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First Floor, Berlin

Hotel Palace
45 Budapester Strasse
Germany 10787
Tel: 49 30 2502 1020's insider take:

Ever wonder what happened to nouvelle cuisine after the French became bored with it? It crossed the Rhine and found a new life in Germany, where it's currently thriving—which is amazing, since it's been a good 20 years since Aubergine, Germany's most famous nouvelle cuisine restaurant, now defunct, wowed Munich. If the use of doilies in a restaurant often exists in inverse relation to the quality of the cooking served, the First Floor is the exception to the rule. Yes, the dining room is done up with loads of silver, showy glassware, ghastly flower arrangements, and ornate candelabras. However, young chef Matthias Buchholz is a major talent; his cream of watercress with glazed calf sweetbreads is a revelation, as is his venison with mushroom crêpes and celery root. Desserts are impressive, too, including an airy mascarpone mousse with lavender-scented honey.

Closed Sundays.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.