Reinstoff, 2* Michelin Food, Mitte

Update 2011 - Reinstoff received a second Michelin star this year, which is great news for them! Yay!  

I agonized over where to take my friend Stephen when he came to visit from London.  He has worked in so many Michelin starred kitchens (and recently, won his own) that if I was going to to take him somewhere fancy, it had to be good.  I settled on Reinstoff because it seemed inordinately difficult to get a table there, which is very ‘London’ in a city where most restaurants are closed for lunch because there isn’t enough custom.  Flicking through their slick website cinched my decision.

It’s hard to find Reinstoff, I wandered up and down the quiet residential street in Mitte twice wondering how I could have possibly missed such a striking restaurant?  Then, I remembered the word Höfe in the address and turned into one of the more modern buildings, into a cobblestone courtyard, and there it was, glowing, with the distinct metal orbs just visible through the gauzy curtains.

The space is genius, really, congratulations to that interior designer.  A wall of glass on one side, the remaining three walls each clad in a kind of rectangular cove into which tables of two (and a few four) are set, larger tables in the center, with glistening metal balls hanging from the ceiling at varying heights.  Industrial metal ventilation traverse the partly red brick ceiling bringing a rough contrast to precious design on the ground.

The lighting architect deserves the second award, there are spots of bright light which fade abruptly into inky darkness, the combination of light and dark, glistening and matt, all work together to make a very comfortable room and although beautiful and modern, not intimidating at all.

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