Berlin, Germany (Gastrosofie). Well, the famous Berlin Boulevard, Kurfürstendamm, or Ku’damm for short is no longer what it used to be. In those bygone days it was the big stage for bourgeois self-expression on its 3.5 kilometres from Breitscheidplatz with the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächniskirche to Rathenauplatz, where the villa districts aside Grunewald begin. There were places of cultural awakening and culinary delicacies full of cultural flair. The “Café des Westens” (from 1932 “Café Kranzler”) and the “Lunapark” developed into institutions as the Ku’damm became the epitome of the Roaring Twenties of the 20th century, although they were not more than a dance on the volcano amidst the rise of the brown shirts. The Nazis burned themselves into social memory, but who remembers the legendary bar “Kakadu”?
Two miles to go out and enjoy degenerated into commercialism after the war – for the bourgeoisie elite, mostly Jewish, left the city never to come back. The petty bourgeoisie stayed on or came to visit. The boulevard was one of low intellectual and cultural level. After the fall of the wall, however, more and more cinemas and long-established cafes were closed, including the stages. Now, the Schaubühne on Lehniner Platz is still there, but what else? Outlets and offices seem to dominate and only few are of distinction.
The classics on Ku’damm still include Marmorhaus, Cumberland House and Hotel Kempinski (now Bristol), small charms like the historic kiosk at the corner of Uhlandstrasse and Kurfürstendamm 211 – eh alors La Maison de France, in which the Institut français, the Cinema Paris and the restaurant “Brasserie Le Paris”, which remain Berlin institutions, are housed and retained. And that is certainly for the better of todays Ku’damm – especially as long as Marie Bézian is in charge and gives you the impression that you could be on the Champs-Élysées or the Boulevard Saint-Germain.
The „Brasserie Le Paris“ offers authentic French food in the heart of the Ku’damm. “French flair for everyone”, so to speak, and then it can be French fries served with a salad and homemade sauce to round up an entrecôte grillée. A true Catalan doesn’t just take care of the French fries. Verily, Louis Laurent has the chef’s cap on in the kitchen. The menu shows what classic French bistro cuisine has to offer. In the “Brasserie Le Paris”, guests can “embark on an authentic, regionally and seasonally inspired culinary Tour de France”. The cyclists are off tomorrow from Nice, but nice for us we can go on tour at the Brasserie almost every day.
„Soupe à l’oignon gratinée au fromage ‚comme aux Halles'“ („Onion soup au gratin ‚like in Les Halles'“), „Soupe de poisson Saint Tropez avec croutons, rouille et fromage râpé“ („Fish soup ‚St-Tropez‘ with croutons, rouille and grated cheese „),“ 6 ou 12 Escargots de Bourgogne au beurre d’ail persillé „(“ Six Burgundy snails with herb butter „),“ Crottin de Chavignol, pain grillé, salade mesclun, lardons et miel de provence “ („Chavignol goat cheese, grilled bread, toasted bacon, salad and honey“) or „Foie gras de canard en terrine ‚Maison‘ brioche et chutney“ („Homemade duck foie gras terrine with brioche and chutney“) – that starts well and should stop doing it. A dinner until late at night only with “Entrées froides et chaudes” (“cold and hot starters”) – pourquoi pas ?!
No, nothing speaks against the “Tartes flambées”, the “Viandes grillées et plats cuisinés” and “Poissons et crustacés” and certainly not against the “Desserts et Fromages”. With a crème brûlée à la vanille Bourbon or “Assiette de fromages” (“fine French cheeses”) you might fade away into the night, but not without drinking a pastis after wonderful wines like an Orca from Maison Marrenon Ventoux. The grapes for the cuvée, 90 percent Grenache from vines over 60 years old and 10 percent Syrah, grow below Mont Ventoux on granular limestone soils in the Vaucluse department. The strong and complex wine is developed with finesse and ripe aromas such as tobacco and cherries in French oak barrels. Its soft tannins are pleasant and its finish is long. It goes well with lamb and game dishes. Selected wines from the Rhône, Burgundy and the Bordeaux wine-growing region complete the good variety of French wines.
Brassereie Le Paris
Address: Kurfürstendamm 211, 10719 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 88704655
Booking request: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open: Monday to Saturday noon to 11 pm, meals served until 10 pm
Christopher Prescott based on a text by Jean Camus.