Molly Hannon visits Weinstein, one of Prenzlauer Berg’s best, yet most understated restaurants…
Upon entering Weinschenke Weinstein, you immediately sense that this is not your average German bistro or chi chi Prenzlauer Berg dive.
It exudes the air of a restaurant that is fine and feathered with wine barrels and old vintages bottles lining the wall paired with simple wooden tables and furnishings.
There is nothing fancy or intimidating about this establishment – in fact, it remains somewhat incognito with its ivy clad facade smack in the hubbub of this relatively bustling Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.
Founded originally as a wine bar in 1993, Weinstein, much like its hometown of Berlin, continues “to become.” It has evolved from a simple enoteca to a restaurant now known for its fierce dedication to quality food and wine.
Dining here is more than just something to notch up on your belt of nights out on the town. Rather, it is a lesson in taste education. The menu advises you to drink – but to do it with food and thus gain a better understanding of how the two relate, and more significantly, how they reinforce one another. This sets Weinstein apart from your typical fine and dines.
Speaking with owner, Roy Metzdort, on a quiet Tuesday evening over glasses of German Riesling by winemaker Martin Tesche, I quickly learned about the restaurant’s history and current philosophy. Originally from Southern Germany and an electronic engineer by trade, Roy began to experience health problems in the early 1990s. This directed his attention to food, and upon moving to Berlin, he opened the restaurant. “I wanted a place where people could come and taste good but interesting wines. We were just a wine bar for 18 years. The food aspect developed later.”