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Markgraf Restaurant
Fischergrube 18
Lübeck
Website: markgraf-luebeck.de

The building that houses this likeable restaurant dates from the fourteenth century. And, although it has been in existence five years - two at its current location - it is conspicuously absent from any of the usual guidebook propaganda.

The interior is a narrow space, sporting unfinished earth-tone stone walls replete with wood beams and timbered ceiling. Four chandeliers and votive candles illuminate the cozy, romantic space. There is even a tiny balcony with several tables overlooking the main floor.

You begin with an exquisite amuse-bouche, a diminutive diced beef salad enlivened with basil crème fraîche and dotted with diced red, green, and yellow peppers.

Appetizers include a lovely filet of sea bass presented on a bed of fresh greens garnished with a scrumptious potato salad. Tagliatelle (long, thin, flat noodles) are tossed with truffles and fresh vegetables and finished in a wonderfully complex tomato cream sauce.

Entrées on this particular evening concentrated on strictly carnivorous pursuits. Thick, sumptuous slices of venison are presented on a bed of delicious red cabbage. A host of fresh vegetables are artistically arranged about the periphery, with ethereal dumplings of spaetzle served on the side. The filet of veal arrives at table basking in a spätburgunder (pinot noir) sauce garnished with fresh vegetables and diminutive roasted potatoes. This is the type of veal dish that only seems to be available in Germany. It is, in reality, a filet mignon of veal, tender, succulent, and simply bursting with flavor.

A sampling of the restaurant's superb desserts is a most suitable closure to your meal. Here you may indulge in such delicacies as a pumpernickel parfait with cherries, mille-feuille with mascarpone, apple strudel, and assorted sliced fruits with fresh whipped cream.

The wine of choice was a velvety Mayer-Näkel Spätburgunder (pinot noir grape) from the Ahr region of Germany.

MarkGraf is a wonderfully satisfying dining experience. I recommend it highly.

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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