Margaux, *, The Vegetable Menu, Mitte

I’m going to make this one short because as a rule, I don’t dwell on disappointments and that is what Margaux was.

You have 2 choices at Margaux, the vegetarian menu (€125 although on their website it is advertised as €110) for which it is known and a fish and meat menu (€175 again the website says €140).  Our table had decided on the vegetarian menu before we had even set foot in the restaurant.  You see, Margaux has its own vegetable garden in the Potsdam area where it grows 200 heirloom varieties of vegetables.  Things like Mexican cucumber, a vegetable the size and shape of a kumquat but which looks like it could be a mini dinosaur egg. Good right? Exciting even! (For someone like me)

The aspirations didn’t translate onto the plate.  At all.  There were entire dishes which were bewildering to my friends and I.  One in particular of blanched vegetable sticks lined up on a plate, the way you would do for a child, with packet of store-bought carrot sticks.  And look at the carrot stick, it’s not even uniformly cut! You know when we learned that one at Leiths? Day 1, the same day we made chunky chickpea dip.   Read more of this post

Vern Summer Festival, Outside Berlin

Sylee and I went to the Vern summer festival this saturday.

We won the lottery on the weather, it was sunny the entire day, with fat fluffy clouds gliding lazily against the back drop of endless blue sky.

We stopped by the Brodowin farm to see some cows, get an ice cream and soak in the country side. We gushed and cooed over how beautiful the country side is and mentally I chided myself for not going into it more.Calling it the Vern summer festival made me imagine an entirely different event. Homemade jams being hawked, open expanses with bales of hay, maybe some music, certainly some flags. I think I am guilty of watching too many American films and reading too many lifestyle magazines. The Vern festival was very modest. A stall each for honey, smoked fish, tomatoes, eggs, potted flowers and potatoes. Proper country folk, with sensibly short haircuts for men and women.

The garden is tiny but grows a wide variety of heirloom plants. That’s what Vern is all about, preserving these varieties.

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