Thank you to lingua food, vanderb and sturmi and others unnamed for all the recommendations for our trip in September, 2013. I will comment briefly on the restaurants we discovered via this board and then some we found on our own or through locals.
Renger Patzsch-This was probably the best value for quality we had on our trip We each had a three course meal (ample portions) with wine for 39E. Coming from SF I consider this a good value especially for the great quality. We started with a composed salad of fresh greens , beets and wonderful tomatoes. I had quail chops and my hubby had homemade ethereal gnocchi with chantrelles. We both had a yummy dessert of a berry ice cream with fresh berries and cookies. The dinner was accompanied by German wines by the glass which were fun to try as they were often different grapes then we were used to. This is a bistro type place that reminds me of the best farm driven restaurants in my area- a la Chez Panisse.
Katz Orange- My hubby's favorite place. What a pretty setting and lovely welcome. Of course we had to have the pork and the fries! Oh my God artery clogging but well worth it. We had lovely service and a great sommelier.
We had stayed in Charlottsburg so we ate at adequate places nearby including Thai, Spanish (Restaurant Mar y Sol) Turkish(mezmem). The last night we went to a SMALL bistro in Prenzlauer Berg called G wie Goulash. It is on a small square Chamissoplatz and run totally by one man. He is the cook, waiter and dishwasher and he was delightful. It has about 6- 8 tables and reservations are advised cause it is so small. I had Chantrelle Goulash and hubby had veal Goulash. nothing fancy but very good and a great end to our Berlin trip.
Dresden- This was difficult because I could not find many Chowhound recommendations before we left. We ended up at two ends of the food spectrum and the first I have to say was more successful. Our first night was a vegetarian local place called BrennNessel. It is a cozy small vegetarian place filled with locals! The food was fresh comfort for with good ingredients. Henricus is a fine dining place located across from the Frankenchurch that was a bit stuffy in atmosphere and service. The food was just ok.
U Tri Ruzi- We made a reservation and were greeted by the manager with complimentary sparking at this brewpub! This was the best beer we had on our whole trip. The food was good Czech comfort food- pig knuckle, and goulash. This is a NON-smoking microbrewery with some tourists and locals too.
Lokal Dlouha- in Old town Does have a non-smoking section, but still a bit uncomfortable. Service was slow and surly and food ok. Forget the bread or other dumplings as they are generally tasteless and heavy. It is a fun atmosphere because everyone is having fun and it is mostly locals.
Red Pif- Lovely atmosphere and good wine selection. The server let us try some wines and then helped us choose wines with each course. We had risottos and duck . Good preparation and good value for money.
Sansho- We made a reservation and it is definitely recommended. This was the most expensive place we went by far and especially expensive for Prague. But if you want a fascinating dining experience this is the place. For dinner it is a fixed price six course meal- innovative Asian. Among the courses were soft shell crab, rare beef, pork belly with watermelon, smoked trout and a great lamb dish. Good quality and worth the price.
Some of our "finds were Cukrkalimonada where we had lunch twice. Fresh food, good soups and salads and good pastries. The service is very friendly. U Male Velryby- The little whale near the previous place in Mala Strana. We had the tapas plate which was great and tasty. We really liked this place as it has fresh food off the beaten track and the chef-owner is a hard working man who wants so very much to please.
Lo Veg- near our hotel and up three flights of stairs. It had just been open only a week. The service is kind, but slow and the vegetarian food was good. I am glad we explored.
Vienna- Generally more expensive to eat than Berlin or Prague-
Again our aim was to have good food and non smoking and in both Prague and Vienna the non smoking thing is more difficult!
Konstantin Filippou- a fine meal 4 courses for 56E at dinner in a modern setting with great presentation and service. The sommelier was especially helpful in selecting wines by the glass (which incidentally were always much cheaper than the same in the US) to pair with each course. It was a fun way to try new (to us) Austrian grapes and new wines. We met the chef as we were leaving and he was so appreciative of us coming!
Zum Finistern Stern- Glad we went, but the smoking up stairs was swirling down stairs and my husband had to leave as we are finishing our meal as he is allergic. The service was friendly and the food good and fresh. Reasonable priced for quality.
Gast Haus Poschl- totally great local no smoking and food comforting and good- Our favorite local place for lunch.
Rudi Beisi- We had a hard time getting a reservation and getting there on public transport from our hotel. but went early for a typical Viennese dinner.