It was our only “bad” dinner in Berlin. Things started off well, when our cab pulled into a cool neighborhood in Mitte, on a quietish street lined with Italian restaurants.
Al Contadino looked cute and cozy, with a few tables on the sidewalk. Things went south though when G tried to order an appetizer, which they sold out of, and then the waiter responded with trying to push something random on him, just to move him along.
Still, we were starved and a friend had recommended Al Contadino, so we were excited for our appetizers. The server put a delicious looking tuna tartare in front of me. Alas, I ordered the mozarella and bresaola. Of course, the mozzarella and bresaola, the server repeated. Only to bring me a white plate with a large ball of mozarella. I poked around the soft ball of cheese a bit – perhaps it was a language issue and the bresaola was stuffed inside? Ah, no. Now I was annoyed and the server was annoyed too, mostly that I had cut into the pristine mozarella. Sorry, if you’d just brought me what I’d ordered, oh 40 minutes ago now, we would both be fine.
Alas, our server had decided to pack it in at that point. Sadly, he didn’t let us know. If he had, we would have paid up and left. Everyone would have had a more enjoyable evening.
So while my pasta with asparagus and shrimp was delicious, I couldn’t wait to finish it just to get out of there. Naturally, that wasn’t as easily said as done. When G complained about the service to the server, his response: it is an Italian cucina.
Um, yes, but this is not okay in Roma, and certainly not in Berlin. On top of that, he tacked the 19% VAT on top of our bill, when it almost certainly was included – everywhere from Lorenz Adlon, one of the nicest restaurants in town, to street vendors to boutiques on the Ku’damm included the VAT in their prices. But I suppose he judged wisely. We were too exhausted by the whole unpleasant experience to find the manager. We just left while we could.
The only saving grace was the cool jazz club around the corner, where we managed to get our blood pressure back to normal before calling it a night.