- 17 Jul 2015 12:45 PM
Fortunately, these places do not only focus on the classic pizza-pasta-tiramisu line, but also serve completely new dishes that follow authentic traditions of Italian gastronomy. Fantastico!
Meataly Butcher & Grill Bar
If you crave Italian ham and premium-quality beef, veal, or lamb, we highly recommend visiting Meataly Butcher & Grill Bar, which opened on central Pest’s Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue in early May. The place started off as a wholesale business, but soon evolved into a street-food store, with the specialty of the T-bone steak made from marinated Chianina beef, of which we can get a huge 1.5 kilo portion.
If you would be satisfied with less, try the sandwiches made with Italian ham, or the Caprese salad made with buffalo mozzarella. We tasted the latter, with a few slices of mouthwatering ham – and we are certain that the world would be a much better place if we could get meat of this quality everywhere.
As the name suggests, the menu can certainly be linked to Italy, which is no coincidence: the owner, Csenge Zsófia Pető, used to live in Italy for years, and so she imports the meats, cheeses, and wines directly from her former home. Soon, she plans to expand the portfolio – which includes a lunch-menu offer with a soup, a main dish, and a drink for 1,500 forints – along with truffle tastings. Incidentally, Meataly has an excellent relationship with the neighboring Alap, where they bring their products in exchange for high-quality coffee.
Address: 1065 Budapest, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street 35
This recently opened confectionery offers authentic Italian desserts on Frankel Leó Street, near the Buda side of Margaret Bridge. Guests with a sweet tooth are guaranteed to stand in front of the cake counter for long minutes. We can find classic Italian delicacies here like profiterole, crostata with vanilla and fruit, sfogliatella filled with ricotta, and pasta di mandorle (lactose- and gluten-free limoncello-almond cake).
However, the real specialty of Dolcissima is the cannoli, with which they already introduced Budapest’s springtime Gourmet Festival – the classic Sicilian sweet is filled with ricotta, candied fruit, and dark chocolate... and if you desire something really special, taste the ice-cream version of it! Speaking of ice cream: the homemade gelato of Dolcissima is made in the open kitchen from the recipes of the Italian confectioner, Davide; all of the fruity versions are lactose-free.
The confectionery offers a great breakfast selection, too: they await early birds with Sicilian coffee, croissants, focaccia, and mini pizzas. Our personal favorite was the pistachio croissant, a local curio. On request, they also stuff croissants on the spot with various fillings, such as Nutella, vanilla, or jam. The cozy interior and the welcoming service guarantee that we will become returning guests.
Address: 1023 Budapest, Frankel Leó Street 21
Gianni has been operating for only a few months, but we can already tell that this place is quite eccentric compared to the other Italian restaurants of Budapest. Naturally, we say this as a compliment – after all, a restaurateur cannot really go wrong by breaking with traditions and focusing on bringing unique high-quality foods into the city’s gastro scene while retaining the elements of classic Italian hospitality.
Here, we will not find pizza or penne arrabiata on the menu, but instead, can choose to eat risotto with dried tomato and rabbit meat (2,200 HUF), fried sea bass with tomato risotto (3,700 HUF), an Italian cheese platter with garlic and chili cherry jam (900 HUF), or prosciutto with figs and mint (1,500 HUF). In addition to the à la carte menu, the restaurant also has an ever-changing lunch menu that might include dishes like ratatouille with fried eggs and sausage, or chicken ragout with tarragon.
The menu is different each day, so checking Gianni’s Facebook page frequently is highly recommended. The restaurant pays great attention to summer evenings as well – special events include various musical dinner evenings with special cocktails, and experimental delicacies made with molecular-gastronomy methods. This place strives to meet everyone’s needs: vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are all available.
Address: 1053 Budapest, Sas Street 4
Published on XpatLoop.com with the permission of We Love Budapest