When you stay in Berlin for three weeks as I did, and you love Italian food, the first thing you realize after visits to several so-called Italian restaurants, is that they cater to what Germans mistaken believe to be Italian food. So it was such a delightful surprise to find Hartweizen, which was recommended to me by an Italian DJ in the city. Italians know where to find real Italian food (that isn’t outrageously priced) and in this regard, Hartweizen did not disappoint. In fact, I went there twice during my stay in the city.
Hartweizen changes the menu regularly to reflect what’s in season. So in May, they have asparagus on the menu and in the fall they have wild boar sausage. When I went to Hartweizen, I saw bresaola and fish carpaccio on the starters menu plus a few salads. If you are lucky, they will have sardines.
For the main course, you should opt for their pasta dishes because they make their own pastas and the sauces are absolutely divine. I especially like the pappadelle con ragù di manzo, which features delicate sheets of pappardelle with a savoury tomato-based sauce with beef, nothing like the rich over-tomatoed red sauces that drown pasta dishes in other restaurants. This one is quite refined. For dessert, nothing beats their panna cotta; it has the perfect consistency and is a light, not so sweet and finishes off the meal very well. They have a good wine list and their wines are reasonably priced.
A dinner for two with starters and pasta costs around 50 EUR. If you add two glasses of wine and dessert shared by two, you come to a total of around 70 EUR. Service at Hartweizen is excellent and the second time I went, the chef, who hails from Bari, came to our table at the end of our dinner and greeted us warmly.
If you are looking for a real Italian restaurant in an unpretentious setting in Berlin, go to Hartweizen. Reservations are highly recommended as this is a very popular restaurant.
+49 30 2849 3877