Hungary retains its two Michelin stars in 2012 with restaurants Costes and Onyx featuring in the newly released European Michelin guide with one star each.
Located in District IX’s popular pedestrian-friendly Ráday utca, international-Hungarian fusion Costes earned Hungary’s first mention in the guide in 2010 and has kept it despite several chef changes.
Restaurants catch a Michelin star
The following year saw the addition of Gerbeaud House’s Onyx restaurant on Vörösmarty tér (square), whose two Hungarian chefs Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll prepare high-quality modern Hungarian cuisine with a modern twist.
The Michelin Restaurants and Hotels guide, whose 2012 edition went on sale on Thursday, has appeared yearly since 1900 and now features 1,700 restaurants in 44 cities in 20 European countries selected by anonymous professional inspectors.
The single-star gong which Costes and Onyx received denotes “a very good restaurant in its category” based on the quality of the food and the wine and the luxury level of the restaurant. The Michelin system gives up to three stars (two denoting “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”), but no Hungarian restaurant features in either category.
Arcade Bistro (District XII), Bock Bisztró (District VII) and Csalogány 26 and Vár: a Speiz (both District I) were awarded the guide’s Bib Gourmand award. Vár: a Speiz, across the street from the Castle district’s Hilton hotel, is a newcomer to the list, which remains four-strong after its close neighbour Restaurant 21 lost its title.
The Bib Gourmand, named after Bibendum, the nickname for tyre-making company Michelin’s Michelin Man corporate logo, reflects “good food at moderate prices”.
The release of the Michelin guide awards dashed expectations that Budapest would earn further stars this year. Eastern Europe remains poorly represented in the guide, which features only Hungary, the Czech Republic (with two new one-star awards for restaurants in Prague) and Poland (Warsaw and Krakow).