Muret la Barba is the kind of place you can pass by hundreds of times without even really noticing it. From the outside you can’t really tell what this place really is. Wine shop? Wine bar? Café? A few years ago I finally stepped in through the doors at Muret la Barba to clarify the issue and was surprised to be served one of the better Italian meals I’ve ever had in Berlin.
“A few years ago I finally stepped in through the doors at Muret la Barba to clarify the issue and was surprised to be served one of the better Italian meals I’ve ever had in Berlin.”
In the end it turned out that Muret la Barba is a lot of things, it’s both a wine shop and and a wine bar. But it’s also one of the better Italian restaurants in Berlin and today it’s time to pay homage to this institution. Located on the corner next to Vietnamese restaurant District Mot, Muret la Barba is one of the most popular lunch spots in the area. Enter this place and ask to be seated in this eternally busy place, be it lunch or dinner.
The menu is a healthy mix of dishes from all over Italy. Lunch and dinner menu are always different and both change weekly to reflect the current season. Most guests swing by for a plate of pasta or risotto for lunch and that’s quite understandable since these dishes are consistently great. Be it a plate of buttery ravioli filled with ricotta and topped of with sauteed green asparagus or a classic plate of conchiglie with ragu, the pasta at Muret la Barba is just great. Same goes for the risotto, not many restaurants in Berlin manage to execute a risotto that’s as perfectly creamy and al dente as the one from Muret la Barba.
“…not many restaurants in Berlin manage to execute a risotto that’s as perfectly creamy and al dente as the one from Muret la Barba.”
If you go for dinner you’ll have the choice for a proper, Italian meal. Classic dishes like Vitello Tonnato and Bruschetta are just a notch better at Muret la Barba than most other places. They usually have a lovely selection of radicchio and octopus dishes on the menu as well. For the secondi mains you might be able to order dishes like braised rabbit with polenta or pan-fried swordfish with a lemon-caper sauce. Antipasti and Primi are definitely the kitchen crew’s strongest game.
When it comes to wines you have plenty to choose from, Muret la Barba is after all also a wine shop. If you buy a bottle in the restaurant you also pay a corkage fee, ask the waiter for further infos on that. Then it’s that thing about service. Generally, service at Muret la Barba might not be the best you’ve ever encountered, just to prepare you for that. Don’t get me wrong, most times you’ll be fine, but other times you might feel slightly..abandoned. If you’re able to stomach the possibility of that and set your expectations accordingly, you’re in for a great Italian meal.