CAFÉ ERTÉ - POSH CAFÉ

Recently, the well known Alkotás presszó, where certain parts of the Szomszédok (neighbors) series was filmed in the 80s turned into the flashiest art deco eatery in town. Because I work close to the establishment and my loyal readers know how unimpressed I am by the offer at MOM Park I have been waiting patiently and watching closely every day on how the development on this particular restaurant was moving along. Too slow, but with great precision and good taste.

First I thought it would turn out a simple café, then I saw the detail that was given to the inside when I looked through the window once and knew instantly that we are talking about far more. In fact, I have to say that it is one of the best designed. most well executed beautiful restaurant interiors in town. Maybe even too much so. Moving twards the back of the establishment you feel like in the boudoir of Louis XVI. : plush pillows, fine fabric, ultra thick napkins, only the best wood used, etc. It can be very inviting for aristocracy but I think they've slightly overdone it. To the point where I was feeling a bit underdressed and uncomfortable. Enter only with a pin stripe suit or even black tie for these events. We must talk about the name of the place at this point: Café Erté. Erté is a famous art deco artist's initials and some of his work features on the walls and in the separate cigar / poker room downstairs. But altogether it's not a great choice for a name, because of Rt. and because of Café Perté.

The question is: does the food live up to the ambience of the interior? Will there be foie gras with truffles on gold plates? Will there be oysters and pearls in fine china?Not exactly so. The prices warrant some exclusivity as well if the interiors are not enough to do the job - it's more pricey than Arcade up the road, so that puts it in the top dollar bracket for me. The menu is well designed, the items and dishes ont he menu also talk of creativity and refined cooking. We also meet the head chef who has spent some time under several international head chefs in the Ocean fish restaurant, so we can be sure that he knows his bluefin from his bigeye tuna. We start off the evening by ordering some drinks: turns out the head of Arany Kaviár was here a while ago and left a bottle of Russkiy Standart in the restaurant which is the top vodka on the planet currently. So we down a couple after a long hard day.

Starters include a Lobster Bisque and a tuna tartare from the weekly offers. Both of them live up to our expectations and my friend tells me the bisque is just as he imagined it to be. The tartare comes with some of the house bread, baked in the restaurant. Nothing astonishingly good, but executed well. For the main course we order a pork chop with rhubarb and baked potatoes and a house osso bucco. The pork chop is deliciously done and the rhubarb gives it a nice, tart taste. Only my potatoes lack a bit of crunch and flavour and they seem to have dried out under the heating lamps. The Osso Bucco is also as nice as it looks on the picture with a huge marrow bone in the middle. We continue with some more vodka and ask for a truly fantastic bottle of wine to accompany the osso bucco and the pork:





To end the dinner we go for the chocolate souffle which is good but not great - the chocolate does not flow out like a pool of molten lava like in some other places. But I've learned that you have to ask for the chefs to be extra cautious and pull it out as soon as they feel it starting to dry up inside. Believe me, it's better half done than well done, just like in the case of a good steak.

We leave with some mixed feelings: a beautiful place, an overall good dinner, some great wine, absolutely superior service by a young lady that I would hire instantly if I were in the position to do so and a hefty bill at the end. The place still needs some time before it truly gets going but it could be among the very top soon. I recommend some patience for the owners as well as scaling back the eliteness of the place somewhat to make it less pretentious and less of a hang out for criminals with a lot of money to burn. If that happens, the people will come.

Café Erté
Corner of Tartsay Vilmos and Alkotás u.
Overall: 7/10

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