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Two or three lunches at das Lokal

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You'll remember my enthusiasm for Kantine, the temporary restaurant Maren Thimm and Gary Hoopengardner set up in architect David Chipperfield's parking lot, so you'll imagine my delight when they found a permanent location on a sunny corner of Linienstraße. The light floods across the rough whitewashed walls on a windy afternoon, glinting off the eel-catcher lamps. They brought the floorboards from the old location, and one still eats off Katja Buchholz's rough-hewn tables made from reclaimed wood. Now a shiny metal barcounter, laden with fragile, pale hydrangeas and two kinds of chocolate cake, catches your eye when you enter through the unmarked entrance.

Das Lokal is bustling and full of beautiful people in the evenings; at lunchtime, art types gather and talk business with their elbows on the tables. On offer are dishes with European and American influences prepared with mostly local ingredients (the beef comes from Schorfheide, just north of Pankow). But if you get there at noon on a Saturday, hardly anyone's there. I leafed through their copy of Coco in blissful silence while savoring my poached eggs.

The staff is as brisk and smiling as ever, quick to bring a clean spoon when yours clatters to the floor. It's become my default place for lunch whenever I need to be in the neighborhood. I met Suzy there after a round of Christmas errands to Haut + Sein and RSVP (see her beautiful pictures of our visit here). I plotted a visit to the Berliner Ensemble one afternoon with Donna (the Wilson/Wainwright take on Shakespeare's sonnets), and sketched a list of Berlin must-sees (the Neues Museum!) when I met Molly, a food writer in town for a conference on smell.

Meanwhile, I've been eyeing the bar food menu, served from 5pm. I imagine a glass of wine from a German vintner, a little plate of meatballs or rilettes on toast, eaten on one of the sidewalk tables. The light would change from gold-red to the pinkish blue that leaves me tingling when I see it, signaling as it does the summer in Berlin.

Das Lokal, American & German-influenced bistro dishes made with care using regional ingredients, Linienstraße 160, Berlin-Mitte (map)
Open Sunday and Monday from 5pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays from noon.
Tel. +49/30 28449500

Comments

Can't wait to check this place out!

Hello Sylee, nice to hear from you again at long last as I've been wondering what you've been doing and have missed your posts. Thanks for the tip about this place - I hadn't heard about it before and it sounds wonderful. I only have a few weeks left in Berlin so want to take in as many good things as possible. Das Lokal is definitely on my list :-) Take care.

I loved meeting you, Sylee. And I loved Das Lokal, too. Mmmmm.

I haven't been back since we went. Going there for lunch on Saturday is a great idea!
Oh and loved, loved, loved Da Baffi. You always find the best places.

oh, we must go together sometime soon!

i love lokal and every time I visit I comment on how much I love their tables, and now I know the designer- thank you for the link! As good as their food is, it might be the gorgeous window light in there that keeps me coming back :)

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