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Updated cuisine of Pest
Pesti Vigadó Restaurant just launched its á la carte division to the public. Not only the elegant historical venue but also the fare is in line with the cuisine traditional to the Pest side of Budapest (Pest cuisine for short) and is intended to attract native gourmets.
Source: press release
Best of Budapest online | May 6, 2016
“It was no easy task to define the gastronomic style, which befits such a great building like Pesti Vigadó”, said László Szabó, restaurant manager, at the opening event. It offered a place to the upper classes to participate in monumental balls and ceremonial gatherings from the 19th century. In 1873, this building officially hosted the unification of the three individual cities, Pest Buda and Óbuda; this is where Budapest was established, and it was likely the place where Ferenc Liszt, the famous composer, pianist and conductor appeared most frequently.

Accordingly, the aim of the hosts was to create their cuisine based on a spirituality originated in the traditions of the capital and its surrounding region. The main point of Pest cuisine is to update and create everyday common dishes in a modernized way according to the demands of today’s life.
“For this, we try to increase the ratio of vegetables and at the same time to keep the usual ingredients in the individual original recipes, as well as try to process them in the most possible gentle way in accordance with special needs”, as Zoltán Magos, chef, added.
Pest cuisine, as an important part of the Hungarian cuisine, is basically an autonomous urban Hungarian bourgeois cuisine having been developed in the 19th century. Historically, it is strongly enriched by the elements of Turkish, Italian, Austrian and French cuisines, as well as the regional rural cuisine of the Great Plain. Thanks to all these international influences, it became fully-fledged and unique by the end of the 1920s, and is still being continuously changed. Pest cuisine, based on the fusion-like culinary traditions of Austro-Hungarian Empire, is the pendant of Viennese cuisine, and a mix of the unique cuisine and gastronomic culture of the Hungarian capital – as Sándor Csíki, gastro blogger, summarizes it.
The restaurant, catering events in the rooms of the Vigadó as well, can be visited by the general public from April this year, and awaits guests with new menu cards in each season. Those who are interested in Pest cuisine can taste dishes like Palóc soup (which is, surprisingly, a real traditional Pest-originated dish), double-egg noodles served together with chicken-paprika (here unexpectedly no water added to the dough, only eggs), spring-style Hungarian French salad (mayonnaise salad made of peas, carrots and potato), and cottage cheese dumplings sprinkled with honey cake-crumble.