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Rich Uncle Tavern (formerly The Berlin)
#46
Went to Berlin tonight with my wife.  Well. let me say this, we both left with a very good impression.  I am still in disbelief that such a great place is in our own downtown.  Brilliant.  Just go, you wont be disappointed.
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#47
(12-30-2015, 11:16 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Went to Berlin tonight with my wife.  Well. let me say this, we both left with a very good impression.  I am still in disbelief that such a great place is in our own downtown.  Brilliant.  Just go, you wont be disappointed.

Could you give us some details?  What did you choose to eat?
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#48
I also went to The Berlin last night, and it was amazing. Without question the best restaurant in KW, and competitive with many of the finest restaurants in Toronto or even New York City. Gushue's reputation is well deserved, and he hasn't forgotten anything since his time at Langdon Hall.

My first course was noodles with napa cabbage and mushrooms, in a sesame ginger sauce. It was followed by grilled whitefish, potatoes, and vegetables in a tangy sauce. The elements are reasonably common, but their execution was perfect. I had no idea noodles could have such incredible depth of flavour, and they were complemented perfectly by wonderfully earthy mushrooms and just-right cabbage. I also noticed their hearth was put to excellent use, with their beets having an amazing sweet and smokey flavour. The smokey flavour showed up in many parts of the different dishes.

I agree with Rainrider22, just go, you won't be disappointed. The menu changes almost every day based on what's fresh and available, so you can expect a unique experience. Reservations are recommended, it was packed from when I arrived at 7pm until I left at 9pm.

I will note that although the prices seem quite reasonable for a restaurant of its calibre ($25 entrees), the portions definitely assume a two or three course meal. So expect a $15 appetizer + $25 entree + $10 dessert. Definitely makes it one of the pricier restaurants in KW, but well worth it.
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#49
I agree with the other posts about The Berlin.  We were there earlier in the week and it was packed.  It's slow food and a bit pricey and totally fabulous!  

I'm eagerly waiting for Jonathan Gushue to open his pizza and beer restaurant on Ontario Street, if that's still in the works.  And I hope it is because I'm always in search of great pizza.  I'm hoping that Gushue will do something similar to what Rick Bayless did in Chicago.  Bayless has three wonderful Mexican restaurants (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Xoco) side by side at the corner of W. Illinois and N. Clark Street.  It's a culinary destination.   Kitchener  could use something similar but we'll have to see what happens to The Berlin.  To be a success story, The Berlin will need many repeat customers throughout the week.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  A number of fine dining restaurants have come and gone in the downtown area over the years.  I hope this one stays.
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#50
With just steps between TWH Social, The Berlin, B, the new pizza place, and (rumoured) the microbrew pub at 8 Queen N, along with the new Amaya Indian restaurant if it's any good, the area around King and Queen is arguably set to become a dining destination.  With the Apollo Cinema close by and themuseum and the (underused, imho) Conrad Centre next door, along with the renovated Walper Hotel, things seem quite promising.
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#51
(12-31-2015, 04:15 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-30-2015, 11:16 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Went to Berlin tonight with my wife.  Well. let me say this, we both left with a very good impression.  I am still in disbelief that such a great place is in our own downtown.  Brilliant.  Just go, you wont be disappointed.

Could you give us some details?  What did you choose to eat?

The menu is very wordy, so hard to remember everything but I will do my best.

Drinks, Had two glasses of the Atwater beer.  It is imported only to them from a micro brewery in Detroit.  Very good.

Wine, 2013 “La Fiera” | Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC,  it was excellent

Scotch; The Glenrothers,  no need to comment

Appetizer: we had a beef tartar which was so good, my wife ordered it again for desert.

Mains;, I had a roasted duck on a bed of white beans, Brussels, some nuts, and other items I cant remember... very good
           Wife had the white fish which I tired, I am not a fish person, but I could have eaten it myself it was that good

Desert, I cant remember what it was, it had apples and some kind of ice cream.  I don't usually get dessert, but this was very good.

To me the prices are great. My bill came to $133.00 not including tip which was way less than I expected.

Service, From the time we arrived to the time we left, everyone was helpful and professional.  Our server was Wes, he was Brilliant. He was detailed, attentive but not over the top and he is a sommelier which was and added bonus. 

They have a winning formula for sure and we will be back. I wish them well and great success.
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#52
Thanks Rainrider22 and taylorbb for the reviews, will plan to try it for myself soon.
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#53
Thanks for the reviews! Very excited to get over and try this place out.
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#54
I got out there for my birthday, and was very happy. All of the food was very good. The price was in line with what I would expect.

Service was a little slow, but they were comfortably busy. It was also a touch loud. But these are minor points. We'll be back.
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#55
(01-04-2016, 10:29 AM)zanate Wrote: It was also a touch loud.

A bit of a digression, but where in K-W can you eat out in peace and quiet? I can understand that lower end establishments have to cram as many people into their quarters. But The Berlin is a high-end restaurant for people who want quality food prepared by the best chefs. Surely such clientele would prefer to dine in a more muted environment and have the money to pay for it.
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#56
Noise levels are an issue at TWH Social as well, on peak evenings. I haven't been for ages, but Bauer Kitchen used to get pretty noisy. Uptown Trio, Gilt, and the Fork and Cork tend to have lower noise levels, in my experience.

There seem to be two opposing views when it comes to noise in fine dining restaurants. Some people, including many younger people, like the "vibe". Others, including many boomers, find that too much noise spoils the experience. My own tolerance is fairly high, but I get annoyed when a restaurant is so noisy that it's hard to hear the server.
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#57
Forget trying to hear the server, if I can't hear my other dinner guests without shouting at them, it's a poor dining experience. When I go to dinner with 6-8 friends, I'd like to be able to speak to all of them if I needed to without having to switch chairs.
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#58
(01-04-2016, 02:01 PM)ookpik Wrote:
(01-04-2016, 10:29 AM)zanate Wrote: It was also a touch loud.

A bit of a digression, but where in K-W can you eat out in peace and quiet? I can understand that lower end establishments have to cram as many people into their quarters. But The Berlin is a high-end restaurant for people who want quality food prepared by the best chefs. Surely such clientele would prefer to dine in a more muted environment and have the money to pay for it.

I found The Berlin a bit loud but we managed.  And the food was delicious!  But if you want quality food by a great chef in a somewhat quieter place try Wilks' Bar at Langdon Hall.  The food is prepared in the main kitchen but it's less formal and less expensive.
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#59
(01-04-2016, 03:04 PM)nms Wrote: Forget trying to hear the server, if I can't hear my other dinner guests without shouting at them, it's a poor dining experience.  When I go to dinner with 6-8 friends, I'd like to be able to speak to all of them if I needed to without having to switch chairs.

I can't disagree with that.  Too many hard surfaces seem to be a culprit in many cases.  It would surprise me if Berlin were in that category, given the very high ceilings and the generous amounts of wood.
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#60
(01-04-2016, 02:50 PM)panamaniac Wrote: There seem to be two opposing views when it comes to noise in fine dining restaurants.  Some people, including many younger people, like the "vibe".  Others, including many boomers, find that too much noise spoils the experience.  My own tolerance is fairly high, but I get annoyed when a restaurant is so noisy that it's hard to hear the server.

We boomers tend to have hearing issues. My wife wears hearing aids. Although I generally hear well I find it increasingly difficult to have conversations in restaurants due to the high levels of background noise. It's not hearing acuity but rather the declining ability to distinguish among multiple sound sources. 

Many, perhaps most, of the other boomers we know have the same difficulty. This not only makes conversation difficult, it results in conversants raising their voices to be heard over the background noise. This results in a positive feedback loop and a negative dining experience for everyone.

ISTM there's a business opportunity for enterprising restaurateurs to, um, cater to boomers who want a more quiet experience. Thanks to those who suggested other establishments that may be quieter.

Added: It seems my hearing deficiency may be some form of brain damage Angry  Wink 

What Should Be Done About Hearing Loss? 
Quote:BACKGROUND NOISE

Q. After thorough testing, the Mayo Clinic told me that I had a slight hearing loss, but my difficulty separating sounds (as in a noisy restaurant) is caused by a brain function that can’t be alleviated by audiology modifications. What is the name of this disability, and are people being sold hearing aids that can’t deal with it very successfully? — George B., Creve Coeur, Mo.

Q. I only have hearing problems in certain situations, e.g., at movies, crowded restaurants. If I got a hearing aid, would there be any problem wearing it in just those situations? — John Fisher, Winston-Salem, N.C.

A. Without seeing audiological test results from either George B. or John Fisher it is difficult to provide consultation as to whether hearing aids would help. An important fact to keep in mind is that most hearing loss occurs in the high-frequency range. This is the part of the hearing organ that typically produces awareness of sounds such as “s”, “f”, “th”, “p”, and “t”. An inability to hear these consonant sounds can cause considerable confusion when listening to speech. When listening in the presence of background noise, the damaged high-frequency portion of your hearing organ cannot provide you with accurate high-frequency speech information. You may easily confuse the word shoot with shoe, or hit with hip. Your inability to hear these high-frequency consonant sounds can certainly send your brain an inaccurate message.
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