The sleepy and still somewhat gritty outer part of District 9 is the least likely of places to boast a fancy restaurant. Lying in the corner of a quiet park, Petrus is a hidden gem of a Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant specialized in contemporary French cuisine. The food occupies the territory between bistro fare and fine dining: the 7-course tasting menu approaches the latter, the a la carte offerings the former.
The two standouts of the tasting menu are the homemade Boursin cheese with luscious, honey glazed smoked pears, and the butternut squash veloute with a tender blood sausage perched in the middle. The a la carte menu comprises signature French dishes. Go for the duck confit, which at Petrus is a beautifully crispy duck leg sprinkled with speck and paired with a side of layered potatoes, and smothered in a foie gras-infused sauce. Or the beef bourguignon, where the morsels of beef cheeks are fall apart-tender and the rich dark sauce with plum jam packs a lively acidity. If you have some stomach space left, get the chocolate eclairs to finish - trust me, you will not regret it.
In 2015, Petrus won a Bib Gourmand, a Michelin award for exceptional food at moderate prices (the seven-course tasting menu costs €50 without wine pairing, while most main dishes on the a la carte menu range from €10 to €15). As for interior, the old Citroën car parked inside the restaurant hammers home the rustic, French countryside theme a little too hard, but in general the space is comfortably elegant and cozy. Run by owner-chef Zoltán Feke, Petrus is currently the best Budapest restaurant fully dedicated to high-end French cuisine, making it an essential part of the city's gastronomic landscape.