Wednesday was Rafael’s birthday (yes folks, we are all getting old around here…haha), what better reason to pick a nice restaurant and empty a little bit more our bank account to celebrate one more year of his life?! This year, I chose the restaurant and didn’t tell him which one it was, or what type of food they serve. I wanted it to be a surprise, a good one I hoped….and it turned out to be the best restaurant that we know here in Berlin (until now). Ok, so we don’t know a lot of restaurants here, but we already had bad experiences. I think that I already talked about this on the blog, how hard it is to find a good and clean restaurant here in Berlin (affordable to our pockets). Call us picky, but we like clean plates, glasses, silverware and napkins! People here most of the times don’t see the use of napkins, and I’m like whaaaat?! you crazy?! I always eat with a napkin by my side, but maybe this is a cultural thing…I don’t know…so I was definitely nervous to try and pick a nice restaurant, and photos on the internet can fool you for sure! I ended up on the Tripadvisor website, I remember that we found some great restaurants through them while we were in France, but we also got one bad experience, but in my opinion, they are almost always right. So I decided to trust them once more and booked a table at an Italian Sicilian restaurant called Focaccino, located in the neighbourhood of Charlottenburg.
So Wednesday 8 pm we were there, entering a small flowered door that transported us to Italy! You can always feel a different vibe when you are at an Italian restaurant, a positive and happy one 🙂 and it was not different there, I’m almost positive that the main waiter that attended our table was the owner, I should have asked at least for his name, but I get so shy to do these kind of things…silly me…he was excellent, and very, very funny. I could see that on each table that he went, he would make the people laugh! Besides that, the restaurant is really charming, nice decorations (and clean! hahaha). Rafael loved it, and so did I! Believe me when I say that the pictures that I am sharing here, doesn’t do justice for the food…everything was soooo delicious! This is what we ate:
We started asking for a red wine…we don’t understand anything about wine, and how to harmonize it with food. I always preferred red wine, I don’t like white wine, and I just shortly learned to drink rosé. Rafael was never into wine, but after a few years with me, he started to enjoy it. When I go to a restaurant, I read the menu and see which wine appeals to me more (and it will definitely not be the most expensive..hahaha). This time I chose the Negroamaro, I have never heard of it before, but I’ll definitely be drinking more of it for sure, we really liked it…if I dare say, it’s a little bit fruity at the end. I always pay attention to the labels, there are some beautiful designs out there, and I really liked this one as well (I love gold and black 🙂 )
And of course the first thing they brought to our table was a little basket of bread with a plate full of the most pure and delicious olive oil with black pepper. I would’ve already been happy if it was the only thing to eat! But let’s say that our dinner here was compared with climbing a mountain, at each level that you get, you are happy and the view of the horizon is great, but you know that if you keep going, nothing will compare to the view on the top.
Cheers to my better half and his 32nd birthday!!!
Next level: starters or should I say Antipasti!
Appetizer mix for two: grilled calamari, Octopus salad, Caponata, Vitello Tonnato, Carpaccio, grilles veggies, little mozzarella balls and broccoli. I know that this picture is kinda weird, and maybe you can’t distinguish the ingredients, but it was amazing! Every little thing that I described was seasoned to perfection! Rafael even got surprised with the celery, because for him, those things are tough to flavor. We ate so much, and that delicious bread kept coming…if I were writing this in portuguese, I would say that we “queimamos a largada”, I think that the translation would be: we jumped the gun! By the time that our main courses arrived, I was already half satisfied (nooooooo!)
Rafael ordered a seafood risotto, which was also amazing, and I got quite shocked that he managed to eat it all, because he was already half satisfied…but we are talking about Rafael, and this man always leaves a clean plate! By the way, when the waiter/owner came to take the appetizer plate away, he said: oh, the plate is already washed and clean, because we didn’t leave one drop of that delicious olive oil behind, isn’t that the point of the bread?! hahaha
Can you guess what my plate is?!
If you guessed Linguine al Nero di Seppia, then you are right! It’s nothing more than pasta with squid ink sauce and calamari 😀 I ate this type of pasta once before, but it was way different…this black sauce was a little bit tricky to eat, and as the waiter/owner pointed out “now I know why are you wearing black today”hahahaha he was definitely right, because if I was wearing white, maybe I wouldn’t have been so lucky..hahaha This dish was amazing too! But I have to say, with a heavy heart, that I wasn’t able to eat it all (SHAME!), not even Rafael, who always eats my leftovers managed to eat it…good news is, I had lunch for the next day! And when I opened that doggy bag, I said to myself, how was I not able to eat this, there’s almost nothing here…hahaha
Shared top of the mountain: Panna Cotta!
I was decided to get a cannoli for myself in the beginning before all that food, but in the end we shared this delicious panna cotta! If I am not mistaken, this the first time that I ate it, and it’s another example that the simple desserts are the best!! How come that these kind of desserts always find place in your tummy?! I didn’t even blink to eat it 😀 And of course Rafael ordered an italian espresso as an accompaniment.
After this feast, we stayed a little longer to finish our wine, and dreamed about going to Italy to eat, eat and eat some more…if we end up going there someday, we will surely leave with 20 kilos more! hahaha
One more snap from the restaurant, I wanted to take more pictures, but in the end I forgot, I guess that after eating so much, you end up forgetting things…hahaha
A kiss on the birthday boy! I love you ❤ ❤ ❤
If you are a Berliner and doesn’t know this restaurant, or if you are just passing by, please go there, I promise that you won’t regret it!