La Perle Noire is a high-end restaurant occupying the ground floor of Mamaison, a four-star hotel on a quiet section of Andrássy Avenue (peppered with residential villas and embassies, Budapest's Andrássy Avenue is often compared to the Champs-Élysées). Let's get the bad news out of the way: La Perle Noire's interior is anything but cozy — rows of dark furnishings lend a constrained formality to this oversized space. The good news? There's a green terrace overlooking Andrássy to escape the inside and offering an exclusive dining experience in the warmer months.

The food here is very good, consisting of international fine dining classics that are beautifully plated and delicious. There might be a roasted foie gras (€26), a rack of lamb (€23), or braised pork cheek (€19) with seasonal vegetables. But best of all, and also most economical, is the weekday three-course lunch prix fixe for €12. Most recently I've had filets of wonderful northern pike (csuka) on a bedding of shredded beets followed by roasted slivers of chicken liver. Note that La Perle Noire is rarely more than half-full, but no one, least of all the ever-present owners, seems to mind.

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