Il Buco

100% love it
Excellent and not too pricey Italian in a quiet side street
Polish-born Erika Grodzki took over this conveniently located and ever so good Italian jewel from its husband-and-wife owners in 1995, having cooked for them since 1983. Grodzki and her son produce a daily menu of five or six dishes, from saltimbocca and dorade (sea bream) to home-made ravioli, fettucine with pfifferlinge (mushrooms) and nutten spaghetti (hooker pasta, or puttanesca), plus excellent bread. Food is clean, simple and fresh, and the service is personable and local-feeling, with servers taking a seat to gently rattle off the day's choices, as there are no menus at hand. The basement candlelit restaurant has a grotto feel, but it's worth competing for the seven or eight outdoor tables, covered in white linen and overlooking the Express Waschcenter launderette (manned by pretty young things, at the right moment), just off the Hansaplatz, five minutes from the Lange Reihe. Consider booking in advance. Il Buco translates as 'the hole'.