Costes Restaurant (Ráday Street)

In 2010, Costes was the first restaurant in Hungary to earn a Michelin star. Today, despite the fact that Budapest boasts many Michelin-starred places, Costes still has a special cachet. The restaurant is once again helmed by Portuguese chef Miguel Rocha Vieira, under whom Costes first won its Michelin accolade and who cut his teeth in the kitchens of the legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià.

The dinner tasting menu comprises Hungarian classics that have inspired Vieira over the years. They include both countryside staples, like the paprika-laced fisherman's soup, and dishes that traditionally appeared on the tables of the local aristocracy, like foie gras, and a roast squab paired with earthy beets. The visually striking plates reflect Vieira's superb technical skills; for example, the sturgeon comes with a side of artfully gutted kohlrabi containing the fish roes. The highlight of my most recent meal was the fogas, once Hungary's noble fish, which was soft and moist and subtly sweet, and to which the torched cauliflowers, roasted almonds, and truffle sauce lent a cornucopia of flavors and textures. Desserts are also playful and inventive — who knew that pebbles of the Danube River were edible?

Traditional Hungarian foods also appear as part of the amuse bouches and desserts: you'll be introduced to mini versions of a poppy-seed strudel, kürtőskalács, and Túró Rudi. There's a four (€90 per person), five (€100), six (€110), and seven-course (€130) tasting menu option that you can supplement with wine pairing. The wine list features many small wineries from Hungary’s main wine regions, including some of my favorite producers like Bott Pince and Attila Homonna from Tokaj. Note that Costes is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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