On Tuesday, March 3rd 2020 the Guide Michelin for Germany was released via a Facebook live feed as the live gala in Hamburg fell victim to the Corona virus. As every year, Berlin had several contenders in line reaching for the stars – new restaurants like Prism, Cordo, Cell and The NOName, looking to score their very first star, but also existing star-establishments like Eins Unter Null and Pauly Saal, which changed their concepts and head chefs in the course of the last year in hopes to retain their star. And then the big question: Were there any Berlin restaurants able to take the leap from one to two stars? Or maybe even from two to three, and thereby break the glass ceiling of a three-star restaurant in Berlin?
“Were there any Berlin restaurants able to take the leap from one to two stars? Or maybe even from two to three..”
My predictions for this year mostly circled around a couple of new one stars (Lode & Stijn, Cell, Prism, Cordo) as well as Ernst getting their, in my opinion, overdue second star. I once again played around with the possibility of Tim Raue getting his third star, a possibility that’s been on my mind since last year. Were my personal predictions accurate? Not really, as it turns out.
“Were my personal predictions accurate? Not really, as it turns out.”
Once again the guide managed to surprise most of us with their release. When it comes to new one-star restaurants, we probably saw the most predictable winners. Gal-Den Moshe and Jaqueline Lorenz successfully scored their first star for their levantine fine dining project Prism, a very well deserved accomplishment, especially considering the amount of years thei failed to get a star at their former restaurant Glass. Second in line was Cordo, the new and revamped version of former Austrian Gastro-Wine bar Cordobar, which under new chef Yannick Stockhausen received their first star. Also, quite an expected achievement by two restaurants that had a very clear ambition to get that first star. The fact that Cell didn’t get their first star is for me just testimony to the fairly recent change of concept and Head Chef, I’m positive Cell will be a strong contender for star in next year’s guide.
“Once again the guide managed to surprise most of us with their release.”
One of the largest surprised when it comes to the one star reveals of the 2020 Guide Michelin Germany was the continued absence of Lode & Stijn on the list – an establishment where I’ve witnessed a massive development over the course of last year, with a stunning renovation of the dining room and the addition of acclaimed sommelier Ole Ortmann to the team, all in pursuit of a finer dining experience. Apparently not fine enough for Michelin, a highly questionable decision that leaves many questions unanswered.
When it comes to new two-star restaurants in Berlin, we saw the next surprise: The Dessert Dining restaurant CODA received a second star – a fairytale development for the fantastic Neukölln eatery, especially considering how it took Michelin two years to “discover” the restaurant and finally give them their first star last year. A very well-served accolade for a restaurant that’s been delivering a razor-sharp and refreshingly unique dining experience. In this category of two stars we saw a large disappointment, the (in my opinion) obvious and overdue second star for Ernst was not awarded, a baffling decision. Ernst is arguably the most talked about restaurant in Germany right now – talked about outside the borders of Germany, that is, and therefore probably also the reason Ernst doesn’t get more attention from the traditionally very German-centric Guide Michelin. The fact that Ernst also is missing from the list of Michelin’s new green “sustainability” award raises an abundance of questions (Berlin’s Nobelhart & Schmutzig and Horváth were on that list) – no further information was given around how this award was decided upon. Maybe a dice was thrown? Darts on a map? Only the testers themselves will know.
“In this category of two stars we saw a large disappointment”
But this was very much not the biggest surprise of the day, the spotlight of this Michelin Guide belonged to a different Berliner. And I’m not talking about one of the regular subjects like Tim Raue, no, March 3rd will from now forever belong to someone else Marco Müller, the Head Chef of Rutz in Mitte, who seemingly out of nowhere achieved the unachievable: Three Michelin stars. Yes, the Michelin Director explained how Michelin testers had been going in and out of Rutz for over a decade and that it this year became clear how Marco Müller had achieved three star status. It’s fair to say that this announcement surprised a fair amount of people, including myself (I haven’t been to the restaurant in over two years). I have to give credit to the experts in the BFS Food Fanatics Forum (available via Patreon) who dismissed my prediction about Tim Raue and called the possibility of three stars to Rutz – well done, you were spot on. So, just like that, Berlin has a three star restaurant and joins the European cities with top tier restaurants. A tremendous achievement by Marco Müller and team and big news for the Berlin food scene that surely will attract more culinary tourism.
The full list of the Guide Michelin Germany 2020:
3 STARS ***
Rutz | Müller, Marco (new in 2020)
2 STARS **
1 STAR *
Cordo | Stockhausen, Yannic (new in 2020)
Prism | Ben-Moshe Gal (new in 2020)
Ernst | Watson-Brawn, Dylan
Kin Dee | Kambhu, Dalad
SAVU | Kemppainen, Sauli
Golvet | Swanson, Björn
tulus lotrek | Strohe, Max
Cookies Cream | Hentschel, Stephan
Frühsammers| Frühsammer, Sonja
Hugos | Lange, Eberhard
5 – cinco by Paco Pérez | Rehberger, Andreas
Pauly Saal | Gieselmann, Dirk
SKYKITCHEN flavored by a.choice | Koppe, Alexander
Nobelhart & Schmutzig | Schäfer, Micha
Bandol Sur Mer | Saul, Andreas
Bieberbau | Garkisch, Stephan
Markus Semmler | Semmler, Markus
Richard | Richard, Hans
einsunternull | Pfeufer, Silvio