Ristorante Millennium da Pippo

Ristorante Millennium da Pippo is a reliable Italian restaurant located on the elite Andrássy Avenue, Budapest’s most famous street that’s often compared to the Champs-Élysées. The restaurant is on the section farther from the city center, away from the noisy downtown. The place's interior pulls inspiration from the century-old subway stations located underneath Andrássy (not that patrons need much of a reminder: on the outdoor terrace they can actually feel the ground slightly shake every time a train passes).

Millennium da Pippo's long menu includes many Italian classics, and also boasts a few items like burrata cheese (€11) and cannoli (€5) that are otherwise difficult to track down in Budapest. Pippo flaunts its Sicilian heritage with some excellently-prepared signature dishes from the region such as the vegetarian pasta alla norma (with eggplant and tomato sauce; €10) and the strozzapreti pasta with Sicilian pesto (€10). Although flavorful, the seafood risotto (€13) could use more shrimp, squid, and octopus at the expense of black mussels. The Roman-style pizzas, however, didn’t leave much of an impression.

Desserts are a highlight, especially the generously-portioned, home-made cannoli, this Sicilian specialty of a fried dough filled with ricotta. The tiramisu (€5) and the creamy panna cotta (€5) are also exactly as they should be.

Service, unfortunately, can be a letdown at Millennium da Pippo, especially when compared with similar long-running Italian restaurants in Budapest. And the strict “no tap water” policy certainly doesn’t help endear customers. Price points are high by Budapest standards (three-courses with a glass of wine can easily run to €40 per person), although they can be justified by the prestigious location.