My friend K. took me out to dinner tonight to celebrate the holidays, and we went to the Cafe Berlin on Capitol Hill, just a couple of blocks away from Union Station. I'd eaten there once before in the summer when I first moved to D.C. back in 1994. This evening it was decked out for Christmas, and our server sat us at the table next to the Christmas tree. It was very beautiful.
We began the meal with Heringstip as an appetizer. It's a mound of herring tidbits marinated in a stiff sour cream with apples and onions on a bed of bitter greens with a garnish of quartered tomatoes. K. loves fish with a passion, we rarely dine anywhere that he doesn't order some form of fish during the course of the meal.
For the entree, I chose the Roasted Loin of Venison with a Mushroom-Walnut Duxles Filling served over Cabernet-Fig Reduction with Maccaire Potato Cakes and a Cranberry Garnish. K. went with the Kassler Rippchen (Smoked Loin of Pork) served with sauerkraut and home fried potatoes, which he substituted for the spätzle. Both were well filling and so we forewent dessert as tempting as it was! For a simple digestif, he had an herbal liqueur, and I a shot of apple corn schnapps. It was delightful, and Irene, one of the owners was brouding over the place. If you are ever in D.C. and interested in authentic German cuisine, a quaint and sure to please option would definitely be Cafe Berlin.