Restaurants in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Wöhler Historische Wein und Bierstuben
Perhaps the hottest new restaurant in Schwerin is also one of its oldest. Built in 1750, Wöhler was a tradition among townspeople as early as 1895. Even after it was taken over by the East German government, after five generations in the Wöhler family, the business retained a solid and loyal following - and a reputation for great wine and beer and excellent food. The tradition came to a temporary halt in 1983, when authorities closed the building because it was near collapse.
Thus, when investors started rebuilding Wöhler in 1998, crowds formed to share their excitement - and their opinions on how to restore it. Finally, it reopened in 2001 after "an 18-year sleep," as its current manager says, and it has regained its position as a "cult favorite."
"Although it's not owned by a Wöhler, tradition and loyalty are more important," he said.
But tradition, loyalty and a beautifully restored building wouldn't bring townspeople back. The finest wines and beers wouldn't hold their loyalty. The food had to be as good as ever and most say it's better.
The menu reflects regional tastes. In general, Mecklenburg dishes draw from local streams, lakes and forests, and from the Baltic. Many have a sweet element; perhaps sugar, honey or local fruit. Recently featured, for example, was a choice of soups: a strong beef broth with carrots, onions, apples and plums; beer soup boiled to a froth with sugar, lemon, cinnamon and ginger, and Mecklenburger Buttermilchsuppe, buttermilk boiled with sugar and vanilla and served with a swirl of blackberry sauce.
Main dishes also reflect the regional sweet tooth: breast of duck with almond-honey sauce; Schwinsrippenbraden (in local dialect), a pork roast stuffed with apples and plums; and Swartsuer, goose stuffed with pork and simmered in a broth sweetened with sugar and pears.
Of course, more familiar dishes are available plus such lighter entrées as trout stuffed with salmon mousse. Most entrées are served with local vegetables.
The cost for two persons, with a glass of wine each, ranges from about $30-$50. For those who just want to soak up the atmosphere, a sampling of wine and cheeses might cost $15-$30 or more.
Contact: Wöhler Historische Wein und Bierstuben, Puschkinstrasse 26, D-19055 Schwerin, tel. +49/0385/55583 0, fax 5558315.
Rating: Quality 15/20, Value 17/20
For lighter budgets and more straightforward food, Zum Stadtkrug is an excellent option. It's a combination restaurant, hotel, brewery and beer garden in the center of the Altstadt. In addition to its charm, Stadtkrug also offers a glimpse of the beer-making process, starting with the copper kettles at the entrance. If the weather is the least bit cooperative, head to the cozy beer garden.
Those with small appetites can choose a variety of sausages or salads, for $3-$6. Options expand as appetites expand. The Brauhausteller is hefty portions of pork roulade, smoked sausage and roast beef, served with sauerkraut and string beans. The Schweinhaxe (pork hock), unlike the more common broiled version, is simmered, and served over sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. A variety of trout, Schnitzel and poultry dishes rounds out the menu, with no entrée topping $7.
And you'll insult the brewmaster if you don't order at least a quarter-liter of beer for about $1.50.
Contact: Zum Stadtkrug, Wismarsche Str. 126, D-19053 Schwerin, tel. 49+/ 0385 5936693
Rating: Quality 12/20, Value 15/20
You'll feel like royalty dining in the Knight's Hall at Burg Schlitz. It's not just the setting (see above); service is polite and indulgent and a typical seven-course dinner might include medallions of lobster, cannelloni stuffed with veal, risotto with mussels, grapefruit sorbet, rabbit with truffles, a platter of French and Italian cheeses, and a fig tart with red-wine ice cream. The cost: About $90. Drop two courses - the cannelloni and either the cheeses or dessert - and the price is closer to $70.
The a la carte menu offers veal filet for $25 and halibut encrusted with horseradish and served in a red beet sauce for $27. Even with lobster broth for $10 and passionfruit parfait in a chocolate shell with mango-ginger compote for $10, the price is reasonable compared with similar feasts elsewhere in Germany. (For contact information see story above)
Rating: Quality 17/20, Value 14/20
Prices current 2006