In the city, close to FrenchLe Jardin de Paris has attracted devotees of French cuisine for almost 18 years, and is particularly popular in summer. The small restaurant in a 19th century building opposite the Institut Francais and not far from Batthyány tér, was one of the capital’s first French restaurants.
Jump start or kick backIt shouldn’t be hard to find a place to drink wine in cultured surroundings in the city centre, given that Budapest counts as the capital of a wine nation. Yet in reality it’s not so simple: most restaurants offer their best wines only by the bottle, and in wine restaurants the food often serves as a distraction from the fine wines. However, anyone who wants to devote themselves solely to the juice of the vine should make a trip the Wine & Coffee House on Andrássy út which opened in February.
Scottish bar worthy of its nameWhile Budapest is stocked to the gunnels with Irish bars, it has long been lacking in the Scottish bar department. Up until recently, the only effort was the Sir William on Ráday utca, which thinks displaying a picture of Mel Gibson in a kilt qualifies it as Scottish. Fortunately, in the shape of the Caledonia, Budapest now has a Scottish bar that brings a real slice of Scottish life, particularly in liquid form, to the city.
Top Italian tastesItalian cuisine is one of the most popular in the world – small wonder, given that it abounds in variety. The stylish, newly-opened Novelli Restaurant on the northwest edge of Budapest goes beyond the traditional export successes of pizza and pasta, combining the best of what Italian cooking has to offer.
Built on mashed potatoesMashed potatoes are usually thought of as the favourite of children and old people, rather than being what you would expect to find as a highlight on the menus of good restaurants. The preparation of the dish, however, can be turned into an art, as the chef of the newly opened Püré Bar in Király utca has shown.
Served to suit many tastesImmediately on entering the spacious Vista Café and Restaurant near Deák tér, guests are greeted warmly by staff. The interior, based on warm red, brown and yellow, and divided into smoking and non-smoking areas, makes you feel at ease straight away. Vista is a cross between a restaurant and a café, with the emphasis on the former.
When style is of substanceThe modern elegance of the Baraka restaurant, located in the Bauhaus-style building of the Andrássy Hotel in one of Budapest’s best neighbourhoods, immediately reveals good taste. The lighting, for example, ensures that the dominant black-on-white furnishings do not appear cold and uninviting.