Nestled on a quiet corner just a short jaunt off the bustling Alexanderplatz, the iconic Fernsehturm towering above, ‘Trio’, the newest project from the crew behind the acclaimed casual fine dining restaurant Otto, has opened its doors just in time for the summer and beyond. Within just a week of its debut, Trio has managed to capture the spotlight as one of the most significant Berlin restaurant openings of the year. The restaurant hit the Berlin food scene like a culinary comet and did so serving astonishingly earnest, traditional food such as red beet salad, pickled eggs, East-German Gulasch, and Backhendl. On paper, they’re an unlikely bet for stand-out excellence, yet, their execution of simple classics is exactly the reason why Trio is making such an impact.
“ Trio Berlin doesn't attempt to reinvent classic German recipes; instead, it elevates them with just a whisper of fine dining expertise and top tier ingredients. The result is exactly what we’ve been missing in Berlin.
Trio is the second opening from Vadim Otto Ursus’ crew of (remarkably young) culinary all-stars. Ursus, the chef prodigy who’s made a name for himself with his localist Berlin-meets-new-Nordic cooking and also by the fact that he can call himself a true Berliner. Born and raised in Pankow, he went abroad to cook and came back to the city, full of ideas. Trio opened with the help of his partners Eva Alken and Clemens Rösch in a location that raised plenty of eyebrows (mine included) - the restaurant’s doorstep is just a stone’s throw away from the cheap din of Alexanderplatz and close enough to bus-tourist haven Hofbräuhaus that you can almost hear the British lads in fake Lederhosen keening for their next Maßkrug.
Despite the proximity to such tourist madness, Trio also has two excellent neighbors in Bar Drei and SAN, which, arguably, is one of Berlin’s best addresses for sushi and Japanese specialities. Across the street, you have SOHO House, so a well-heeled crowd of savvy eaters is actually never too far away.
Despite the high expectations and profile of the opening, Trio managed to exceed all in their opening week. It was impossible to walk in without running into a colorful mix of Berlin’s food authorities and in-the-know eaters – in an unexpected change, everyone seemed to feel the same way about this restaurant: it’s really strong, fulfilling a Zeitgeist that is calling for an overdue focus on German cuisine.
On the day of my first visit, I compiled three main reasons why Trio is every bit as good and important as the hype and long waiting lists suggest:
The Vibe: Effortlessly extending the vibrant atmosphere of its neighbor Bar Drei, Trio picks up exactly where the famous beer bar leaves off (or the other way around, you get to decide). Trio breathes modern German Gasthaus with every molecule and manages to suck you in with its infectious ‘best dinner party you’ve been to in a while’ vibe. The incredible venue, with its massive walk-in bar, is an instant classic and the professional crew manage it marvelously well.
The Food: Trio Berlin doesn't attempt to reinvent classic German recipes; instead, it elevates them with just a whisper of fine dining expertise and top tier ingredients. The result is exactly what we’ve been missing in Berlin. Here, you won't find trendy fusion experiments or exotic ingredients - just pure, unadulterated German food culture served on a simple plate. From the pickled cucumber, the crisp salads (not green, think beets and sausages), meat stews, and whole trouts, each dish here is a testament to the commitment to culinary excellence.
The Prices: What's even more astonishing is that this exceptional dining experience won't break the bank. In these times when dining out can feel like a luxury, Trio offers a budget-friendly oasis. You can savor their exquisite creations without emptying your wallet, with final cheques that can easily stay comfortably below 40€ per person
“ The Wildkraftbrühe is a pure rendition of umami and the Forelle Müllerin, that arrives in a pool of brown butter and roasted hazelnuts, could really be the best of its kind in the whole country.
The food speaks for itself, Szegediner Wildgulasch with Semmelknödel, Königsberger Klopse, and a Backhendl that is a true contender for the heart of any fried chicken nerd in town. The Wildkraftbrühe is a pure rendition of umami and the Forelle Müllerin, that arrives in a pool of brown butter and roasted hazelnuts, could really be the best of its kind in the whole country. And let's not forget the cold starters, featuring classics like Wurstsalat, Eiersalat, Rote Beete Salat, and the exceptional dill pickles, highlighting, in particular, the unmatched fermentation knowledge of this crew. Adding to the charm of Trio are their beverage options, including two beers on tap, an extensive selection of bottled beers, a superb German & Eastern European wine list, and a highly affordable house wine.
Trio represents the epitome of modern German cuisine. It's not just a restaurant; it's a destination. Whether you're introducing Berlin to visitors, in need of a light dinner, just or treating your parents to a night that represents the Berlin of your dreams (or that you want to convince your parents of), Trio Berlin is the perfect choice. Ursus and his crew seem capable of surmounting any challenge and they are clearly on a path to carve out their permanent space in Berlin’s food scene.