I was surprised to find out that Gerüchteküche roughly translates to "gossip factory" in English. One might expect a swanky, ultra-modern restaurant with overpriced cocktails and artistic, meager portions. But that's not so at this warm, open-kitchen Mediterranean restaurant in Stuttgart-West.
When you walk into Gerüchteküche you notice two things: First, the seating area is tiny and backs up right next to the kitchen as if you've gone to a friend's for dinner, and second, the chef is there to greet you at the door. The atmosphere is very welcoming as she shakes your hand and shows you to your table. From there, the wait staff take over.
Last night we had a young girl serving us. She was very helpful in answering all our questions and was attentive to our needs (water, drinks, more bread) throughout the meal. She even switched to English when there were some points about the menu that we didn't understand.
The menu itself is rather small (about eight appetizers and eight entrées, with two options for full-course meals), which is actually something I like so that you don't become bogged down with choices. The food is all Mediterranean, specifically Syrian, in flavor. This was our second or third visit, and I haven't been disappointed by the food yet.
On this occasion we ordered a lovely mixed appetizer platter to share. It consisted of baba ghanoush (a cooked eggplant spread), a couscous salad, fresh hummus, antipasti of olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and, my favorite, grilled goat cheese with honey and grilled honey melon. The sampler really is a lovely introduction to the cuisine and is just enough for two people.
For my entrée, I ordered the grilled dorade, a white fish served whole with grilled vegetables and rosemary potatoes. The fish was flakey, tender, and juicy on the inside, and the skin was crispy and packed with spices on the outside. Matt ordered the beef filet with rosemary, vegetables, and potatoes. The meat was cooked perfectly and full of flavor. In the past, I've also had the entrecôte and a white bean stew, and both were just as flavorful and delicious. The menu seems to change with the season, so while she had white beans on the menu, they weren't in the same tomato stew sauce that they came in during the winter.
We were absolutely full by the end of our meal, but decided to try dessert once our waitress told us they had a grießkuchen (semolina or grit cake) with raspberries that she had made herself. It came out warm and moist, and despite our full bellies, did not last long on the plate.
Once you add on drinks and dessert, our meal was a bit on the expensive side. But for the excellent service, ambience, and food, I find it totally worth it for a nice weekend meal. I should note that the chef, Frau Kaplan, apart from meeting us at the door, was also the one who responded directly to my request for a reservation. She also checked on us a couple of times throughout the meal to make sure we had everything we needed and that the food was to our liking. It's really nice to find that kind of care in a small restaurant these days, and I know I'll be going back in the future.
Gerüchteküche is located on Rotebühlstraße 159. It's a two-minute walk from the Schwabstraße S-bahn stop, or you can take the 44 bus from Charlottenplatz and be dropped off just across the street. Note that they don't open for dinner until 18:30, and they are closed on Mondays.