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Promptly following the official start of winter, the first snow fell in Berlin today, and the sudden cold made me especially glad Sue and I had arranged to go to Weinstein. With its simple dark-wood furniture, snug interior, and bottle-lined or barrel-studded walls, Weinstein is the epitome of coziness; above, you can even see the traditional tiled oven in one corner, now purely decorative.

We shared a plate of French raw-milk cheeses, accompanied with crusty white and multigrain dark breads, and sampled a few of their red wines (a simple Languedoc Cabernet Sauvignon for me followed by a deep cherry Spätburgunder), and watched the place fill up and talked. Snacking and sampling has always been my favourite approach to Weinstein; though they have highly regarded three- and four-course menus matched with wines for around 36 to 44 EUR, I've always found their cooking competent but lacking the dimension that makes you close your eyes in pleasure. But their snacks - garlicky breads, the cheese plate, or a plate of local sausages, meats and cheeses from the Brandenburg region - are just the thing to nibble at while contemplating what to try next.

Weinstein, Lychenerstr. 33 (map)
Tel. 441 18 42 (reservations for larger groups are not a bad idea on weekend nights)
Open Mo-Sa 5 pm to 2 am, Sun 6 pm to 2 am


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