The Discreet Luxury of Páva Restaurant in Gresham Palace, Budapest

Páva Restaurant (Pava Étterem) in Four Seasons Gresham Palace, Budapest was closed down. Sorry.

Formerly it was not only luxury with its food, service and the architecture of the Art Deco Gresham Palace, but quite extraordinarily, with its views too. The panoramic-view windows of Páva are overlooking the Chain Bridge spanning over the River Danube, leading the eyes to the Royal Palace, the green forests of the Buda hills making you feel at home. As Fodor’s travel guide puts it: “The hotel’s premier restaurant is everything you’d expect from the Four Seasons chain: discreet luxury in a unique and historic building. The international menu hardly let’s you know you’re in Hungary, but the food is so expertly prepared you’re willing to settle for the breathtaking views of the Chain Bridge and Budapest Castle as a reminder. Service is friendly but white-glove all the way.”Frommer’s refers to this ‘friendly but’ factor as “While the atmosphere here is a tad stiff, the dining experience is memorable.

Interestingly enough the official website tells you that the menu is Italian, Frommer’s guide says it’s Italian (“serves really great Italian cuisine: this is a 3-hour, six-course meal,“) but several other reviews dub the kitchen international.

Pava Restaurant (Pava Étterem) in Four Seasons Gresham Palace, Budapest

Address: Roosevelt tér 5-6, 1051 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-268-5100
Opening hours: (dinner hours) Mon – Sat 18:00 – 22:30
Getting here
:

  • metro (blue line) Deák tér station,
  • tram/streetcar: number 2 or 2A
  • bus number 15, 16, 105

Note: Book a table in advance (closed on Sundays). Expect the experience to be pricey & memorable. Attire: business casual. Pava restaurant seats 78 people, while the private dining room 14. Páva means peacock in Hungarian (see the motif on the gate)
See the location of Páva Restaurant in Gresham Palace on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Páva Restaurant in Gresham Palace is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge, plus there’s the Funicular Railway on the other side of the bridge (5-10 min walk).


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Taverna Pomo d’Oro Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar in Budapest

Taverna Pomo d’Oro Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar is conveniently located at the Parliament in Budapest. The restaurant (which is not to be confused with the nearby Trattoria Pomo d’Oro) is included in the Hungarian Food Blog, Chew.hu’s Top 33 Budapest Restaurant’s list. Taverna Pomo d’Oro has a nice selection of Italian and Hungarian wines (a few French wines too), and Chew staff praised the restaurant’s classic Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-Bone) made from 24-month-old beef.

Address: Széchenyi utca 14, 1054 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-312-1405
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 12 am, Sat – Sun 4pm – 11pm
Getting here
:

  • metro (blue line) Deák tér station,
  • tram/streetcar: number 2,
  • bus number 4

Taverna Pomo d’Oro Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar in Budapest

See the location of Taverna Pomo d’Oro on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Taverna Pomo d’Oro Restaurant is very close to the Parliament, the Basilica and Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace or Hotel Sofitel.


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Il Terzo Cerchio: Divine Italian Restaurant in Budapest

The Italian Ristorante Il Terzo Cerchio in Budapest is a divine Italian Restaurant in two senses: one for its food, which is the most important, and the other for its name, which means ‘The Third Circle‘ referring to the 3rd circle of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy, where Cerberus guards the gluttons. So beware falling into the trap of gluttony here! :)

While the gluttons in Dante’s epic poem (or the thriller Seventh based on it) are forced to lie in slush made by freezing rain, black snow & hail, you will be treated heavenly in this fine Italian restaurant located in inner Budapest, in fact the old Jewish district.

Il Terzo Cerchio Italian Restaurant in Budapest Dohany utca

“Time goes by quickly in Terzo, because it’s ideally suited for large, loud groups and not intimate discussions. On a regular weekday evening the huge, almost hollow place fills up quickly with Italians and locals having a great time at large, sometimes 10-12 seater tables. There is a good buzz about the place that is kept up by the ever watchful eyes of the Italian owners – always there to greet guests, help out where possible and just to be there at all times. Pizza is one of the best Budapest has to offer with a definite smoky taste due to the wood-fired brick oven it is made in.” (Steel on Food Police culinary blog)

The design is like a cobblestoned street under the ground, simple wooden tables and chairs, bare brick walls, and large gatherings make it a lively place.

Address: Dohány utca 40, 1072 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-354-0788
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12pm – 23:30
Getting here:

  • metro (red line) Astoria station
  • trams/ streetcars: 47 or 49
  • buses: number 7 (green not red), or 78

See the location of Il Terzo Cerchio Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Il Terzo Cerchio Restaurant is very close to the old Jewish district and just a few steps from the Great Synagogue (Moorish-Byzantine neolog synagogue), as well as the beautiful Urania Film Theater (Uránia Mozi) or the opulent Cafe New York in New York Palace Boscolo Hotel.


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Osteria Fausto’s Restaurant (Fausto’s Étterem) High-end Italian Ristorante in Budapest

Osteria Fausto’s Ristorante (Fausto’s Étterem) is a genuine representative of high-end exclusive Italian restaurants – and there are actually two Fausto’s in Budapest, one is the Fausto’s while the other one is Osteria Fausto’s. Their motto is “Italian tradition in a continually reinterpreted international cuisine.” The wine list contains a wide variety of Hungarian and Italian wines. Fancy dishes at fancy prices, ideal for fancy business or romantic lunches/ dinners (make sure you book in advance). The design, the prices, the opening hours differ in the two Faustos Ristorante so check the details below for each.

Fausto’s Restaurant

Address: Székely Mihály utca 2, 1061 Budapest
Phone: 00-36 1 877-6210 or cell: 00-36-30-589-1813
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm – 3pm and 7pm – 11pm, Sat 6pm-11pm (closed on Sundays)
Getting here: underground (yellow metro line) Bajcsy Zsilinszky út station or Opera station, then walk or trolley buses: number 70 or 78.

Fausto’s Restaurant (Fausto’s Étterem) High-end Italian Ristorante in Budapest

See the location of Fausto’s Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Faustos Restaurant is very close to the Opera House or the Operetta Theater, as well as the old Jewish district and the Great Synagogue.


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Osteria Fausto’s Restaurant

Address: Dohány utca 2, 1072 Budapest
Phone: 00-36 1 269-6806
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm (closed on Sundays)
Getting here: underground (yellow metro line) Bajcsy Zsilinszky út station or Opera station, then walk or trolley buses: number 70 or 78.

Osteria Fausto’s Restaurant (Fausto’s Étterem) Exclusive Italian Ristorante in Budapest near Dohány Synagogue

See the location of Osteria Fausto’s Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Osteria Faustos Restaurant is very close to the old Jewish district and the Great Synagogue (Moorish-Byzantine neolog synagogue), as well as the beautiful Pushkin Film Theater (Puskin Mozi from 1926).


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photos from Chew.hu

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Ristorante Krizia: Italian restaurant in Budapest

Ristorante Krizia Italian restaurant in Budapest headed by the owner-chef Graziano Cattaneo serves genuine Italian cuisine in a rustic-elegant family atmosphere. Italian and Hungarian wines by the glass and by the bottle alike. As Jacqueline Friedrich in New York Times remarks: “a popular seven-year-old Italian restaurant with excellent homemade pasta.” (back in 2004). “Our main courses of spinach and ricotta ravioli, home made cannelloni and risotto of langoustines were all a cut above the norm. Finishing off with equally impressive caramelized fruit pancakes and a chocolate torte, we’re happy to be among the critics who rave about this place. Recommended!” (Talking Cities UK). Krizia Restaurant is also amongst the top 33 restaurants on Chew.hu list (a leading culinary Hungarian blog).

Ristorante Krizia Italian Restaurant in Budapest close to Oktogon

Address: Mozsár utca 12., 1066 Budapest
Phone: 00-36-1-331-8711
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12-15 and 18:30-24:00 (closed on Sundays)
Note: Sundays: closed.
Getting here:

  • underground (yellow metro line), Opera station
  • trams/ streetcars: number 4 or 6

See the location of Krizia Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Ristorante Krizia is very close to the Opera House as well as the Operetta Theater, and the House of Terror museum on Andrassy út.


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Photo from Chew.hu

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Trattoria Toscana: Italian Restaurant by the Danube bank in Budapest

Trattoria Toscana Budapest is an Italian Restaurant by the Danube bank in Budapest, with a lovely terrace overlooking the white sleek Elisabeth Bridge or the 19th century Liberty Bridge. Trattoria Toscana boasts a very welcoming interior: warm colors, rustic walls, good pastas, pizzas, salads, desserts, and always full in the evenings. Fodor’s travel guide writes: “this popular trattoria feels pretty authentic … The extensive menu boasts some of the best fish in town, including several sea bass options. The little understood mozzarella ventigli pasta with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh oregano (homemade cheese-filled ravioli with garlicky tomatoes and lots of oregano) is a dish to die for.” Pizzas from 1700 HUF, beers from 800 HUF, occasional celeb view for free.
Trattoria Toscana Budapest Hungary Italian upscale restaurant

Address: Belgrád rakpart 13. Budapest V. kerület (5th district)
Phone: 00-36-1-327-0045 or 00-36-1-327-0046
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm – 12 am
Note: make an early reservation to get a table
Getting here:

  • tram/ streetcar: number 2 or 2A
  • metro (blue line) stations: Ferenciek tere OR Kálvin tér – equally 5-minute from either
  • bus: number 15

See the location of Trattoria Toscana on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the knife and fork map icon in the middle, and click on the icons to learn more about the neighboring places of interest or click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Trattoria Toscana is very close to the Central Market Hall and Váci utca shopping street.


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Cafe New York in New York Palace Hotel, Budapest

Café New York (New York kávéház) is in the recently renovated opulent five-star hotel, in the New York Palace, in a busy part of Budapest (easily reached by the red line metro at Blaha tér, or the trams 4 and 6).

It was a historical venue where the big names of Hungarian literature and movie making used to get together, but today it’s a luxury coffee house and bar – one of the oldest grand cafés of the fin de siecle Budapest. Both smoking and non-smoking parts. For your coffee, I suggest trying the Tiramisu in real Italian style, or just sipping a glass of Tokaj aszú – according to totally unscientific studies it helps to feel the grandeur of the café.

New York Cafe in Budapest New York Palace Boscolo Hotel

Opening hours: from 9am to 1am
Address: Erzsébet körút 9-11., Budapest district VII. 1073
Phone: 00-36-1-886-6111
Wifi: yes

See its location on the Budapest tourist map Check the yellow House icon in the middle standing for the New York Palace and Cafe, and click on Cup icons to get further info on good /Best Cafes in Budapest or the knife and fork icon for good / Best Restaurants in Budapest.


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The History of New York Cafe Budapest

The four-floor New York Palace was built in 1894 in eclectic style by a New York-based life insurance company: of course, not as a palace but as an elegant office complex. It re-opened as New York Palace Boscolo Budapest Hotel, a five star hotel of the Italian Boscolo group managed by Antonio Delpin, in May 2006. Its café, the New York, or rather, The New York in Budapest lingo (opened by Sándor Steuer a member of a famous coffee-family in 1894)

New York Cafe, Literature and Film art

The cafe became one of the most popular iconic cafés of fin-de-siécle Budapest, especially amongst Budapest literati: writers frequented the café for its inspirational atmosphere and company as well as for good coffees and meals. Waiters treated authors with due respect, even providing ink, paper, or aspirin for them. Special discount Writers’ Plates with generous portions of ham, cheese and rolls were given to artists just for a few cents (writing rarely has been a lucrative living). Writers of the first professional mainstream periodical of Hungarian progressive literature called Nyugat (West) were regularly coming together in New York Café. The managers (Harsányi brothers) loved the talented authors who aimed to elevate Hungarian literature to international standards – with great success. Can you imagine that there were 400 different journals and papers in the café to read at the turn of the 20th century? According to Noémi Saly, a Budapest café expert, in addition to Hungarian dailies and periodicals, Czech, Spanish, French and English journals were on display.

Moreover, in the 1910’s theatrical and movie intellectuals found their home in the café. “Indeed, this is where Sir Alexander Korda – director of films such as The Private Life of Henry VIII & The Thief of Baghdad – started out for his world award winning career, just as Michael Curtis, Oscar winning director of Casablanca did too,” according to the hotel’s official website. Yes, the café is undoubtedly deeply rooted in Hungarian cultural history.

In 1920 Vilmos Tarján put together his capital (half a million gained through gambling as District VII local government’s website points out) and took over the management of the café, which became the center of Budapest night life up until 1936. Once it was even visited by a circus seal to the amazement of the audience.

New York Cafe as a Warehouse?

In 1945 the palace was bombarded, the café had to close down in 1947 and was turned into a warehouse. What a beautiful warehouse it must have been…. It opened again in 1954 renamed as ‘Hungaria’ (New York was too capitalist for the then communist Hungary, and it was not a café any more just a buffet and restaurant). Two years later, the 1956 revolution left its marks on the building. After World War II there were plans to turn the palace into a fashionable mall, then in the communist era it functioned as the headquarters of a national publishing group (Pallas).

New York Cafe in the Modern era

After the change of regime in 1989, there were several bidders for the palace who wished to transform the property into a shopping center, and some suggested it as the venue for the new national theater.

But in 2001, Boscolo Hotels, the Italian hotel chain, purchased New York Palace from the Hungarian government with the promise of a full restoration of the famous New York Café. The café indeed got back its former pomp and the magical mixture of styles. “What will be done to bring back the poets and the painters?” posed the question Eve M. Kahn in the New York Times to Gilles Stellardo, the marketing director for Boscolo in North America. And the answer is elusive ”We will do something special for the writers and artists; we’re figuring that out right now.” Well, even if you don’t meet artists (there are no discount artist rates any more), you will surely enjoy the painstakingly restored café with rich marbles, friezes and gilt, the Murano glass chandeliers as well as high quality Italian coffees.

New York Cafe – Interior Design

The opulent splendor of New York Palace is characterized by the heavy influence of Italian renaissance with elegant but lavishly furnished interiors in marble, gilt, velvet, crystal, silk, bronze, enlivened by mythological figures, vigorous fresco scenes, baroque ornaments, bright red and blue chandeliers, and a likewise marvelous facade with carved statues, marble spires, wrought iron balconies. To mention but a few, there are 16 winged and horned devilish fauns dramatizing the windows of the café, several nude female statues and figurines to hint at lust, and in the royal suite there is a bronze horse with its leg sunken into the furniture as if it got trapped.

The New York Palace Boscolo is literally eclectic and full of aesthetic surprises to the eye. Tom Otley on Business Traveller compares the design to Kubrick’s film interiors: “Inside the New York Palace it is a strange mix. There is the extremely fashionable and good-looking design: both the breakfast room and the VIP room are some of the most attractive modern designs I’ve seen, a kind of Stanley Kubrick version of the future (a cross between the Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange and something from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Then there is the carefully renovated grand, turn-of-the-(last)-century style of the café, one of Budapest’s most famous, with its marble, bronze, frescoes and Murano chandeliers. Finally there are the frankly odd touches, like the presidential suite with its turquoise Murano chandelier.”

So as you can see, eclecticism is clear. Be prepared to gape at its blended beauty.
The second phase of the hotel development on Osvát street is scheduled to be finished by 2009.