Könyvbar & Restaurant
Könyvbár is a snug, upscale-ish restaurant within Budapest's Jewish Quarter. The food doesn't easily fit into any mold: there are both Hungarian (goulash soup) and international classics (risotto with scallops) on the slim menu, which changes seasonally. What unites these beautifully plated dishes is how good they are. Take the fogas, once Hungary's prized fish, arriving on a bed of creamy cauliflower and ringed by crunchy and colorful slices of the vegetable.
The wine list includes a curated selection of top Hungarian and regional (Austrian, Slovenian) options and also a few natural wine producers. The thematic concept of the restaurant — picking a popular book and using its plot as inspiration for the dishes — falls flat for me, but I have only myself to blame for still not having read Harry Potter. The servers nudge patrons toward the five-course tasting menu, which, for €70 or €110 with the wine pairing, is among the better deals in Budapest, but an a la carte option is also available with mains in the €20-25 range.