Frankfurt is usually pigeonholed as a business destination. Its international airport is one of the busiest in Europe. It’s home to businesses and financial institutions from around the world. While its futuristic skyline promises continued expansion. But that doesn’t mean you have to rule out Germany’s fifth-largest city as a vacation destination.
Not all of Frankfurt is sleek and modern. Altstadt, the medieval old town, is home to timber buildings along the Main river. Römerberg, the old center of the city, is where you’ll find churches, museums, and, during the winter, the Frankfurt Christmas Market. Plus other neighborhoods, like Westend, have remained residential, with Wilhelminian-style homes, tree-lined streets, and green parks.
But right now, there’s another reason you’re interested in Westend. It’s also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant that you’ve been dying to visit. Weinsinn sits between Holzhausenpark and Goethe University. The restaurant first opened as a wine bar in 2009. When a new chef arrived, he spent the next few years turning the bistro into a gastronomic masterpiece. It didn’t take long for the Michelin inspectors to catch on.
You arrive to find a little restaurant with wood-topped tables spread out between two rooms. The walls vary in color from a dusty blue to a purple-tinged gray to a deep chocolate. Abstract art dots the walls. While low-hanging balls brighten the dark space. Weinsinn obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The menu, like many of this caliber, is set, though it changes weekly and is based on only the freshest ingredients. Three, four, and five courses are offered. The accompanying wine list, filled with both world-famous big names and German secrets, seems endless. The sommelier suggests a Riesling from the nearby Rheingau region to start the meal. And what a start it is. A simple, but perfectly cooked, piece of brook char sits in the center of a white plate. The accompanying vegetables look like artwork strewn around the edge of the plate. The delicate fish dish is followed by handmade pumpkin raviolo. The pasta may sound classic, but it’s paired with shiitake and miso for a modern twist.
Your toughest decision of the night ends up being your last savory course. Your options are turbot with a modern take on a traditional black pudding or local favorite venison brightened with celery and juniper. The venison wins, since you began the meal with a fish course. It does not disappoint. And neither, for that matter, does Frankfurt.