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“Ahh... finally,” some say. The culinary status quo was dignified and somewhat tedious for too long. Here are the best tables in now, right now.
Hamburg has become a great place for exceptional food. In the last couple of years some first-class chefs came to the city and shook up the top-gastronomy landscape.
Well, the top pick is easy. The best table in the city is The Table by Kevin Fehling. Kevin Fehling gained his three Michelin stars early in his career as the chef of the La Belle Époque in nearby Lübeck. He came to Hamburg in 2015 and took the city by storm. Located in Hafencity, his new restaurant has a radical new approach and a second-to-none skill set regained him all of his 3 stars in the first year. The 20 seats (yes, just 20!) are arrayed around one huge curved table of cherry wood. The lucky guests sit next to an open kitchen where the chefs work like they are on a stage. There are no waiters here. The chefs themselves deliver the dishes and the story behind it to the guests. There is just one set (tasting) menu with up to 20 courses for all the guests. Some pleasant background music is playing at a low volume, you can easily get in contact with your table neighbours if you want. Or you can easily keep your privacy and keep smiling. The places at The Table are booked 4 months in advance, so may be best to plan your city trip around your reservation date.
A clear stand-out in the fine dining scene is the young Christoph Rüffer who earned himself a second Michelin star, already. He is the chef of the phenomenal Haerlin in the prestigious Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. The chef and his team present modern and creative menus based on classic French gourmet cuisine with an emphasis on the highest quality of produce. The two fixed price options on the menu change regularly. If you like, an unrestricted combination of the courses can be put together. The ambience is “hanseatic”, meaning it’s rather elegant and reserved. As you would expect from a true first-class establishment, the service is impressive with its subtlety and attentiveness. The menu is rather small but that takes nothing away from the flawless creative preparation and the simple love for food served with each dish. The Hearlin might also have the best wine cellar in Hamburg, maybe even Germany. If you want to be smart, book well in advance and enjoy a table at the front window which provides an unforgettable view of Alster Lake.
Something different, entirely: Located in wonderful Eppendorf, the Piment is a somewhat low-key spot compared to the top-notch tables in the city centre. But it is something equally amazing in terms of fine dining, as it captivates the guests with its classic haute cuisine with fascinating accents of Moroccan cooking. Chef Wahabi Nouri, boasts, for good reasons, a Michelin star himself. And the Gault-Millau awarded a well-deserved 18 out of 20 points. The guests may choose from the house menu and Nouri’s menu, ‘designed’ specially every night by Nouri. Both menus consist of at least seven exquisite courses – prepared to the highest quality. The latter menu is highly recommended.
The Anna Sgroi Restaurant is arguably the best Italian place in the city. Well, to be precise, the chef, Anna Sgroi, is from Sicily and considered by some to be the best Italian chef in Germany. Her Restaurant was rewarded a Michelin star back in 2004, at a time when the Hamburg foodscape was still dull and conservative. In Anna Sgroi’s kitchen, top quality and fresh ingredients are used to design some outstanding and simply elegant creations with characteristic southern Italian flavours. The decor is very stylish and uniquely restrained. And the atmosphere here is cosy and rather informal as there are only a couple of guest tables. So, you need to make a reservation well in advance. After the meal you should wander outside and take the few steps to the most beautiful part of the Alster. Lucky you!
The five-star Louis C. Jacob Hotel is one of the most prestigious Hotels in Hamburg and Germany. But even if you don’t want to spend the night outside the city, in the lush part of Hamburg-Blankenese, a trip to visit the Hotel’s own Jacobs Restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Martin, is always worth the while. Martin creates flamboyant seasonal menus from which you can select a number of courses. The light and fresh French fine cuisine is as impressive as one might expect in this marvellous place. The atmosphere is elegant – think stucco ceiling and chandeliers – without being too stiff. In the seldom event of good weather, you should dine outside under the old lemon trees and get lost while staring out over the Elbe. Both, the Restaurant and the Little Jacob wine bar – on the opposite side of the road – are a perfect location if you plan a private party or gathering.