Budapest residents often envy tourists who come to our beautiful capital city, because they experience being here from a totally different perspective. We see them marveling at all our world-famous sights and, what’s more, enjoy eating out as well, experimenting with our very own gastronomy the way we probably should too.
Luckily, at Budapest Marriott Hotel it’s possible to feed not only our hunger but also the desire to escape our sometimes hidebound everyday life, and feel like a tourist in our own town. The 5-star Marriott’s ground floor and terrace are home to DNB Budapest, a modern, bistro-style, standalone Hungarian restaurant and wine bar that is cosy in a classy way. The interior is defined by eye-pleasing shades of brown and huge windows; one can take a comfortable seat and admire the exceptional panorama of Buda Castle, Erzsébet Bridge, and Chain Bridge while rediscovering the joy of eating.
DNB Budapest’s menu is seasonal and so are the ingredients: all fresh and Hungarian, sourced from within a 100-kilometre radius. The same can be said about DNB’s pleasing wine assortment of 30-35 choices, as the restaurant’s focus is mainly on local grapevines (such as Furmint and Irsai Olivér). Nonetheless, some international varieties (Chardonnay, Italian Riesling and so on) have also made their way into the limited but well-chosen selection. With that being said, Funzine’s pair of gastro adventurers was more than happy to test out the restaurant that was opened in March. Instead of ordering from the monthly changing business lunch menu, we were surprised with food and wine pairings featured on the upcoming autumn menu that will be introduced in early September.
During our stay, the service was incredibly attentive and friendly, and we truly felt well cared for. Once we were escorted to our table we couldn’t take our eyes off the view, but soon a basket of fresh sliced bread with butter, salt and a hint of smoked sweet paprika powder, served in a granite mortar, regained our attention. Then came the culinary tour’s first destination: smoky duck breast salad that was both very colourful and light, consisting of sweet pumpkin puree, fig and marinated root veggies. The dried olives placed on the meat gave it a balanced acidity, but to complete the flavour harmony the meal was paired with Lajvér rosé from Szekszárd to emphasize its vibrating notes. Hulled barley risotto with mushroom and crispy sage was the second meal on our stylish plates. It looked and smelled desirable: we could distinguish its fine, not-too-intrusive mushroom flavour and were also wowed by its creaminess. The light and delicate dish went perfectly with a glass of its accompanying Paskomi Chardonnay.
Next up, a Hungarian meal, catfish stew, landed on our table in the company of potato dumplings that we call “sztrapacska”. The meal was served with classic red pepper sauce, sprinkled with diced, fried bacon greaves. These were so characteristic and flavourful that even now, typing this description, they still make our mouth water. Saying farewell to this taste orgy, the waiter poured a glass of bold and sensual siller (it is more than a rosé but lighter than a red wine) from Ruppert Winery in our glasses. Our last meal before the dessert was duck leg confit and cabbage square pasta as a side dish. DNB Budapest’s chef prepared the meal with garlic, thyme and rosemary; the sauce was intensive and the meat itself was perfectly done even for us, who do not consider ourselves particularly big fans of duck meat. With a glass of full-bodied red wine from Kása Winery, it was 10/10.
It is said that the dessert is the crown of every meal, and no matter how full you are there’s always room for it, mysteriously. So true! One shouldn’t miss out on DNB’s kürtőskalács, aka chimney cake, filled with chocolate mousse and whipped cream, topped with forest berries and fresh basil, because it looks royal and tastes like a dream. Accordingly, we enjoyed it with a glass of sweet dessert wine, Szamorodni, which was an excellent way for ending our (ful)filling restaurant test.
Photos: Egy jó kép rólad