Cube Restaurant – Stuttgart, Germany
Review: Ron Bernthal
The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart opened in 2005 on a lovely, historic square in the middle of the city. The museum’s collection of mostly European contemporary art is outstanding, and the building itself, a square stone-core structure with a transparent outer shell of glass, is illuminated at night and has become one of the Germany’s most eye-catching structures. Located on the top floor of this “glass cube” is the museum’s restaurant, called, appropriately, Cube. Designed with large glass windows, and a partially screened semi-transparent, glazed ceiling, the venue is lit with natural light during the day and offers wonderful views of the square in front of the museum, the surrounding streets and the hilly residential districts beyond.
I visited Cube for lunch after walking through the art collection, and was pleased to see an extensive menu offering a relatively inexpensive “Dish of the Day,” as well as larger main dishes, salads, and desserts. Fresh bread and olive oil was placed on the table, and the beverage menu listed about 100 European wines, and several good, local Stuttgart beers, an indication that Cube was no ordinary museum restaurant. I chose the salmon fillet with fennel braised artichokes and vegetables, which was excellent, and finished with a warm chocolate cake with berries and yogurt ice cream. Two cold glasses of a Sauvignon blanc from the wine village of Weinstadt, just east of Stuttgart, accompanied the meal.
Some of the other main dishes, including saddle of veal steak with polenta and king oyster mushrooms, and orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) with asparagus, Serrano ham and baby spinach looked quite good on other tables.
The lunchtime crowd was a combination of museum visitors and office workers from nearby buildings, coming in for the affordable and beautifully prepared “Dish of the Day” specials in an innovatively designed restaurant. The only drawback to my visit was the temperature of the room. The weather outside was exceptionally hot and sunny, near 100⁰, a heatwave even for a summer day in southern Germany, and the air-conditioners were not able to overcome the overheated floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the room, providing 360-degree views, but also allowing unshaded sunlight to pour in. Some patrons were waving small Japanese-style fans provided by the restaurant.
I am sure that the interior of the restaurant cooled off for the evening dinner service, when Cube becomes a more fine-dining venue with a different menu (more gourmet items, higher prices), and a low-lit, candlelight ambience that offers a spectacular night view of the city through its glass walls.
Open daily, 11:30 – Midnight; Closed on some holidays; dinner reservations required.