There’s an undeniable element of fun in the dishes coming from the open kitchen at Funkenhausen—located, as it happens, next to a mounted boar’s head named Ernest Hamingway. The new West Town restaurant provides ample opportunity for chef Mark Steuer (Carriage House, El Che Bar) to not only flex his creative muscles, but give German cuisine an imaginative makeover that also draws from his family’s classic recipes.
If your idea of German cuisine remains lodged in the realm of fatty bratwurst and carb-loaded sides, Funkenhausen will prove a pleasant surprise. Take, for example, the singularly named Sürfentürfen ($15), a combination of tender scallops and crisp pork belly, which gets succulent levity from slices of vibrant ruby and gold plums (sourced from Green City Market) and a puree based off a sauerkraut recipe from Steuer’s grandmother. Spaetzle ($14), which, during a late-summer visit, came topped with basil, thinly sliced radish and spiced walnuts, was chilled rather than served hot, which kept it from feeling weighed down.