A German Speakeasy Dining Experience with Chef Simon

This November, I tried one of the most unique and delicious restaurant experiences I’ve ever had in New York City. Every Saturday, Chef Simon presents a Michelin-grade dining experience hosted at Loft 29 in the heart of Manhattan. I got the chance to experience this German Speakeasy restaurant, and talk to Chef Simon himself about his worldly culinary journey.

I made my way to Loft 29 in Midtown Manhattan and entered a large space, decorated with two long tables adorned with flowers, candles, silverware and glassware. There were already groups of people walking around the space, and I was greeted with champagne upon entering. Something that caught my eye about this space was the open kitchen; where you could see Chef Simon and his staff staff prepping for our evening of delicious food. While drinking bubbly, my exploration of the space led to finding two balconies; one with an incredible view of Madison Square Garden. I took some photos and mingled with other guests before it was time to take my seat at the table.

 

The first course was an absolutely beautiful Potato Soup. The soup was the perfect creamy consistency, with a fresh taste coming through from the chive oil. Chef came around and shaved alba truffle on top of the soup, adding an earthy layer and luxurious touch. Each of the dishes came with a German wine pairing; the soup was served with a light white wine called Wurzburger Pfaffenberg Silvaner.

 

The second course was a creamy Goose Liver Pate. This dish was the perfect sweet and savory mix, served on German country bread and topped with blueberry sauce for a hint of sweetness to cut through the rich and savory pate. The pairing for this dish was a dry sparkling Riesling called  Gut Hermannsberg. It was ultra refreshing, and went superbly well with the rich pate.

The next course was a Lemon Sole, a delightfully fresh fish served on-top of a savory frankfurt sauce, with smoked lentil puree. On the side was pickled kohlrabi, almost like a pickled radish that was a lovely addition to each bite of sole and lentil puree. This dish was paired with another white wine, this time a Pinot Gris by Frieherr Von Gleichenstein from the Baden region of Germany.

 

After that, we had our meat course; the Sauerbraten Rhineland Style. This might have been my favorite dish served. The meat was ridiculously tender, with a delicious demi-glace sauce. It was served on a mashed potato with chive and braised cabbage. When I tell you how melt-in-your-mouth this meat was… and adding the cabbage and mashed potato made the most delicious bite. Of course the meat course was paired with what has to be my favorite wine of the evening, A Spatburgunder that felt very similar to a Malbec, and also from the Baden region of Germany (I think I know where my next trip has to be).

It wouldn’t be a German dinner without a classic Apple Strudel! Chef Simon prepared a delicious strudel with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon. The apple filling was soft and tart, while the dough was flaky and crisp. A touch of raspberry coulis completed this dessert, adding some zing to the sweetness. This dish was paired with another Wurzburger wine (as with the German Potato Soup dish) but a Rieslaner- which is a cross between a Riesling and Silvaner. This fruity light wine matched gloriously with the apple strudel.

And thus completed my evening of absolutely outstanding German cuisine paired with the most incredible German wines.

Not only did I have the pleasure of dining at Chef Simon’s speakeasy restaurant, but I also had the opportunity to talk to Chef Simon about his journey in the culinary world, and the future of his speakeasy restaurant.

Chef Simon was born and raised in Germany, and attended culinary school for three years in Cologne, Germany. After graduating, he moved to France and began his journey of working in the culinary arts. Chef Simon worked at the restaurant of Le Chateau de Nantilly, a hotel in Gray, a city near Dijon in Eastern France. Though the work was tough, Chef Simon told me that this was what fueled his passion to one day own his own restaurant. This was the first of his many experiences in the luxury culinary space across the world. Following his work in France, Chef Simon expanded his knowledge and culinary skill working in top-rated restaurants in Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria, before making his way to New York City. After working in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Manhattan, Chef Simon decided it was time to open his own unique dining experience. After dabbling with the pop-up restaurant concept, Chef Simon officially opened his new German speakeasy restaurant on September 23rd.

Chef Simon’s carefully curated 5-course tasting menu changes every week; but is always crafted with the idea of traditional German cuisine. The goal, Simon says, is to bring awareness to elevated German cuisine, rather than what comes to mind when most people think of German dishes (like schnitzel and bratwurst). This dining experience also comes with German wine pairings, showcasing delicious German wines rather than the beers that are typically associated with German cuisine. The dishes are made with top-quality ingredients, with organic produce and meat sourced from local farms.

What’s next for Chef Simon’s speakeasy restaurant? Chef says that the plan is to extend the weekly dates to Thursday and Friday in addition to Saturday, as it is currently only open for Saturday reservations. Chef will keep curating his ever-changing menus with seasonal dishes, and continue to grow his sustainability effort using organic and local ingredients.

Try Chef Simon’s Speakeasy German Restaurant for yourself! Find more information and reservation bookings here 

Hannah Kadyrov

Hannah Kadyrov is a native New Yorker and first generation American. You can most often find her scouring a flea market in search .925 silver and vintage denim, visiting Brighton Beach to get a taste of nostalgic Russian delicacies, taking her cat on a walk in Central Park, or at the MET. She is an adventurous foodie and will never say no to a new taste. Hannah studied Fine Arts at The Fashion Institute of Technology before spending the next few years working different roles in Print Publishing and Advertising. Her current focus is reading as much as possible and writing about anything and everything.