Käfer An Enchanting Rooftop Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

They say location is everything in real estate and that saying rings equally true for restaurants. Käfer sits on top of the Bundestag (the current national parliament of Germany) in Berlin.

The Reichstag, which refers to the parliament building, was completely renovated in 1992 and when completed in 1999, a gleaming, glass dome sat atop the building. The dome is a shining example of modern Germany. The glass enclosure offers visitors a 360-degree view of the stunning city and is open for tours. East of the dome sits Käfer. It is the only parliament building in the world with a restaurant open to the public. The modern German menu and the breathtaking panoramic view of the historic city make this a fantastic choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Location: Käfer Rooftop Restaurant at Bundestag Platz der Republik 1, Berlin, Germany

Menu: The dinner menu features meat, vegetarian, and vegan and gluten-free options. Starters like Sea & Forest, combine lobster tartar, venison consommé with curly endive and daikon salad. The dish highlights the creative vision of the kitchen. In addition, entrees include poached pheasant, Savoy cabbage roulade, and Atlantic Halibut with mussels, yellow beetroot, and Brussel sprouts. The delicate flavors and the artistic plating add to the fine-dining experience.

Thoughts: When you make reservations at this unique restaurant, you can either arrive for just a meal or arrange a tour of the dome that stands proudly nearby. You need to register 24 hours in advance with all the names and dates of birth in your party. You can arrive before your reservation with a photo id. Once inside, you are offered a free audio tour within the dome, which explains the amazing feat of engineering that also doubles as a green energy source for the building.

Equally beautiful is the austere interior inside Käfer. The windows span from the floor to the ceiling, and palette consists of muted, beige chairs with white linens, crystal glasses, and azure plates. The service is impeccable. You are greeted and offered a wine list, sparkling or still water, and your menus. As in most European dining rooms, the server visits your table often but lets the meal unfold slowly.

Our party of four was interested in sharing in a cheese plate that was an item on the dessert menu. We inquired if we could have the plate as an appetizer and doubled the portion so the four of us could share. We paired the appetizer course with a German Riesling that was bone dry with sparkling acidity. It tasted superb, especially paired with the cheese.

Second, we each ordered something different from the entree selections to sample other’s choices. I ordered the Atlantic Sea Halibut which was served with delicate mussels, yellow beets, Brussel sprouts, oyster mushrooms, and black garlic. The subtle flavors melded to create a composed dish that was very satisfying. The fish and the mussels were fresh and delicate. It was sublime.

My guests ordered the poached pheasant breast, duck breast, and venison filet.

The pheasant, accompanied by potato puree and cranberries, looked stunning on the plate. The tart cranberries made a vibrant and bright tasting sauce on top of the pheasant, which was tender and well seasoned.

The duck breast was prepared perfectly after braising and pan-frying the protein. The duck, served with red cabbage, a dense bread dumpling, quince, and roasted almonds, displayed a modern take on German cuisine.

Finally, the venison fillet sat alongside a chunky and sweet apple chutney and chestnut puree. The venison was also tender and the game paired beautifully with the accompaniments. The portion sizes were appropriate and the flavors left us fully satisfied.

Price Range: Breakfast is between 10-30 Euro. The main course for lunch is around 20 Euro. A main course for dinner is about 30 Euro.

Jeanine Consoli
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