Berlin’s best Italian restaurant? Il Ritrivo
Sometimes when you go away, you find a restaurant that’s so special it makes your holiday. My friend Elke and I found this in Berlin when we visited Italian restaurant Il Ritrivo. Discovered through browsing Trip Advisor for something local to our hotel, feeling tired and extremely hungry from a day of sightseeing, we just wanted tasty food and lots of it. The reviews were impressive but we didn’t get our hopes up too high because you can never take Trip Advisor ratings as gospel.
Il Ritrivo is a busy, bustling, noisy and energetic restaurant with real (loud) Italian staff. The waiters and waitresses run around at speed carrying pizzas so big the plates which they are served on struggle to contain them. When we arrived it was packed to the brim and we were told to try back later which although disappointing is always a good sign!
We hot footed it next door into a slightly bizarre Indian restaurant sipping 2 -4-1- cocktails while we waited in hope that a table became available at Il Ritrivo, and reluctantly making back up plans in case it didn’t. Luckily for us they did manage to squeeze us in eventually although we were seated in the only available space; on the end of a large group’s table- but this only added to the fun as we got chatting to our Italian neighbours.
The atmosphere inside is raucous and infectious, the walls are gratified from top to bottom in typical Berlin fashion but, unlike some places in the city, this restaurant has no pretense or try-hard desperation to appear trendy: It is warm, welcoming and just the right side of mad.
It also happened to be international women’s day when we arrived. This is celebrated with some enthusiasm in Italy, so everyone of the fairer sex was presented with a miniature flower bouquet upon arrival which was a very sweet touch.
We chatted a lot with Delhim, our Italian waiter who told us about his vegetarian restaurant near Naples, recommended what we should order and gave us a lethal measure of lemoncello to finish our meal.
The food was so good that Elke and I ended up eating for four. Having eaten our pizzas (thin, tasty and smothered in molten mozzarella) we decided we needed to try the pasta too, which lead to trying the tiramisu and the chocolate mousse and… you see where this is going. We probably should have felt embarrassed ordering this quantity of food and eating like it was our last meal but it all in the name of research. But after consuming a pizza each, pasta and a dessert each you must believe me when I say that Il Ritrivo is a bad place to visit if you are watching your weight.