names like Kimono, Mandarin Spice, Iceflower, and Plum Pudding featuring premium ingredients, fresh juices, fresh mint and less garnishes. Although Christian's favorite cocktail on the menu is the Iceflower (Lime, Havana Club Rum, Honey, Champagne), we decided to try the Kimono (Skyy Vodka, Lime, Ginger, Jasmin Tea) and the Moskau Club (Absolut Black Currant, Cassis, Cranberry, Grapefruit), which we enjoyed while continuing our cocktail discussion.
The restaurant has two dining rooms, a more traditional room done in blue, and a more contemporary room done in red. We had dinner in the gorgeous red dining room, which has a series of five original paintings by a Spanish artist of a young woman dressed in red on a swing, that literally captivated my eyes as I followed her progression on the swing and the wide range of her emotions in each of the paintings around the room. The elegant room has a sparkling crystal chandelier hung from the ornate tiered ceiling, the tables were draped with white linens, crisp white linen napkins rolled into tall columns stood straight and tall on white china set on silver charger plates, there were bright red and pink poppies in silver vases, and votive candles on each of the tables, with red velvet chairs completing the ambience. To add a bit of surprise, there was one lone blue velvet chair set in the corner.
Our waiter Michael brought us an aperitif of champagne and the first of Chef Bobby's "greetings;" salmon bread, cheese straws, mini pizzas and fabulous king crab balls that had a crispy exteriors, and succulent moist interiors; I would have loved a plate of them as a main course.
Another greeting followed of a cream soup of bell pepper that had an interesting orange flavor and was accompanied with pesto crostini; a paper-thin wafer of monkfish sat on a bed of finely julienne leeks that was absolute perfection, and kidneys on a bed of chopped sweet beets offered a nice contrast with accompanying foam. Our Sommelier paired the greetings with a 2004 Riesling, Dr. Loosen, Mosel which had a crisp and fresh nose of green apple with white peaches, green apples and vanilla en bouche.
For our third greeting from Chef, there was ravioli of foie gras on Madras curry with snow peas and baby asparagus for Edward and fried shrimp on Madras curry with snow peas for me.
By the fourth greeting, we were becoming well acquainted with Chef Bobby's style. This time the greeting was mackerel on dried codfish with figs and olive oil drizzled on the plate, which was presented with a slight crust of sea salt and herb finish on the mackerel, and tiny figs provided a complementary sweetness to the dried codfish.
Each of the courses were brought out on a large rectangular silver tray adorned with a white bowl of flowers, adding an elegant touch to the service.
Now that the greetings were complete, we moved on to more serious fare beginning with Lobster with artichoke and Olivetti-tomatoes, paired with a 2004 Würzburger Stein, Silvaner Kabinett trocken, Weingut am Stein, Franken. The half lobster had a wafer of a lime slice, and a standing terrine of chopped wedges of artichoke bottoms and tomatoes, with lime oil and balsamic vinegar that was a delightful combination of flavor.
We continued with Frog's legs and cepes, served as a consommé of cepes, and two moist and tender frog legs wearing white frilled paper were presented on a small rectangular plate with chopped tomatoes, garlic oil and herbs. A finger bowl of water accompanied the frog legs with a slice of lemon and a rose petal garnish. The frog's legs were paired with a 2004 Weissburgunder, Sonnenschein, "Grosses Gewöchs", Rebholz, Pfalz.
Tasting continued with Sea bass and calf's head broth with celeriac and walnut oil, paired with a 2003 Cuvée Victor, Schlossgut Diel, Nahe, a powerful wine aged 18 months in a new barrel, with an earthy nose and crisp finish.
Our tasting menus diverged here, with Edward tasting the Poulard with black Perigord truffle and finished with chicken broth and wine, paired with a 2003 Spötburgunder "Casper C", Deutzerhof, Ahr, produced in the smallest wine region of Germany, but is the largest red wine region in Germany, with a powerful aromatic nose of pepper and spice, spicy notes and heavy tannins en bouche.
I had the St. Pierre with poached black olives with mussels, capers, Fleur de Sel and sultanas, which was perfectly paired with a 1998 Riesling, Auslese, Trittenbeimer Apotheke, Weingut Josef Rösch, Mosel that was a deep golden color and had an aromatic fruity and apricot nose with essence of dried fruit, dried apricots, cherries, pineapple and even banana en bouche, and had a creamy, long finish.
Although the cheese cart looked fabulous, we decided on dessert instead, and had wild strawberries from Malaga served with a warm sweet cream "soup" flavored with vanilla and dusted with sugar, accompanied by homemade vanilla ice cream topped with chopped green pistachios and fresh mint, with an impressive spun sugar crown.
Of course after all of the greetings from the chef, he now had to send his regards with a plate of temptations including paper thin freeze dried candied orange and lime slices, deep fried basil leaves, bitter chocolate cake dusted with powdered sugar, Florentine cookies and candied rose petals that we had to savor.
Read the Chefs' Recipes section for an interview with Chef Bobby Bräuer, as well as for his special recipe for John Dory on Apple with Pancetta.
Eislebener Strasse 14-D
10789 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (030) 21 40 56 50
Fax: +49 (030) 21 40 51 00
Please read articles on Berlin in the Destinations, Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections, as well as past articles on Berlin in the Hotels and Resorts, and Music Scene sections.
© June 2006. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com. All rights reserved.