Opened in 1997, Ristorante Krizia is an iconic Italian restaurant in Budapest. Owner-chef Graziano Cattaneo hails from the Lombardy region, which means that the menu features fish- and meat-heavy, northern-Italian dishes aside from the more typical pasta-based offerings. For example, Krizia is the only restaurant in Budapest where you can have a filet mignon paired with porcini mushrooms and a side of creamy polenta that's infused with a stracchino cheese (€22). It's as delicious as it sounds. Of the made-to-order pasta dishes, the foie gras-stuffed tortelloni is a special treat (€12). I also enjoy Krizia's seasonal risotto variations (€10), but felt underwhelmed by the lasagna Bolognese (€8).
Krizia is a hidden, subterranean restaurant tucked away on a quiet street in Budapest's District 6, which likely expains why instead of tourists, local Italians and in-the-know Italian food fans account for most of the patrons. The small, elegant space has less than a dozen tables, all of them covered in white linen. The place exudes the vibes of a neighborhood restaurant, although service can be a bit slow and ceremonial, particularly in case of the older of the two long-time waiters.
Krizia offers a weekday three-course fixed price lunch for a mere €5 (HUF1,500), probably the best lunch deal in all of Budapest. On a typical day, they might serve home-made ravioli in a sage-butter sauce as a starter, followed by sweet and sour pork ribs, and finished with tarte tatin - life could definitely be worse.