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Nobelhart & Schmutzig

When you’re familiar with the fact that the Currywurst (a sausage served with ketchup and some curry powder) is Berlin’s most famous dish, the idea of a “brutally local“ restaurant probably sounds a bit intimidating. This is how 35 year old Billy Wagner, Germany’s best and most bearded sommelier, calls the concept of his restaurant which has caused a stir in German high gastronomy since its opening in early 2015 – it scored its first Michelin star nine months later. Nothing from the 10 course set menu comes from more than 120 km outside of the city, young chef Micha Schäfer exclusively works with regional producers to create a menu so simple it seems almost calvinist – Schäfer studied theology before he turned to cooking. A piece of char from the river Müritz appears almost untouched on the plate, a warming potato soup is served with a deeply aromatic slice of blood sausage and mustard, it screams for a glass of the traditional sour beer “Berliner Weiße“ from the fantastic one-woman brewery Schneeeule. Billy Wagner’s drinks selection – mainly natural wines next to great classics, beers, fantastic fruit wines from France and Denmark and a cool Schnaps list – is as exquisite and extensive as it is personal. Allow him to express himself by by pouring you some surprises by the very wooden counter where everyone is seated around the open kitchen. The music? A Dual 701 turntable is spinning personal favs from the staff.