Jealousy among siblings is a common phenomenon, especially when the small one is growing up in the shadow of the big one’s successes. However, sister fighting is not characteristic of the two renowned Budapest restaurants Costes and Costes Downtown. The modern fine-dining restaurant Costes Downtown proved that it’s in no way inferior to its big brother in terms of quality and service by winning a Michelin star almost one year ago.
The same way as in the case of siblings, you can find considerable character difference between Costes and Costes Downtown – although they belong to the same gastro family led by festival giant Károly Gerendai.
Costes, with its high-class elegant furniture and classic service, belongs rather to the group of old-school restaurants. It was the first restaurant in Hungary and only the second one in all Central Europe awarded by a Michelin star, in 2010. Costes Downtown on the other hand breaks away from the usual expectations.
Upscale but not detached
This fine-dining establishment awaits its guests with a relaxed atmosphere, modern interior with numerous natural tones, wood and even a wall covered in greenery. The exciting design is crowned by contemporary artwork from Gerendai’s private collection.
The service is more relaxed, although it’s no less than the high standards kept in its sister-restaurant Costes. You can walk in here on a weekday without a tie, with open collar or even without collar for a quick business lunch or dinner with friends. There are no constraints.
When Costes Downtown opened in June 2015 on the ground floor of the newly opened Prestige Hotel, originally they were planning to find a new, more spacious location for the Costes Restaurant, which is still located in Ráday utca, as András Lexa, the general manager of the two restaurants, explains.
Inspired by his own passion for good food, Gerendai decided to open a second restaurant. The concept of combining fine dining with a bistro style that is characteristic of Costes Downtown quickly earned success, with the awarding of a coveted Michelin star by March 2016.
“That was very surprising for us back then,” Lexa recalls. “We got an email saying that we have received the star. It was fantastic. Of course we had to finish our work first but after that we all cheered it in the evening.”
International cuisine with a regional touch
It also could have contributed to the quick success that Gerendai was able to employ the same Portuguese star chef, Miguel Rocha Vieira, to create the concept of dishes for Costes Downtown.
Under his supervision a menu was drawn up that combines international cuisine with a regional touch. Many classics are included, prepared by the skilled kitchen team led by chef Tiago Sabarigo every day, adding a contemporary finish to them.
Two examples are the duck breast served with cranberries and red cabbage, or the wild boar steak with pumpkin refined with black truffles.
In Costes Downtown we primarily recommend trying the fish dishes: you can opt for the smoked trout bites with root vegetables and kale, or the crisp-fried perch fillet with cauliflower and capers.
The dishes are always accompanied by different fresh vegetables, preferring the use of the increasingly popular “superfoods”, for example healthy cereals such as black quinoa, grapes and millet.
You will not find many of the quick-calories carriers on your plate, such as potatoes, pasta and rice. Focusing on a healthy, lean diet is an integral part of the kitchen philosophy at Costes Downtown, Lexa assures us.
While the main business of Costes Downtown is the lunch and dinner offers, which are tailored menu cards, the restaurant also serves its location, the Prestige Hotel, with a breakfast service. This is mainly taken advantage of by the hotel guests but can also be visited by external visitors.
The breakfast offers an open buffet including selected hot drinks plus numerous classic à la carte dishes.
Gastronomic highlight: “Chef’s Table“
For gastronomy fanatics Costes Downtown offers a special experience: a comfortable seat at the large wooden “Chef’s Table” with a direct view on the work going on in the open kitchen.
Here you may taste the dishes prepared in front of you and can watch up close the steps of the preparation of your very own surprise menu put together by the chef especially for you.
Since such an evening requires the correct preparation, a place at the “Chef’s Table” requires prior reservation.
5 Vigyázó Ferenc utca
Breakfast – from 6.30 to 10.30
Lunch – from 12.00 to 15.30
Dinner – from 18.00 to 23.00
HUF 3,400 to 6,500
HUF 7,300 to 9,700
HUF 4,500 to 4,800
with 4, 5 or 6 courses:
HUF 22,000 to 30,000