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“A mixed experience”

Bistro Chez Maurice
Ranked #4,997 of 8,722 Restaurants in Berlin
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Prenzlauer Berg
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Straight off a late flight and to our apartment in an area we didn't know, thinking we might not find anywhere to eat, four of us were delighted to find Chez Maurice and to have a plate of good cheese and bread and some very good wine at 22euros a bottle. One of us is vegetarian, not ideal in Germany, so a couple of nights later we went back to Maurice where they were happy to put together vegetarian accompaniments to some of the other dishes which made a good meal. However that followed a miserable chevre chaud, the standby of the unimaginative French kitchen for non-meat eaters. None of it was cheap.

But the problem this time was the wine. First we had a bottle of what we'd had the night before, then - so this was probably partly our fault - we asked for a red Nimes from the non-specialist list (by that time the top-notch specialist wine list had been taken away). A red duly arrived and we drank it - nice but not special. When the bill came the unspecific red cost 40 euros. We queried this and were shown it on the menu - we hadn't seen it and certainly hadn't asked for it. We'd relied on the nice young (English and German but not French-speaking) waiter, who didn't give the impression of knowing much about the wine list.

When we expressed surprise at this price, the waiter disappeared, spoke to the French patronne (not the one who'd been there on our first visit) and said we could pay 22euros, which is what we had expected to pay, and he would pay the rest. Knowing what waiters are generally paid, we felt this was unjust, so we agreed to pay up. We were left feeling this was a contrived solution, and it left a bad impression.

A shame, because on the strength of our first visit - charming people, simple but good and reasonable food and wine (well, if 22euros if reasonable for wine, but that's what restaurants do) we would have recommended this as a nice neighbourhood bistro. The business of the 40euro bottle means we can't.

1  Thank Judith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (73)
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18 - 22 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2013

Cute neighborhood restaurant with nice atmosphere. Food not the worst but pretty average compared with most bistros in France. If you really crave French food, it's OK, but rather highly priced for just OK food. My husband got French onion soup and the crust of cheese on top was impressive and tasty but the onion broth below was very bland...almost like they just boiled some onions in water. The entrecôte was ordered medium rare (specified pink on the inside) but it was served well done, all brown throughout. Cut of meat was thin, almost like a pounded steak.
Country style pâté was good and beef cheeks had good taste but rather tough. I would not go out of my way for this place, especially for the prices.

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1  Thank Olga_from_Berkeley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2013

It was our last night in Berlin and we wanted to treat ourselves to a gourmet meal. We choose Chez Maurice as it was recommended in Rough Guide. It was a bit off the beaten track so we had to take a cab but when we arrived it did look inviting and we were initially pleased we had made the effort to come here. The menu was limited but can mean each dish is well prepared and to be fair the starters were not too bad. French onion soup, a little bland but acceptable, snails which were excellent and goats cheese salad which was passable but nothing great. The real disappointment came with the mains. All over twenty euros and all a let down. My friends shared a filet de boeuf and it came with withered tasteless potatoes and green beans. My friends all commented the beef was a bit tough, a bit gristley and a lot disappointing. They did eat it but I didn't eat my fish dish. On being presented with my food I was immediately disappointed. It just didn't look like any care had been given to the dish and on attempting to eat it I realised the fish and pumpkin were both undercooked. I told the waitress and I was immediately challenged. I was told the pumpkin was a salad. Does that equate to undercooked in French? When I said there was a lot of water on my plate, they retorted it was a jus! The most tasteless, watery jus I have ever tasted then. I gave it back to them by which time my friends had finished their food so I did not want anything else. When we came to pay ( one hundred and eighty eight euros later) which included two bottles of mediocre wine I was charged for my fish. When I questioned it they told me it was my fault. They said because I couldn't tell them how to make it better I should pay for it as it arrived as was stated on the menu. Really? It went down hill from there. I protested but they were insistant. We left and I paid for a dish I didn't eat just and after a customer had joined in saying how rude we were to complain and we should go back to England and eat fish and chips. What should have been a lovely last night was spoiled by bad customer service and over rated food.

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1  Thank HellieTea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2013

Finding ourselves in Prenzlauerberg by happy chance, we wanted to try one of the local spots and were intrigued by the thought of an authentic Parisien Bistro experience in Berlin. Actually, we have yet to find this experience in Paris - service was warm and welcoming, friendly and efficient, just the right touch of both. Sometimes service in Berlin can cause one to despair, but this was a lovely revelation. The food was very good bistro fare - salad with warm goat cheese toasts, wonderful mussels steamed with carrots and fennel, tasty lamb. Perhaps desserts fell a bit short of expectations, although the creme brulee was fine. Overall a lovely evening in a gentille bistro environment, and we will definitely be back!

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Thank Californiadreamer227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2012

Chez Maurice is a hidden gem you would not expect to find in this part of Berlin. It's French cuisine but neither upmarket nor up nosed. I ate bistro classics like chèvre chaud and filet de boeuf and my friend had two starters instead of starter and main course which was just as good a choice. The atmosphere is very laid back, in particular if you get a table outside. The quality of the food, however, was solid. Service was friendly, swift and competent.
The only downside are the prices for wine by the bottle. Chez Maurice is also a wine shop and if you want to drink one of the bottles in the restaurant they simply double the price. This is a strange policy. Why is it twice as expensive to uncork a 50 € bottle than a 25 € bottle? Maybe more people would enjoy some of the more exclusive wines if they simply added a, say 15 € Euro corkage fee, regardless of what you choose.

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1  Thank BeenThereAlready_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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