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Historischer Weinkeller
Koberg 6-8, Lübeck

Website: historischer-weinkeller-hl.de

Ensconced in an 800-year-old cellar beneath the Holy Ghost Hospital, like its nearby neighbor the Schiffergesellschaft, an ancient seafaring house, this eatery has all the marks of a first-class tourist trap. And the presence of the Kartoffel Keller, a rustic bistro-like affair, and Berger's Steakhouse, all owned by the same family, indicate a concerted effort to capture all possible aspects of the tourist trade.

Be that as it may, dining in this historic Weinkeller is an extremely pleasant experience. You sit beneath a vaulted brick ceiling surrounded by ancient artifacts, candlelight, pink and salmon napery, and Villroy & Boch china. And, for the most part, the cuisine is of good quality and reasonably priced.

We began with the obligatory amuse-bouche, a slice of pickled herring with a mini potato pancake and sour cream. There are very few foods that completely turn me off . . . but pickled herring certainly qualifies.

Appetizers include shrimp fried in garlic olive oil and embellished with chilies, onions, and crusty French bread for dipping. Rather rich but very satisfying. The "Salad of the Season" is comprised of assorted lettuces, slices of cucumber, wedges of tomato, shredded carrots, corn kernels, and shredded radishes. All items are impeccably fresh but nothing spectacular. An accompanying pungent balsamic vinaigrette is standard issue.

Entrées were infinitely more successful. My wife's whole North Sea sole is beautifully fried in butter presented with very nice parsley potatoes. It is not filleted, but easily done so by the diner. The market price, however, turns out to be 30 euro, quite expensive when compared with the other items on the menu. My filet of cod consists of three perfectly sautéed filets set on a seabed of sauerkraut sprinkled with chopped tomatoes. An excellent choice and very reasonably priced at 15.50. Leave it to my wife to order the most expensive offering on the menu.

The wine of the evening was suggested by our helpful and gracious waiter: a bright, lively, and bone dry 1999 Wegelar Forster Ungeheuen Riesling Spätlese.

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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