A Strong start in 2017: in one week’s time three Hungarian restaurants have been placed on the top lists of the USA. There’s also a twist in the chain of events, because one of the restaurants is in Los Angeles, and yes your read it right, the place is Hungarian but the style isn’t, just to be clear. Márga Bisztro, Szimply and Tom George Italian took the world’s biggest gastro playground by storm. What is the secret to their success? We had to investigate!
Surfing the top lists
New York Times’ published its 52 Places to go in 2017 article online, which now features Budapest as an exciting destination. The editors highlighted the city’s restaurants as one of its many appeals.
“Post-Iron Curtain Budapest has emerged as an animated metropolis. An appealing, youthful energy increasingly arises in the city, at new restaurants like Szimply and Márga Bisztro…” – writes the paper in its article which also mentions Hungarian-made jewelry and housewares produced in design shops and the Hotel Rum with is stylish elegance.
Balaton-Budapest-America: Márga bisztró
The Márga Bisztro of Csopak has already proven itself to us with its sophisticated and loveable hospitality. “The way we do gastronomy is widely understood: it’s quality-oriented, innovative and traditional at the same time. We always keep in mind what we love and what makes us happy. These are the principles that guide us. We want both our restaurants to fulfill this philosophy.” – says János Deli, owner of the Márga Bisztro that opened last year in Budapest.
“The Márga of Budapest is a more sophisticated, more urban version of the one at Csopak, with its own personality. Our goal was to make loveable place that can stand up to international standards. We use the ingredients of the Carpathian Basin. Pannonian cuisine with a strong Balatonian influence. We also use a lot if ingredients here that can be found near Lake Balaton: almonds, lavender, grapes and of course wines from Csopak. These are only a few that came with us to Budapest.”- as an owner, he takes pride in the fact that they received such renown shortly after opening and he’s extremely grateful to his crew and especially to his young and ambitious head chef, Ákos Horváth.
János Deli, owner of the Márga Bisztro
Szimply, the brunch love affair
Tucked away in a little courtyard at 22 Károly Boulevard, the little restaurant that opened its doors a couple of years ago but is already taking the city by storm. They only serve breakfast and brunch, so one can only go there until 4 pm. Their basic concept is built on healthy meals and from the humblest ingredients, they make unbelievably creative and spectacular dishes, the likes of which can’t easily be found in Europe.
Where does their inspiration come from? Mainly from Australian blogs and restaurants which they follow rigorously, and share their ideas with. Thus are they the first example of how the internet and social media can help the restaurant scene. They have a new breakfast menu every month, so even the regulars can’t get bored of their food. In case the house is full they make sure you don’t have to wait on the street because they have a little coffee shop nearby, called Kontakt. What’s more they can provide Airbnb to foreigners and people arriving from the countryside.
The TG Italiano is successful on the other side of the world
The LA Eater didn’t waste time and wrote about the 22 coolest restaurants in Los Angeles. The popular Tom George in down-town LA occupies the 19th place on this list. With the help of gastronome Rozina Wossala and chef Gábor Krausz, the TG quickly became popular. The place that opened last December has nothing in common with is Hungarian sibling. It represents a much more dynamic Mediterranean-Italian cuisine while the one back home is more classic – says Rozina Wossala to GastroGuide. She first heard of the LA project three years ago while designing another restaurant, Bestia which also took place in the United States.
She followed the construction of the LA Tom George from Budapest and then last September she got a call saying that they changed the concept and they needed her help with constructing the menu. By then she was so in sync with Gábor Krausz that they started this adventure together.
(Full interview coming soon on gastroguide.hu)