Posts Tagged ‘Cafe Bouchon’

One Last Dinner at Cafe Bouchon

Last night, we tackled item #4 on the list and went to Cafe Bouchon with Bernat, Peter, Ian and Gyula. We drank Ian’s favorite wine there — which is very good, and I’d call it our favorite there, too, but Ian is the one who found it first, I believe — he also bought a case to take home. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas. Nothing too over-the-top or anything, but it was festive. And Gyula brought all of us CDs of Hungarian Christmas music from one of his favorite bands.

We had the standard fare. Salad and the grilled mixed cheese plate for me, which was a bit light on the veggies and had walnuts and cashews in it this time. And everyone else had spicy goulash and potato croquettes.

The piece de resistance, though, was dessert. Evan and I ordered the crepe Suzette again, and our favorite waiter in Budapest came to serve it. He warmed up a glass of brandy (maybe? maybe Grand Marnier or something? It was in a brandy snifter, so I just immediately thought brandy) by gently rolling it over the candle at our table, then suddenly, a flame whooshed out of the glass. He poured the flaming liquid all over our crepe and kept the mesmerizing blue fire going for about a minute by spooning it around. It was absolutely amazing. And it totally made the dish. Last time we had it, it was good, this time it was something to really be remembered. The combo of the semi-bitter orange taste with the crepe and the cream inside was just perfect.

And of course I can’t just throw out that favorite waiter title without explaining a bit more. Cafe Bouchon has a waiter (I wish I knew his name), who is absolutely fantastic. He knows his wines. He knows his food. He’ll suggest things not on the menu. He’ll chat, but not in an overbearing way. His English is great. Basically, in a country where it can be hard to communicate and waiters aren’t always as service-minded as they could be, our waiter friend is really top notch. He would be great anywhere, really, not just here.

We finished dinner with our fortune cookies — another fun, quirky touch Bouchon adds to the dining experience. These fortune cookies are particularly funny and confusing because a good deal of the fortunes are sourced from “Internet Graffiti” — and cited as such. They aren’t wonton-like cookies, either–they’re flat, cinnamon wafer cookies with one side coated in chocolate. It’s always fun to see what you’ll get.

And we got an additional cookie to take home with us — some sort of white cookie with powdered sugar on top — as a little Christmas gift. I’ll definitely miss that place.

We also took a group photo. Or, well, I took a photo of the rest of the group. And we had a weird guy sitting at the table behind us who managed to make very weird faces right in the middle of the photos. Intentionally of course. I’ll try to post it soon.

Only One Week Left in Budapest

This trip has gone by fast! I’ll be heading home to California after this week, though I’m off to London in the new year, so the travels shall continue.

This weekend has been pretty relaxing. We did a lot of holiday shopping and hanging out at home playing Scrabulous (if you’re up for a game, let me know, I’m sort of obsessed). We’re also thinking about all the things we’ll need to do before we leave. No, not packing, but all the things we haven’t gotten around to seeing or doing, or the things we like so much we want to do one last time. Our list:

  1. Go to the Gellert baths. I went there over the summer with Cybelle, but most of the complex was closed, including the main pool, which is supposed to be the nicest. Evan hasn’t even been at all.
  2. Climb to the top of St. Stephen’s cathedral. I’ve been inside, but haven’t seen the view. It’s supposed to be interesting and different from the views you normally get from the hilly Buda side because, well, it’s in Pest.
  3. Eat at Taj Mahal, our favorite Indian restaurant here. The food is great, there are lots of veggie options, and though none of the employees — or at least not the waitresses — are Indian, they still manage to look absolutely fantastic in their saris. Great place.
  4. Eat at Cafe Bouchon. ‘Nuf said, right? We even stopped in there just to warm up with soup on Saturday afternoon since it was really cold outside. We had some more celery soup with carrot chips. Mmmm.
  5. Have one last group dinner. Gotta show off my cooking skills! Just kidding. We’ve just been meaning to do it for a while — a real dinner this time, not just latkes.

Anything else we’re forgetting? I’ll put up a list of all the things we have done soon.

2 Dinners at Cafe Bouchon

This week, Evan and I went to Cafe Bouchon twice, with different groups of people. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in Budapest–the atmosphere is low-key, the waiters are friendly and helpful, and the food is always good. They even have a daily specials menu that truly changes every day.

I got the same main course on both visits–the mixed grilled cheese plate with vegetables and seeds, their only vegetarian entree. The first time I had it was during a visit in the summer, and from it’s name, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. The vegetables are tender and piled high in a hearty dark sauce. The seeds seem to be toasted sesame seeds. On top of it all are essentially slabs of grilled cheeses–crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside–and these seem to change with the nightly selection.

On our first trip to Bouchon this week, on Wednesday night, the dish had three different cheeses and the vegetables were very saucy. It was a lot of food, and I probably only ate about a third of what was served. Last night, however, the sauce was much lighter and had an Asian twist to it, with orange zest and peanuts (I was surprised to get peanuts–not that I personally have a problem with them, but there wouldn’t have been any warning to someone with an allergy). There was also much less cheese on top.

Wednesday, I also had some cream of celery soup with carrot chips and we finished dinner with some French chocolate cake. Last night, I started with a small salad that had some surprisingly hot peppers and we had a flambeed-at-the-table crepe Suzette for dessert–I’d definitely get that again.

Last night we got to eat in the upstairs dining room, which I’d never seen on my previous visits. There were about six tables up there and it felt quite private. Downstairs feels more like a cafe, with a deli counter, stand-alone tables and a wine area.

Just thinking about those dinners again is making me hungry. I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.