The sleepy outer part of Budapest's District 9 is an unlikely place to boast a fancy restaurant, but Petrus, which overlooks a quiet park, is a hidden gem of a Bib Gourmand-awarded place here specializing 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 standout of the seasonally-changing tasting menu was 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 (€16), which at Petrus is a beautifully crispy duck leg sprinkled with speck and paired with a side of potato gratin, and smothered in a foie gras-infused sauce. Or the beef bourguignon (€15), where the morsels of beef cheeks are fall apart-tender and come in a bright-tasting, plum jam-laced dark sauce. If you have some stomach space left, get the chocolate eclairs to finish - trust me, you won't regret it.
In 2015, Petrus won a Bib Gourmand, a Michelin award for exceptional food at moderate prices (the seven-course tasting menu costs €55 without wine pairing, while most main dishes on the a la carte menu are €13-18). As for the interior, the old Citroën car parked inside the restaurant perhaps overdoes the rustic French countryside theme, 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.