When I discovered Grünfisch last year I was intrigued to find out what was different in Sicilian cuisine to mainstream Italian food. According to wikipedia there are many similarities although Sicilian food is also influenced by Greek, Spanish, French and Arabic influences. We had to wait a while to find out in person because the prices at Grünfisch, which is on Graefestrasse in Kreuzberg, are pretty high at between 15-25 for a main course. We finally found the money to visit on a weekday early in March ready to discover what Sicily had to offer.
The restaurant decor was very classic with some upmarket touches alongside some of the traditional elements of an old fashioned trattatoria such as amphora and dangling vines. The menu was fairly small and appears to change regularly. You chose from a small selection of starters and mains, or one of three menus; one tailored to meat, one to fish and one vegetarian. We chose from the individual dishes and went for a beef carpaccio with tuna sauce, a swordfish carpaccio with fennel and orange for starters and for mains we chose the black ravioli with crab and langoustine and a pork loin with dumpling.
The beef and tuna combination is one that I have tried before in a restaurant in Thessaloniki and it does work well with the salty tuna acting as seasoning to the soft beef. Richard really enjoyed his light and fresh tasting swordfish starter. The portions were generous and the presentation was considered and attractive. The free bread was also very good and was served with a delicious truffle butter.
The main courses were less impressive than the starters. My crab ravioli and langoustine dish was a bit mixed. The crab filling was a bit too acidic and the wild garlic sauce a bit cloying, but the langoustines were prefectly cooked if a little difficult to eat as they were served in their shells. Richard found his pork dish to be very tasty but as this was one of the most expensive items on the menu he found it a bit disappointing. The pork was billed as being a special type of pork but there was no discernable difference and the portion was less generous than expected.
The wines we chose to accompany the foods were very good. We had a half litre of a white Grillo de Rapitala and a half litre of Nero D’Avola at an average of 15 euros. Without dessert the overall bill came to 100 euros with a tip which is one of the highest prices we have paid for a blog meal so far. For this kind of money we maybe expected more wows and we will not be revisiting this place as we have the incredible French Le Saint Amour nearby for a more high end food treat. As for how Sicilian food differs, we can say perhaps that this place was more French in style than classic Italian with some mediterranean influence such as the citrus dressing for the swordfish, but the pork dish left us confused as this felt more German than anything else so we are perhaps still a bit puzzled as to the authenticity of the food on offer at Grünfisch.