Last week the New York Times listed a few of the restaurants in Budapest which represented the best of what is new on the local culinary scene. Being the New York Times, they didn’t go with a local writer, but instead imported a reporter to ‘break’ the story. But if you live here, you know there is a lot more going on than Bock Bisztró. Here – as an exclusive! – we have three restaurants that are new and exciting, and are good enough for any list of great Budapest restaurants.
Tigris: Named for the Tigris Hotel, the luxury hotel once housed in this historic 1840s building, the Tigris is a tiger on the culinary scene. This acclaimed fine-dining restaurant has, over the four years that it has been open, built up a reputation at one of the best places to go for goose liver. Americans will remember goose liver – foie gras – as that velvety, rich delicacy they used to be able to enjoy (now banned in many major cities, or priced beyond the reach of most budgets). At Tigris there is an entire section of the menu dedicated to goose-liver creations. You can eat it in a cold mousse, with bitter chocolate and plumb, you can have it roasted with fennel and figs, or simply potted with goose fat. For the rest of the eclectic menu, look here.
Bigfish Restaurant: Instead of treating fish like some strange exotic creature to be handled with velvet gloves and served on a silver platter, Bigfish makes a case that fish should be integral to people’s diet. With this in mind, their entire stock is on display, in the front and center of the restaurant. Fresh seafood that varies daily, from oysters to tuna, mackerel, and salmon, assorted shrimps and even live lobsters are on ice for the choosing. Just pick what you like and the server will weigh it, then send it back to the kitchen. It will emerge later, expertly cooked, with a little melted garlic butter on top. Reasonably priced, unpretentious, and deliciously fresh, this young restaurant is packed at all hours.
Bor Konyha: Many local foodies consider this their top choice for an evening out. The ‘Wine Kitchen’ serves high-end fare in a friendly, small but comfortable room. Like many restaurants in Budapest these days, they serve Hungarian, but using international cooking techniques with traditional ingredients and fare. The owner has great connections in the Hungarian wine industry, and is able to get hard-to-find bottles from small vineyards. The waiters are pros at pairing the wine and food, and can be relied upon for great recommendations. Plus, the food is on par with the best restaurants in the city. Have a look at their site here.
So we advise you to look beyond the obvious stars of the culinary scene. In terms of inventive yet traditional fare, there is a lot more to Budapest than one mere article might suggest.
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