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Zur Letzten Instanz, Berlin

14-16 Waisenstrasse
Germany 10179
Tel: 49 30 242 5528
view web site ›'s insider take:

Because it is Berlin's oldest restaurant, founded in 1621 and hidden away in an improbably quaint warren of medieval lanes, you might conclude that this place is a "George Washington ate here"-style tourist trap to be avoided. Wrong. Despite the restaurant's notoriety, service in the small dining rooms is friendly if not always efficient, and the kitchen turns out solid, tasty Berliner favorites like Eisbein (pork knuckle), the house specialty, which comes correctly accompanied by sauerkraut, pea purée, and boiled potatoes. Though nowhere near as overpriced, this cozy spot plays the same role in Berlin as L'Ami Louis does in Paris: It's an old-fashioned bolt-hole beloved of powerful people when they get an urge for something simple. Thus it's no surprise that Mikhail Gorbachev popped in for a beer in 1989, or that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder hosted French president Jacques Chirac at a bons vivants' meal here in 2003. The menu is a hearty roster of eternal German favorites, including pickled herring rémoulade with fried potatoes; Rinderroulade, braised rolled stuffed beef with red cabbage and potato dumplings; and calf's liver with apples, onions, and mashed potatoes. On a chilly night, cozy up to the 200-year-old Majolica-tiled furnace in the tap room.

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