Name: The Berlin
Neighbourhood: Downtown Kitchener
Contact: 45 King St. W., 519-208-8555, theberlinkw.ca, @TheBerlinKW
Owners: Jonathan Gushue and Ryan Lloyd-Craig
Chef: Jonathan Gushue (Langdon Hall) and Kempton Munshaw (The Chase)
Gushue, who named the restaurant to honour Kitchener-Waterloo’s Germanic heritage, changes the menu twice daily, driven by what he can acquire from the region’s many farms. “We have a lot of great produce to work with; an endless bounty,” says Gushue. “That’s why I wanted to open a restaurant here.” He makes great use of a wood-fired crank-wheel grill from Grillworks, searing radicchio, thick slabs of pork belly and local trout. And there’s a meat locker in the basement where Gushue butchers whole animals. “We’re aiming for minimal waste.”
Grilled-pear and charred-radicchio salad, with local goat cheese. $10.
House-made beef cheek and foie gras terrine. $18.
Charred lamb shoulder with semolina noodles, broccolini, hazelnut and mustard seeds. $16.
Pickerel, celeriac and barley porridge in a pig’s head broth. $23.
A rotating cocktail menu (which currently includes the Cool Runnings, made with Jamaican rum, hibiscus and ginger), and a global wine list. Almost every wine can be enjoyed by the glass, thanks to a Coravin system.
The restaurant is housed in a four-storey heritage building that was built in the late 1800s. Gushue and Lloyd-Craig spent eight months updating its Renaissance-Revival interior to create a 140-seat space with a central bar and an open-concept kitchen. The living wall is also the kitchen’s herb garden, and is maintained daily by a local florist.
Whole red onions are roasted in the grill’s hearth.
Chef Gushue preparing house-smoked Ontario trout.