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Das kleine Restaurant
An der Untertrave 39, Lübeck

Website: daskleinerestaurantluebeck.de

This is a most appealing eatery that is simple but sophisticated. True to its namesake, the restaurant is quite small, sporting just a few tables downstairs with a majority of accommodations in the cozy balcony overlooking the main floor. Exposed brick walls add a homey touch, as do beautifully photographed scenes of the city of Lübeck.

A tiny complimentary salad of baby arugula tossed with a superb balsamic vinaigrette is included with your meal, but appetizers are certainly not to be overlooked. A luscious seafood cocktail - baby shrimp, mussels, octopus, and calamari - is invigorated with a delicious dill sauce and garnished with a caper berry and slice of lemon. An excellent starter. Ditto the tomato gratinée, three small tomato halves sprinkled with diced sautéed onions and topped with Gruyere cheese.

Entrées here are quite robust in nature. My wife opted for the leg of lamb, which is served on the bone. Not a particularly subtle presentation but extremely tasty nonetheless. It is served with a diminutive rösti potato and artistically cut array of crunchy vegetables. My filet of beef, however, was somewhat less successful. Ordered medium rare and topped with two crisscrossed bacon slices, the meat was so thick that it could not possibly be cooked properly. Indeed, the inside was almost raw.

The two desserts available were chocolate mousse and a lemon tart. We choose the tart, which was good but not exceptional. The restaurant did not serve either decaffeinated coffee or espresso, which seemed a bit odd.

The restaurant's ambiance is quite appealing, and our waitress, who spoke French and English as well as German, was quite helpful... but the cuisine needs a bit of shoring up.

The Artful Diner
November 2002

The Artful Diner is an independent, freelance food writer.  His latest review and an archive of past reviews for restaurants around the country and the world can be found on this site on the REVIEWS page.

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