Bottega di Brontolo Ristorante Italiano

Despite what TripAdvisor might tell you, there’re plenty of Italian restaurants in Budapest serving tastier food at lower price points than Bottega di Bontolo. Unfortunately, too many dishes fall short at this downtown restaurant located on a side street off the highly-touristed Váci Street.

The in-house pasta (fettuccine with white sauce topped with Parma ham, pecorino, and parmesan) was too dry, in acute need of more buttery sauce. The classic penne al pomodoro contained pieces that were burning hot, others almost cold - the classic signs of the microwave. Although asked for medium, the filet mignon came out undercooked, oozing red juice. Rather than soaked in coffee and liquor, the lady fingers in the tiramisu were crunchy, not integrated in the mascarpone mousse. Some pasta dishes and appetizers at Bottega di Brontolo are prepared tableside by the waiters, rather than the kitchen staff, which may be part of the problem. Two of the better dishes were the branzino crudo (€18) starter, and the seafood linguine (€15).

And then comes the issue of prices. For example, the unremarkable strips of chicken breast with gorgonzola sauce and a side of salad for €17 is excessive, and not only by Budapest standards. To add insult to injury, Bottega di Brontolo belongs to the few Budapest restaurants that refuse to serve tap water. All in all, the food at Bottega di Brontolo needs serious improvement before it can warrant the current price points.