Ristorante Krizia

Opened in 1997 by owner-chef Graziano Cattaneo, an Italian native from Lombardy, Krizia is an elegant, below-ground restaurant hiding in a quiet street in Budapest's District 6 near the city center. The snug space has less than a dozen tables—all of them covered in white linen—and adorably ceremonial servers, especially the older of the two long-time waiters.

The menu features typical northern Italian dishes like lasagne (€8) and tortelloni, the latter of which includes a foie gras-stuffed version for a special treat (€12). I also enjoy Krizia's perfectly creamy risotto (€10)—eat it with a spoon—and the sliced filet mignon paired with porcini mushrooms and a side of polenta infused with stracchino cheese (€22). The wine menu features both Italian—anything from a Lambrusco to Chianti, Barbaresco, and Brunello—and Hungarian bottles, and a range of Italian amari (herbal liqueurs). The seafood selections include branzino, gilt-head bream, and salmon, and are among the best you will find in a landlocked country like Hungary.

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