Bistrorante Da Adriana
There are a number of good Italian restaurants in the Kaiserslautern area. Recently, my wife and I stumbled upon one that could easily become our favorite. It is the Bistrorante Da Adriana at Gaustrasse 1 in Kaiserslautern. It is located just a short way from the pedestrian zone, but you could walk near it a hundred times and never see it.
Da Adriana is located in a handsome old building, with large multi-pane windows and high ceilings. The restaurant itself is not fancy or posh, but has a kind of simple elegance. There is dark wood offset by cream-colored walls, soft lighting, and candlelight. The background music is a pleasant mix of guitars, jazz, and light pop. Altogether, it is a place where you can relax and hold a conversation while enjoying a glass of wine and a delicious meal.
As for food, owner Adriana Jivan offers you plenty of choices. Unfortunately, I cannot say much about most of the appetizers because we only tried two on our first visit, and enjoyed them so much that we ordered them again on our second visit. I had the garlic cheese toast and thought it the best I have had in Germany. My wife had a side salad that was fresh and tasty, with a creamy dressing. There is a good selection of other appetizers, soups, and salads, so you are bound to find something appealing.
Da Adriana offers a number of different sauces to go with the pasta of your choice. My wife had the carbonara and enjoyed it a lot. I chose the pasticciata and thought it was outstanding. Both portions were generous and we ate more than we needed to just because it was so tasty. Indeed, we enjoyed our meal so much that we thought about going back the next night to try Da Adriana’s pizzas, but we showed some restraint and waited until the following weekend.
Da Adriana has a nice variety of pizzas on the menu. My wife chose the vegetarian, while I tried the four-cheese pizza with added pepperoni. The crusts were thin and crispy, browned but not burned. Both were delicious, and we would not hesitate to order a pizza from Da Adriana again. They were very close in quality to our reigning favorite pizzas in Kaiserslautern, which we get delivered from Ristorante-Pizzeria La Casa. But that is another review.
The menu also offers a variety of fish, pork, beef, and turkey dishes. Needless to say, you can get schnitzel (I suspect that German restaurants are legally required to sell schnitzel). We haven’t tried any of these yet, but we will have plenty of options when we do. Da Adriana has the standard schnitzel toppings but also some that sound more interesting, like the Schnitzel Stroganoff (mushrooms and cognac-cream sauce) and the Schnitzel Vino Bianco (cream and white wine sauce).
Da Adriana offers just a few desserts. My wife ordered the chocolate soufflé, and she forced me to share it with her. Poor me. It was served hot and nicely presented with dollops of whipped cream. It had a rich chocolate taste that lingered for several moments on your palate, so a small bite goes a long way. If that doesn’t tempt you, other choices include a tartufo or vanilla ice cream. A recent special included vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce.
The wine and beer selections are modest, but both wines we tried (a Nero d’Avola and a Chianti) were quite good. As for aperitifs, my wife had a Hugo that she enjoyed greatly. I had some Baileys, and this presented my only disappointment of the whole experience, in that I was surprised at how little was in the glass. But, hey, at least I got to watch my wife sip happily on her Hugo for 20 minutes as I forlornly watched the unsullied-by-much-Baileys ice melt in my glass.
Da Adriana is reasonably priced. Our meals, including appetizers, entrees, wine, and a dessert, cost just under 40 euros. Reservations are recommended, but both times we went they welcomed walk-ins. Take-out is available.
How to find Da Adriana: If you are standing in St-Martins-Platz, walk up Steinstrasse in the direction of the whimsical Kaiserbrünnen (Kaiser Fountain)—in the opposite direction from Stiftskirche. When you reach the small street (Salzstrasse), turn right and follow that until you see Da Adriana. It sits on the corner of Salzstrasse and Gaustrasse, directly across from a small police station.