Sweets For My Sweet
Dessert is not just a special treat – it’s a part of any well-balanced diet, Hilda Hoy believes. Don’t miss these favorite sweet spots, perfect for Valentine’s Day and every other day, too.
A friend of mine has a magnet on her fridge featuring a memorable quote: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” And why ever not? Dessert is not only the perfect finale to a satisfying meal, it’s also a way to treat ourselves at any time of day. Or, as Coda Dessert Bar shows, dessert can even be the main feature all by itself.
Coda (Friedelstr. 47, www.coda-berlin.com) is one of Berlin’s most exciting recent restaurant openings. In a corner of Neukölln better known for its hip bars than its gastronomy, Coda is making a big impact with its understated chic and ambitious culinary concept. At the core of the concept are dessert and cocktail pairings, which can be ordered à la carte or as part of a deluxe menu of up to six courses. The dishes themselves may challenge you to broaden your dessert horizons, balancing a variety of salty and savory flavors such as goat’s cheese and beet with more typical ingredients like dark chocolate and pistachios. In my dish, mascarpone cream was plated with yellow tomato confit and tomato sorbet and dotted with cubes of gingerbread, with a bourbonhazelnut-coriander cocktail to match. Co-founder René Frank is a distinguished pâtissier with years of Michelin Star- caliber experience, and every one of his creations here not only look like works of art, they’re also a delight for the senses. Make sure to order some of the crispy, caramel-kissed pork rinds to snack on, flavored with just a whisper of Chinese five-spice powder. When it comes to the art of fine desserts and beautiful pastry confections, there’s no country more renowned than France, and rightly so. To find all the luscious éclairs, perfect little tarts, cannelés, luxuriously flaky millefeuilles, and exquisite macarons that will make your heart go pitter-patter, head to Mitte’s Du Bonheur (Brunnenstr. 39, www. dubonheur.de). Anna Plagens, the master behind the shop’s creations, learned her craft in renowned confectioneries in Paris and Vienna before setting up her own shop here in Berlin. Grab a seat to enjoy a few of her creations with a café au lait, but make sure to get a few macarons packed up to go as well, because I guarantee you’ll be craving them.
Clockwise from this image: Aubergine dessert from Coda; liquid nitrogen preparation at Coda: one of Coda's delicious desserts; homemade ginger beer. Inset, below: a tray of macarons at Du Bonheur.