Rosenstein is an iconic restaurant in Budapest serving traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish dishes. Tibor Rosenstein, nearing eighty, started this family-run operation, which is located a bit outside the city center and currently helmed by his son Róbert (at lunchtime, Rosenstein senior is often seen chatting away with regulars). Though pricey by local standards, Rosenstein shows off the brightest side of Hungarian fare.
Most of the long menu is a hat-tip to classic Hungarian fare: patrons can sample expertly prepared goulash soup (€7), beef stew (pörkölt), paprikash (€12), and stuffed cabbage (€9) here — traditional foods that have changed little over the generations. The catfish paprikash is another standout, arriving sprinkled with crispy bits of pork fat (Rosenstein isn’t kosher). A recurring item on the menu is goose liver, whose best expression is the pan-fried foie gras paired with potato croquettes and drenched in a Tokaj sauce (€19).
Of the Jewish-Hungarian dishes, there's matzo ball soup, and also cholent on Fridays and Saturdays, the signature sabbath dish of slow-cooked beans and pearl barley topped with brisket or goose leg. Don't plan on doing much else the rest of the day after this hearty meal. Reservations are a must.