It's not often you get to fall in love with a restaurant. But Berlyn will tempt you. It's German roots don't stray very far from its Austrian predecessor, Thomas Beisl, which led the way for fine dining in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood.
Located across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music the space boasts arched French doors, marble floors and an ornate ceiling. There are lamps in the shapes of tulips and tiny song birds find themselves perched on the walls. It's a great spot for a light dinner and a bottle of wine, maybe a nice Riesling or a pint of German beer.
The new owners are Ursula and Jonas Hegewisch, who with the help of chef Steven Linares, have assembled a menu of small plates like Liptauer toast with bavarian cheese and mini pork sliders on pretzel buns. There are also larger dishes like roasted smoked pork loin cooked in a beer sauce, corned beef with a potato hash, and mussels in Riesling and bacon.
Our meal began with delicious rye bread, dense and flavorful, and packed with fennel seeds. We also sampled Ariane's Frikadellan; bite-size German meatballs with onions and capers served with a cucumber salad. We thoroughly enjoyed the Landsalat, a salad prepared with red cabbage, crushed walnuts, bits of apple and tangy goat cheese. We couldn't resist the Wiener Schnitzel, two tender pan-fried veal cutlets served with German-style potato salad. And be sure to order a side of potato pancakes. They're wonderfully crispy and very addictive. Appetizers are in the $6-$12 range and entrees top out at $22.
But what you'll like most about your visit is the feeling you get while you're there. Because for just a moment you'll feel as if you've arrived in Berlin minus the airfare. What's not to love about that!
Review By: Thomas Rafael