Having a clear concept is a good starting point for any restaurant, so I give a thumbs-up to Paletta, a modern establishment a bit outside the city center in Budapest's District 9. Their mission is to emphasize produce sourced from Transdanubia, especially the region near Lake Balaton in western Hungary. They also draw inspiration from abroad, which is why you might find a "margherita DOP Balaton" or a "BBC cigánypecsenye" on the slim menu. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, Paletta still has some kinks to iron out as many of the dishes here need a bit more work. Said barbecue pork (€12) was aggressively oversalted, and both the catfish soup and the "peasant tapas" appetizer seemed more exciting on the menu — dishes have fantasy names — than on the plate. But with a little fine-tuning, Paletta could become one of the more original restaurants in the city, so here's hoping that the kitchen will step up its game.

Note that many Hungarian wines are available, which come from the vineyard of the Bezerics family, the owners of Paletta. Also, at lunchtime they only serve a two and a three-course pre-fixe from a shorter menu (€7-8).

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.