All I have to show you from my dinner at Jäger und Sammler is this snapshot of the dining room, taken moments before I left after dinner. I was out with a group of girlfriends and vague acquaintances and felt sheepish about taking a photo when my dinner plate was first placed in front of me, so I hadn't. Eh, I thought to myself. The last I-don't-know-how-many meals I'd had out were such a disappointment that I hadn't even wanted to mention them on the blog. Why would this meal be any different? There was no point in shooting the meal anyway, I figured.
But then it turned out that my dinner, a piece of perfectly cooked salmon (I mean, perfect, folks, textbook) on a bed of sautéed spinach, fingerling potatoes and tiny roasted tomatoes, was delicious. So good that when I cleaned my plate, my first thought was actually to flag down the waitress and ask for another order. I'm not even kidding. It was so good.
The menu is tightly edited - there are only a handful of appetizers and entrées and only two desserts - and the focus is, I'd say, seasonal Italian with German influences. The room is warm yet airy, with Altbau flair - long wooden plank floors, Stuck on the ceiling, a big wall of cookbooks crammed in every which way. And the service is good, friendly, relatively quick. For Berlin, pretty great.
Two in our group ordered beef cheeks that came served on mashed potatoes with broccoli and brussels sprouts and the servings were massive - neither of them could finish their plate. Another ordered spaghetti marinara, in the Italian sense, with clams and mussels, and the serving was so dainty it would have passed as an appetizer in an American restaurant. So there was some unevenness to the portion sizes, I guess. But did I mention how perfect my salmon was? How moist and tender and flaky and delicious it was? How I wished I'd had twice the amount of spinach and tomatoes and potatoes on my plate because they were all so good? Right. Let's put the quibbles aside and just focus on how wonderful it felt to have such a simple, pleasing meal in such a nice space.
So wonderful, in fact, that I'm going back on Friday with my husband and close friends and I plan on trying far more from the menu this time: appetizers, maybe a dessert, and I'll definitely be stealing from our friends' plates. Stay tuned.
Jäger und Sammler
Tel: 030 700 94 084