Berlin Stories. Contributed by Jens Hoffmann.
Everyone knows Berlin is hot and the “Ellington” is one of my favourite places, a historical hotel in the western part of booming Berlin.
It is where Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington played in the legendary “Badewanne” club, where David Bowie, Romy Haag and Lou Reed celebrated, where heroes of the Ufa film studios – and later german TV stars as Günter “Pfitze” Pfitzmann and Edith Hancke – stood on the stage of the “Berliner Theater”, it was David Bowies favourite place during his Berlin time (“Djungle”) in the 70ies, the building remodelled as the Ellington Hotel has a long, distinguished tradition.
The hotel created within historical walls and the hotel moved into a renowned address, which is also famous for design and architecture. “Haus Nürnberg”, as it was originally called, is decorated with one of the longest, most eye-catching and perhaps one of the most attractive façades in Berlin. The building entrances and the shop front windows have brass frames – which also contributes to the smart outer appearance of this commercial building, which was built in 1928-31 under the influence of the trailblazing buildings of the Berlin architect Erich Mendelsohn. Inside the building the entrance halls, staircases and several rooms and halls have retained the charm of the late nineteen-twenties and early thirties. A “fantastic capital attraction” is what the “Deutsche Bauhütte” magazine called the “Femina-Palast” ballroom in 1932, which it presented to German architects as the “newest entertainment venue in Berlin”.
The “Femina” was officially opened on 1 October 1929: “Berlin’s Ballroom” is the self-assured subhead on the posters advertising a seating capacity for 2,000 people, “two enormous bars and three bands”, “daily tea dance”, “cover charge 2.50” and “dance attractions”.
Its worth it.
My resto tip #1 “NENI”. In the evening we enjoyed a nice restaurant at the zoo and it became straight away one of my new favourite restaurants in Berlin.
It is located in the the hotel 25hours at the zoo, the dining room is loft style, just cool. Tables are generously spaced, set with good quality linen tablecloths. The kitchen is well staffed. We tried the whole menu, fish, meat, jacob mussels and hummus.
Everything was perfect, most of the vegetables on the menu came from local gardens.
The wine list has coverages from France, Germany, Italy and Spain in particular, with some rare wines as well. All together with a nice Riesling Philipp 2012.
This worked well with the food, the textural contrast of the different kind of foods was delicious effective and everything tasted very fresh.
The food was attractively presented and had a delicious Israelian style taste.
Dessert came in three stages. Classic NY cheesecake, ice and lovely chocolate brownies.
This is a restaurant that can produce genuinely nice food and the control of balancing flavors was impressive. Yummy.
Resto tip: #2 “Duke” in the Hotel Ellington.
(Meisterköche 2013 – Florian Glauert – “Startup” Chef de Cuisine / Berliner Meisterköche 2013 / Winner)
In the restaurant you will be surprised by perfect decor, very modern, white walls, very minimalist.
I had a Wiener Schnitzel with potato/cucumber salad for lunch.
It was a nice experience, excellently prepared.
Further must do’s in Berlin: Liquidrom – an fantastic spa.