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This is billed as the finest restaurant in all of Hungary.  And yes, it does come with Gypsy musicians strolling among the diners!

Looks More Like A Courthouse Or City Hall Than A Restaurant!

The atmosphere is "old elegant" at this famous Hungarian eatery on the Pest side of Budapest.  White table cloths and fancy chairs adorn the place.  Waiters are nicely dressed and the service is good but a bit on the abrupt and "snooty" side.

A Typical Gypsy Band In Budapest

The Gypsy band came by twice as we dined.  In Budapest, there's an art to tipping the boys in the band.  Tip too little and it's an insult.  Tip too much and they'll be back again and again figuring that you're loaded.  When you arrive in Budapest, ask your hotel concierge what the goin' tip is these days.  During our trips over there about 200 forints did the trick. 

Pretty Elegant Joint!

We tried the nightly special on our visit.  It was called "A Tasting Dinner of Gundel's Specialties."  It started out with caviar on a porcelain spoon.  A bit on the fishy side but then caviar often is!  Next came a sampling of goose liver pates.  I'd spell them but it wouldn't do any good because you wouldn't understand them.  Hungarian is an extremely difficult language, even for Europeans.  Okay--back to the food.  The soup was essence of guinea hen.  We were then presented with a pan fried filet of fogas (an extremely popular local freshwater fish) with dilled crayfish.  The meat selection consisted of grilled veal, lamb, and beef medallions with a red wine ragout of wild mushrooms.  That was followed by a leaf salad with balsamic vinegar.  And the grand finale was wine ice cream scoops in pastry rings.  Sounds like a lot of food but each portion was very tiny.  And each course, other than dessert, was accompanied by an appropriate Hungarian wine.  Not bad vino!

While they probably charge as much if not more than any other restaurant in Hungary, prices are about in line with what you'd find at a better restaurant in most American cities.  And if price is an issue, you can dine at a restaurant right next door to Gundel and eat the very same food from the same kitchen for less money.

While you're at Gundel, you might want to invest in their little cookbook.  They include some interesting recipes.

Visit the Gundel web site by clicking here.


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