Restaurant Zum Dritten Mann in Prenzlauer Berg: fine Austrian cuisine
A friend and I were in the mood for something different. The type of food that’s hard to find in this metropolis. Something Austrian.
Restaurant Zum Dritten Mann, right across the popular coffee-house Anna Blume, promises its guests to deliver just that: real Austrian cuisine. Recipes that date back to the days of Hapsburg emperors, mistresses with blue blood and composers from all over Europe who flocked to Vienna to work (and to live the good life).
Let’s start with the interior, which looks anything but Austrian. If you would have told me that we were visiting a bar in the New York of the 20′s, your observations would have been spot on. From the art deco walls to the sleek brown leather: nothing reminds to the décor of a country hidden in the Alps.
However, any doubt of its Austrianness was taken away upon reading their menu. From egg noodles to the famous Wiener Schnitzel to tender calf and chicken breast with a compote of forest fruits: the Austrians know how to dine.
Both my friend and I, cowards that we are, opted for the Wiener Schnitzel with lukewarm potato salat, cranberry marmalade and sour cucumber slices. Minutes later, the waitress arrived with a basket of bread and sweet beetroot butter, and an amuse of white asparagus creme, presented in a glass. I hate to exaggerate, but this was the best asparagus creme I have tasted to date. What a treat!
The Wiener Schnitzel was up next, and boy – do they deliver. I can’t recall being served a schnitzel of this size, which might say more about the restaurants I visit than Zum Dritten Mann. Now, this is the part of my review that made me give them three stars instead of four. The potato salad was delicious: the right temperature with the right amount of herbs. The cranberry compote could have been a bit finer in terms of texture, but it tasted delicious nonetheless. Can’t go wrong with the sour cucumber slices, so what made me take away that desired fourth star? I’m afraid it was the schnitzel. You see, when you cut a Wiener Schnitzel, you don’t expect the skin to come off entirely. After a while, it made no sense to pretend I was actually enjoying a schnitzel. Putting what was left of the coat of dough aside, the grey meat just didn’t look as appetizing as it would have with its skin on. Sure, it tasted just fine – but isn’t the crispy skin the whole point of ordering a schnitzel? Such a pity.
All was made up for with the cheese platter that we ordered for dessert. Grapes, a fine collection of cheeses, walnuts and chutney formed a savory palette that proved to be quite the challenge after eating the 200 grams of Vienna meat. Delicious.
Now, if only Zum Dritten Mann will fix their schnitzel-coating-techniques, I am sure that my friend and I are more than willing to give them a second chance. Perhaps, to be continued…
Restaurant Zum Dritten Mann
Open on weekdays (except for Monday!) from 12:00 – 24:00, weekends from 10:00 – 24:00