Terra e Vino, Bad Godesberg – Germany

I had been in Bonn in business for about a week.  This was my second trip of the month and I was beginning to get more than a little bored.  Bored of work, bored of Bonn but most of all bored of the bad Italian food that seemed to be served everywhere in Bonn.

I saw a train going to Bad Godesberg and Googled ‘best restaurant Bad Godesberg’.  Of course the results were mostly sponsored nonsense and random restaurants.  I tried again, this time adding ‘Italian’ to the search string.  The top hit was a blog written by an American who had been living in Bonn for some time and was due to go back to the US.  She explained that there was only one restaurant that she knew she would visit again before leaving; it was called Terra e Vino.

The blog post explained that this restaurant was hidden behind a row of shops; it was Bonn’s best-kept secret.  I rang a colleague and 30 minutes later we got off the train at Bad Godesberg Banhoff.  The instructions in the post were clear: turn right out of the station and keep walking until you see a courtyard on the left.  We did as instructed and sure enough we found the restaurant nestled in what looked like a car park.

The restaurant didn’t look much from outside, but we had come this far and we certainly weren’t going to back out now!  This was a very rustic place; we walked past the tiny, open kitchen and could see the seating area beside the enormous racks of wine.  I knew immediately that this was going to be fun…

We were greeted and asked if we had a reservation, which of course, we did not.  Our server explained that there was only one table available and took us to it; this wasn’t a big place but it was clearly pretty popular.

I was surprised that we were not given any menus as we were seated, however I need not have worried as we were given the hand written menus a few moments later.  There was a selection of about five starters and about five mains.  This was clearly a special place – real food that is so fresh, there is no need to create proper menus?!

Suffice to say that my German is limited.  Luckily our server did a great job at translating the menu for us.  I won’t tell you what options were available as I don’t want to give too much away – if you have read this much then perhaps you are in, or will be near, Bonn in the future.  If that is the case,  you simply must see for yourself.

The starters were fairly easy to decipher; I ordered Bruschetta (€4.95), my colleague the Octopus (€9.95).  The mains were a little bit harder to choose.  There was a home-made cheese tortellini served in a sauce that our server could not translate.  She asked the chef for a small plate so we could taste – we did and I enjoyed it very much, however I still could not place what the sauce was made from.  I ordered the mystery pasta anyway (a meagre €8.60) while my colleague chose the veal (€10.60).

Wine was next up – and I was so excited that I was surrounded by it.  Our server asked us what we were looking for in a wine and we explained that we were looking for something that wasn’t too heavy, a Chianti perhaps?

She disappeared to the wine racks and presented me with two bottles on her return; a Montepulciano and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  I was, perhaps, a little sceptical of her choice which was clearly shown on my face.  I was quickly reassured that if we didn’t like a wine we could, of course, choose another.  I chose the Montepulciano (€25) and it was great; smooth, fruity and heavy enough to have some weight.  It was a prefect choice and of course went beautifully with our mains.

My starter was out pretty quickly.  It was Bruschetta but the bread had been gently fried to make it hot. The tomatoes were fresh and juicy and the herbs and garlic was spot on.  An easy dish perhaps, but executed perfectly.  Andrew’s Octopus was deemed tasty and cooked just right.

We sat after our starters, sipping some wine (and contemplating another bottle) and agreed that perhaps, Bonn was not as bad as we had initially thought after all…

Mains were out next (and yes, I don’t need to say that we ordered another bottle) my pasta was extraordinary.  I mean really, really great.  The cheese in the home-made tortellini had started to toast when it was being cooked which gave an excellent flavour.  The mystery sauce was slightly creamy, orange and complimented the pasta beautifully.  This was the best meal I had enjoyed in some time.   Andrew’s veal was deemed ‘yummy’ and was served with some pasta in a pesto sauce.

Service throughout was exemplary, with our wine and water being kept topped up throughout.

We were offered desert, which glancing at the table next to us did look delicious, however the second bottle of wine and pasta had worked their magic already.  I felt really content, which was a very new feeling to me while staying in Bonn.

The bill wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, and indeed most of the cost was the wine; we certainly could have dined for less had it been necessary.

I really enjoyed my meal here, so much so that I came back here three more times during my stay in Bonn.  Each time the mains were different, and each time I wholeheartedly enjoyed the meal, wine and service.

If you are in, or indeed anywhere near Bonn then take the U-Bahn or the train to Bad Godesburg and come here.  You will not be disappointed.

The mystery pasta?  Beetroot.  A home-made beetroot sauce that tasted so good I asked for the recipe.  It will remain a much better a secret then I hope the existence of Terra e Vino does, the very best restaurant in Bonn.

Terra e Vino, Hubertinumshof 11  53173 Bonn, Germany.  Website


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