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When You're Hungry in Hungary
Arguably the most famous restaurant in all of Hungary, Gundel-located near Heroes Square and the Budapest Zoo in the center of the city-has been wowing visitors and locals for generations. It serves stunning, mostly traditional Hungarian dishes in an elegant and charming Old World atmosphere.
Established in 1894, Gundel has a reputation as the place for visiting monarchs, politicians, pop stars and tycoons. Its interior dark woods, spectacular china and highly professional waiters are classic-you could be dining with panache in the 1890s, 1920s or 1960s.
Perennial favorites include the prototypical gulyas (gulash) soup and delicate whole-baked baby balotoni fogash (pike-perch) with lemon-butter sauce, potato with parsley and braised vegetables. Gundel's amazing array of goose liver pâtés-another Hungarian delicacy-should not be missed. Though artery clogging, the Goose Liver Trio-consisting of truffle-scented goose liver pâté, Gundel's goose liver torte and smoked goose liver-is a rare treat.
The restaurant's palacsinta's (dessert crepes) are exquisite. Try the Gundel Palascinta, a Hungarian staple featuring a succulent walnut filling in a sinful chocolate sauce.
Visitors to Gundel will waddle away impressed and sated, with timeless, sweet Hungarian paprika-flavored memories.-Bob Ecker
Gundel Restaurant, Állatkerti út 2, District 14, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 468-4040, www.gundel.hu.