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Hearty, healthy gourmet fare
Looking for fresh and light, in a region best known for its substantial, meaty cuisine? In Düsseldorf, try Lieblings, where you can enjoy generous portions of contemporary, internationally styled German dishes without the guilt. Innovative preparations in this popular restaurant include an array of options to satisfy carnivores and vegetarians/vegans alike.

Everything delivered to neighboring tables looked great, but in the end, my companion and I opted to split three dishes. We enjoyed an enormous, luscious green salad topped with crisp vegetables, herbs and grilled goat cheese with grape-pine nut chutney; feta cheese pan-fried with sesame seeds and drizzled with thyme honey; and grilled prawns with garlic. Since we were headed out to the Christmas markets after our early dinner, we did not have dessert. When I return to Düsseldorf--and to Lieblings--I will stop in for a more substantial meal, but leave room for a chocolate soufflé with forest fruits, or one of the seasonal sorbets.

With a cool ambiance on the ground floor of a parking garage, Lieblings would be right at home in Berlin or lower Manhattan. This restaurant is a great find, with friendly and professional service, and best of all, wonderful food.