Macesz Bistro is a Jewish-Hungarian restaurant inside Budapest's old Jewish Quarter. Part of the restaurant's menu is a hat-tip to the neighborhood's Jewish history, featuring dishes that were once popular among Budapest's Ashkenazi population. (The building across the street from Macesz Bistro is still home to the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community).
The culinary highlight and also the most economical choice here is the five-course “Jewish” tasting menu for €29 (or €45 with wine pairing). Both the egg salad starter and the matzo ball soup are decent (annoyingly, they serve only a quarter of a matzo ball). The helzel, goose intestines stuffed inside the bird’s neck skin, is tastier and prettier than it sounds, and comes with pearl barley. The highlight of the tasting menu is the cholent, the classic Shabbat lunch dish of baked beans and eggs. It comes without meat toppings but it's hearty and flavorful. The final serving is flódni, a Hungarian-Jewish layered pastry with walnuts, poppy seeds, apple, and plum jam. Outside the tasting menu, I can recommend the “Ludaskása,” which is a goose leg confit paired with a schmaltz-rich risotto, pan-roasted foie gras, and pieces of duck gizzard (€17).
All in all, Macesz Bistro is a good restaurant with a skilled chef, but due to its tourist-heavy location and relatively high prices, it lacks the atmosphere - a cozy Jewish-Hungarian neighborhood bistro - it’s trying to project. Being featured in the Lonely Planet guide may help business, but it can spoil the ambiance.