Monday, June 9, 2008

Dinner at Al Contadino Sotto Le Stelle

Al Contadino Sotto Le Stelle is an amazing little Italian restaurant in old East Berlin that I went to once two years ago and have been gagging to get back to. The experience I had the first time there was something remarkable -- a table of 8 people I didn't know (one couple was a newly introduced friend of a friend who invited me along), and we never saw a menu. The food just came, and came, and came. I think we were there for six hours. Now, the food was absolutely amazing, but of course the experience was made that much better by the people and the wonderful time I had. So of course, I had to go back.

This time we were a smaller group; only three of us. And without knowing the owner, we got 'regular' service, which was just great, especially considering we had to communicate in engligermaspanitalian! The food was very good, and each dish was somehow unique. I wouldn't call this traditional Italian (although perhaps it is, from some part of Italy I don't know), but it was all very good.

Unfortunately I forgot the proper camera, so these are iPhone photos. Not the greatest so you'll have to use your imagination.

Kinda forgot to take a photo of the shared appetizer before it was nearly entirely devoured. All the menu called this was Salsiccia e formaggio alla griglia, or "grilled sausage and cheese". I suppose it's their little secret just what the sausage and cheese is, but let me tell you -- order it. It's fabulous. And it's served with this spicy sweet chutney thing that's to die for. YUM!

Salsiccia e formaggio alla griglia

My main course was Gnocchi di patate e zafferano con stufatino di coniglio, or "Potato gnocchi with saffron and… stewed rabbit? Rabbit stew?" Not sure, and I didn't really taste any rabbit, but the saffron gnocchi was delicious. Perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth smooth, just lovely.

Gnocchi di patate e zafferano con stufatino di coniglio

Overall a very good meal. Not the same memory as before, but one really shouldn't expect to re-live those kinds of memories. Definitely a restaurant worth visiting if you're up for good Italian in Berlin.
Dinner at Al Contadino Sotto Le Stelle
Auguststr. 34
10119 Berlin
+49 302819023

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rating: 4 feet
verdict: I really really wanted to come back and rate this one 5 feet. If I'd only been there this one time, it'd get only 3. So I'm gonna split the difference and go with 4 here. It really is a good restaurant, I was just expecting more from it that night -- probably unfairly so.