Monday, March 29, 2010

Facil: It's Easy to Love

Berlin offers a smorgasbord of dinging experiences - arguably the most diverse selection of restaurants in Germany. You can find American burger joints, home cooked Turkish meals, traditional Bavarian fare. The range is as eclectic as the city's history and current population.

If you're looking for a haute cuisine experience, Berlin's Facil restaurant offers a truly remarkable one. Nestled atop the Mandala Hotel, Facil blends effortlessly into the elegance and Euro-sophistication of its luxury hotel home.

Minimalism is the mantra at Facil, where the cuisine has French inspiration but draws on regional cuisine as a base. The ambiance is refined and relaxed, from the green walls sporting cool gray marble wall panels and a Giallo Reale Patinalo-tiled floor. You'll feel you're eating in a hidden sanctuary, under a glass ceiling that offers stunning sunlight at lunch or the glow of Berlin's lights in the evening.

But don't let the elegance of the place distract you too much - the food here is seriously good. Facil is one of Germany's finest restaurants, and boasts a Michelin star. The food is exquisite.

Chef Michael Kempf offers a six course menu that changes every few nights. The dishes present a structural twist that combines unusual flavors and textures into memorable forms on the plate. Imagine individual amuse buches in colors so vibrant they remind you of spring flowers, or a squab with roasted fruit sauce that is simply presented, but explodes with flavor.

Facil's service also deserves special recognition. The staff are warm and hospitable, offering thoughtful suggestions on wine pairings (we were very impressed with sommelier Felix Voges's recommendations throughout our meal) and insights into the ingredients in each dish as requested, too. This wasn't one of those intimidatingly nice restaurants - it was a first class dining experience that was accessible and unpretentious.

And by the way, the desserts are so beautiful, it's almost hard to eat them. Almost. Until you realize how delectably delicious they are. . .

5th Floor, inner courtyard
The Mandala Hotel
Potsdamer Str. 3
Tiergarten, Berlin