Babel Budapest

Babel is one of a small number of classic fine dining restaurants in Budapest. It's a dinner-only tasting menu venue located in the heart of downtown with a dimly-lit dining room that has only a dozen tables, all set with white tablecloths. Babel prides itself on delivering dishes inspired by Transylvania. Although this is more of a catchy soundbite than a real commitment to Transylvanian cuisine, Babel's young head chef, Istvan Veres, delivers some of the best food in Budapest.

The standout dish of the 5-course tasting menu is the reimagined “tojásos nokedli” (egg dumplings, or spätzle). Normally the simplest of countryside fare, at Babel the dumplings are smothered in a creamy, truffle-filled egg spread and topped with sprinkles of egg yolk that have been dried and grated. Another highlight is the lightly-seared and tender venison loin paired with celery-root cream, carrot, and mushroom.

The service at Babel includes a bit of theatrics, particularly in the presentation of amuse bouches like the bite of mushroom wrapped in a fermented grape leaf and served on a granite board. Both the five- and ten-course tasting menu runs at €80 per person (the longer has smaller portions), or €135 if you opt in for the wine pairing which consists of Hungarian-only wines. The kind and professional waitstaff at Babel is informed and available upon the slightest glance in their direction.