Reviewed by Shanky
Brasserie an der Alten Oper
This brasserie, in a break from my other visits, is not an apfelwiene place. Its actually more French than German, but the reason it appears in the review (other than the fact that I went there) is the location. For those of you who understand German, the name means Brasserie at the Old Opera House (for those of you who don’t speak German, well it means exactly the same thing). And that’s where its charm lies. The Old Opera House is a magnificent piece of architecture, restored meticulously and lighted brilliantly though I hear that its popularity as a venue for performances has gone to the new Opera House. The opera house itself stands in a huge tiled square, conveniently reachable by a metro stop. On the edge of the square, almost beside the metro station is the Brasserie. As is the practice of most of these places, good weather sees the chairs of the Brasserie spill over into the Opera Square. And of course, that’s really where you should sit. The inside is small, very crowded and very smoky, and the seating places are so small that you have to resist the temptation to pick your neighbor’s salad.
Outside – al fresco, weather permitting, is spacious and has the view. Not that seats are any easier to get – this place seems very popular. But then, while waiting you can always take a walk in the square and admire the beautiful Opera House. Don’t pass up on the food and drink, though. This place has very good food – more French than German but who cares. The salads (and this is not your usual American mish mash of lettuce) were recommended, and the two I had were fabulous – a rich tasty hare terrine and a salmon something. The portions are huge as usual, so a salad is actually more like a small meal. I never reached the entrees, though they have a long list of those too. Now to the drinks (that’s what this is about after all). Being a French restaurant this place had a good choice of wines, and of course the standard range of beers. The salads went very well with the house wines on offer, and the view added to all of it to make it a very pleasant experience indeed. This is the ideal place for an early drink; the view makes for relaxation while the salads and drinks make for conversation and a constantly pleasant taste in the mouth. The place is moderately expensive, though not wildly so. The service is patchy, specially in busy times. Credit cards are accepted with reluctance below $25 or so.