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ART ON A PLATE: “Gal — would you like to tell the story?” With these words, a waitress at Berlin’s Glass sets free another round of Gal Ben Moshe’s narrative cuisine. The 28-year-old Tel Aviv-born, Berlin-based chef has conjured up one of the newest attractions in the city’s growing culinary club. Glass, which changes its menu daily, opened a little more than six months ago, serving innovative food — with intensity, but absent pretension.
The ultramodern setting in the city’s western Charlottenburg neighborhood is minimal and vaguely industrial — concrete, glass and a mirror-shiny metallic curtain. There’s also no background music; the focus is on the plate.
Ben Moshe’s résumé includes stints at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and Maze by Gordon Ramsay in London and Chicago’s Alinea with Grant Achatz, but of the personal and artistic expression he achieves through Glass, he noted, “This concept is most appropriate in Berlin. It would not work in other places.”
Guests may choose from a six- or eight-course meal (starting at 55 euros, or $76) — they can also specify vegan-only or find a flight of wine pairings. As the courses arrive, the stories — and the guessing game — begin.
A City Garden salad with perfectly plucked fruits and vegetables has tasty ornamental “dirt” comprised of malt and pumpernickel bread crumbs, while oxtail explodes in a perfect spoonful ravioli.
Stick around for joy — Ben Moshe’s signature is the Candy Box dessert, inspired by childhood picnics. A mirrored reusable vinyl cloth serves as a picnic blanket, which Ben Moshe and his colleagues intently strew with “homemade gummy bears” (flavorful gelled morsels), toasted marshmallows, caramel corn, popping candy, chocolate balls, “Oreo” crumbs, “Snickers” powder and rich chocolate sorbet or mousse. It’s a sweet surprise, and a showstopper.
Ben Moshe artfully garnishes his dishes brandishing precision tweezers; the tool is repeated in the “A” in the restaurant’s neon sign and its logo, as well as embossed on the host in the form of a forearm tattoo.
— Susan Stone
195 Uhlandstrasse, 10623 Charlottenburg
Tuesday to Saturday, 7-11 p.m.
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