This Michelin-starred restaurant sits within the renovated Jewish School for Girls, designed by Alexander Beer, and opened in 1930. The enormous green-tiled building is a pre-war triumph, and Pauly Saal – opened by restauranteurs Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun – mirrors this with a menu of straightforward but high-quality European cuisine, beneath shimmering chandeliers and a vast red-and-white rocket.
Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 Berlin
You can't get to the dining room without walking through the Pauly Bar, which might as well be the set of a 1930s gentlemen's club with its dark green walls, buttery brown leather chairs and Persian rugs. The dining room, too, is a throwback to a more refined time. Murano chandeliers light the lush green cushioned seats and white tablecloths in golden tones. Against walls covered with locally made ceramic tiles, a life-size, red and white rocket spans the entire width of the room. It's mounted over windows that separate the dining room from the kitchen, where executive chef Siegfried Danler calmly prepares traditional Weimar cuisine completely from scratch.
The courtyard, a charming brick patio where you can eat lunch in the afternoon or sip a cocktail at night, was used for deportations until 1941, after which the school passed through a series of owners, eventually standing vacant for decades until the fourth Berlin Biennale used it in 2006 and, most recently, restauranteurs Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun remodeled it for their latest culinary venture, Pauly Saal.
Your meal starts with a basket of deliciously chewy graubrot, literally grey bread. Somewhere between a weiss (white) brot and a schwartz (black) brot, graubrot is made using grains with the hull removed, so it retains the softness of white bread with all the richness and nuttiness of a darker loaf. Served alongside slabs of cold, salty butter, it's a good sign of things to come. Danler cooks with as much from the restaurant's small garden as he can... read more here.