Three years ago, when Wolfgang Bartel took over a 13th-Century castle in the hills across the river from Bonn, one of the first things that he did was convert the paddock into a small restaurant.
Then he brought in an accomplished Bolognese chef and decorated the cozy room with German and Italian antiques.
The result is the Restaurant Schloss Kommende Ramersdorf, a distinctive eating experience in a capital where it is not easy to find such a tasteful combination of cuisine and atmosphere.
"It was a gamble of sorts, but I think it is going to work out," Bartel says.
So far, however, the restaurant's location--on the "wrong" side of the Rhine, hidden by trees and the castle's forbidding facade--has kept the place relatively unknown.
Bartel has converted the main part of the castle into a museum and sales rooms for antiques. At night, without lights, the place looks like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe horror story. But inside the restaurant, the visitor finds something altogether different.