Trattoria Venezia

A restaurant on Budapest’s car-saturated Grand Boulevard may not be your dream dinner venue, but Trattoria Venezia serves very decent Italian dishes at somewhat lower price points than places in downtown. The seafood dishes — not the strongest suit of landlocked Hungary — are especially good here.

For appetizers, try the cozze e vongole (€10), a generous serving of mussels blanketed in a rich white wine-based sauce; use the bread to mop up the leftover. Also good is the brodetto, the Italian fish soup generously layered with squids, mussels, and shrimp. The main courses comprise a reliable collection of Italian classics, be it pasta carbonara or wood-fired pizzas. The only obvious nod to Venice, the restaurant’s moniker, is the black risotto (€10), a dish owing its dark hue to squid ink. A range of affordable Hungarian and Italian wines are also available.

I could do without the ear-catching English and Italian cover songs that are part of the daily live music performances, but keep Trattoria Venezia in the back of your mind when you're looking for reliable Italian fare a bit off the beaten path.

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