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Bratislava (Merged topics)

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#1 wgallois

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 11:15 AM

Hope to be in Bratislava for a night next month. Any suggestions for good food - dishes, markets or restaurants? Thanks.

#2 robert brown

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 12:20 PM

My fitness guy is from Bratislava. I'll ask him, but keep in mind he has been in the USA for a couple of years and isn't exactly "au courant". But he would know about markets and probably the best (or at least most luxe) restaurants. I will keep you posted.

#3 anil

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 05:25 PM

BTS has never been able to grow out of the EastEuropean mold and did not quite develop a sizeable tourist traffic, hence the restaurants there were plain utilitarian [This is of course a five year old assessment]

#4 horton

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 02:29 AM

I went in October (before the England match). Loved it. In the Old Town there is quite an exclusive hotel. All I remember is modern artwork of models adorning the walls. However, the food was excellent. Modern Euro about £30 a head. Expensive for there but worth it. The 'Slovak Pub' is also well worth a visit for a drink. The locals all seemed to book a table there on a Saturday. 3 pints and 2o Marlboro was £2.50!!

You can also dine in the Tower on the main bridge but I would just go for a coffee - the views are stunning. Also visited the 'council estate' for a taste of the Eastern Bloc. It's the biggest in Europe but that's just me!

Unfortunately there is TGI' s in the centre as well as the American Embassy.

#5 banco

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:13 AM

We will be spending two nights in Bratislava later this month and a week in the High Tatras. Can any veterans of these locales give me some tips on good places to eat? I'd welcome suggestions ranging from basic good food and drink to high-end options. I promise to report back, and many thanks in advance.
Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

#6 zaelic

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 04:08 AM

Bratislava is likely to offer some finer eating. The city has really developed in the last couple of years, and asking around should get you some decent meals. Mind you - Slovaks like Slovak food. Heavy, starchy, occasionally greasy, and filling. They are really proud of their local food, even though to an outsider it can seem a bit boring. Every roadside cafe has a big cut-out sign of a happy chef holding a menu saying "Halushka with Brinza! 45 Kr!" It is simply that Halushka with brinza cheese is what Slovaks will choose to eat 75% of the time.

Most restaurant menus offer the same things: fried shnitzels, goose or duck roats, roast trout, potatoes, and almost always, halushka, dense potato dumplings swimming in sheep cheese and bacon drippings. Madzarska Gulas is a bit different than the name suggests: it is more of a beef stew with Czech style bread dumplings. There are lots of pizzerias, not very good.

I go fishing in the Tatras quite often, and the food is basic, stick-to-your-ribs fare. Local dishes include liver sausage, and halushka with fried kolbasz sausage. After years of eating around, I tend to choose the cheaper resturants. You get the same food with less posh surroundings.

#7 ingbakko

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:34 AM

Hy, I travel often to Bratislava, and as any good italian, I always look for a place where to have decent meal and wine. In Bratislava my preferred place is "PAPARAZZI" (Italian way to call scandalistic photoreporters). I have been there many times and I always enjoyed. It's located in the pedestrian area just few minutes far from Radisson (cross the square enter the pedestrian and you are there). They serve Italian fusion, very good raw materials and good cooking, not very good presentation and service. Wine list is OK with some good Italian wine. Prices are high but not crazy. If you go during weekends better to book.

#8 Schneier

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:56 PM

I had dinner at Slovenska Restauracia last night, probably the best traditional restaurant in the city. It's at Hviezdoslavova namestie 20, although it's probably easier to say simply that it's across the squre from the Radisson Hotel. The place feels Eastern European, with wooden benches and tables, waiter-intensive service, and a mostly male mostly business clientele.

As soon as I sat down, even before seeing a menu, I was offered something from their cold appetizer cart: smoked salmon, melon wrapped with ham, etc. I had some asparagus wrapped with ham, which was pretty good.

Then I got the menu. I can't speak for the Slovak version, but the English menu was an absolute hoot. I copied down some of the section headings:

After a Well Chosen Aperitif we Offer to You

Suggestions of the Neptun

When you are Hurry, We Suggest to You

Poultry Surprises

Suggestions of our Old Mothers

We Can Not Forget Also for Vegetarians

It Cannot be Missing for Sweets

And so on.

The dishes were nicely described, first on one line and then on a second. But sometimes the second line was less of a description and more like flavor text:

Stuffed Breast of Chicken with Asparagus
Served with fine Carrot-Cheese Sauce

Specialty a la "Farmers" Style Served with Sour Cabbage Gnocchi
The Typical Slovak Meal

Roasted Goose a la "Grosby" style, served with Red Wine Cabbage with Apple Sloves and Potatoes Pancakes
And a Glass of Red Wine would be fine

Grilled Breast of Duck with Chanterelle Cream Sauce
Delicacy Combination

Goose Liver with red Onion and Toast Bread
Please, enjoy your taste Harmony

Slovak garlic soup with Beef Meat
Strong Garlic Broth with Beef Meat, Bread, and Onion

Roasted Goose, Roasted Duck, served with red and white cabbage and Side Dishes Combination

I ordered the last two -- I read somewhere that October is goose month in Slovokia.

The soup was delicious. It smelled heavily of garlic, and tasted heavily of beef. Everything about it was hearty and good.

Then the main course come. It was a ginormous plate of food. If you think of a Mexican restaurant, and one of those plates so covered in food that you can't see the plate, you have the right idea. There was roast duck. There was roast goose. There was sauerkraut with apples. There was red cabbage. There was a savory crepe-like pancake, and two types of bread dumplings.

The only downer were the dumplings. One was okay, the other didn't taste like anything. It's only possible culinary value would be to absorb sauce, and this dish didn't have any. But the goose and duck were both delicious, and the various cabbages were tasty.

To wash it down, I ordered a glass of red wine, This being Europe, I trusted that a glass of the house red, from a section of the menu entitled "Barrel Wines from the Modra Wine Region," would be good with the restaurant's meal. (No, I don't know the name. There were too many consonants on the label.)

Dessert was a selection off the strudel cart. There was apple and wine, cheese and something else, poppy, and -- what I ordered -- cherry and plum.

Total cost for the meal: $30. I might go back tomorrow night. There's pork, beef, and chicken on the menu. There's more duck. And there's a venison dish. And a bunch of stuff from the "Slovak Specialities Selection" section of the menu. And Slovak cheese.

#9 Carrot Top

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 01:11 PM

That menu!

Lovely. :biggrin:

I ate in what sounds like the same restaurant in 1989 in Bratislava. The menu was even more extensive than that. The menu was there, but the food that was on the menu was not.

Every time one would point to something and try to work out the right translation, the waiter would say "Fried Ham". :laugh:

After this happened about six or seven times, the point was made.

"Fried Ham" was what was for dinner. :sad: :wink:

#10 Schneier

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 05:17 AM

The trick to lunch seems to be to get outside the tourist area.

Yesterday I ate at a random restaurant near Michael's Tower. I had chicken with paprika, which didn't taste much like either ingredient.

Today I picked Restaurant Classic at random. The menu was translated into English, but the English wasn't always helpful. I understood "chicken breast stuffed with fruit," but what's "rustic chicken breast," and what's the difference between "diabolic chicken breast" and "angelic chicken breast"? You kind of want to order them both and see? Or "trout overweight"?

In any case, I ordered the "chicken broth with meat and noodles," and the "Slovak schnitzel," mostly because they were out of the "boar with Cumberland sauce." Both dishes were tasty, and it was way too much food. Total cost: $7.

One interesting wine note. The menu divided its white wines into two categories: "still white wines from non-aromatic varieties," like riesling, veltliner, pinot blanc, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay, and "still white wines from aromatic varieties," like gewurztraminer and muscat. Fascinating.

#11 Schneier

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 11:41 AM

I just finished dinner at what my hotel said was the other good Slovak restaurant in the old city: Hotel Perugia.

It was an okay meal. A savory cabbage strudel to start, and venison steak with plum sauce and croquettes (tater tots, basically).

To tell the truth, I'm getting a bit sick of cabbage. Unfortunately, I'm heading to Kiev next.

#12 grendelyn

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:48 AM

We were in Bratislava about two weeks ago and didn't have too much all that great. We attempted to go to the Slovak Restaurant, which I'd heard wonderful things about, but sadly the other couple we were with are a, uh, little on the cheap side to say the least and reused to go, since it was 'too expensive'. :sad: :sad:

Instead, we went to a little place a few door up from the slovak restaurant (away from the river) called something like Treasure? Something like that.

Anyway, service was awful, but had some really really nice pork with broccoli and blue cheese sauce, and of course, prefab croquettes. My companions had lots of soup and goat cheese spread, and also perfectly passable Wienerschnitzel.

At about $30 for 4 with one drink each, not bad.

We also had really nice nibbles the night before at a wine bar right off the main square, lots of slovak and balkan cheeses, and slovak ham. No full meals, but a wide selection of good slovak wine, and very helpful staff. Recommended.

#13 zaelic

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:41 AM

A basic rule of thumb when eating in Central/Eastern Europe: food is fuel. You eat it so that you are not hungry anymore. The "foodie" phenomenon never developed here, nor will it. "Fancy Restaurants" exist mainly to be a place where the noveau riche (a very mysterious species in east Europe) can see and be seen - it is never about the food. That said, Bratislava can be a great place to eat as long as you understand that Slovak food is peasant food, it isn't meant to be married with Thai flavors or elevated by using kobe beef.

The dumplings: halushki. I love them, starchy, bland, dressed with greasy bacon bits, and screaming "Slovakia!" all through the meal. I can eat it every day, as many slovaks do. If you are vegetarian, forget it. There is no way the Slovak cook will leave off his carefully diced and fried bacon bits. Up around Ruzemberok and Liptovsky Mikulas in the mountains they make it with really smelly sheep cheese and slice sausage onto it. Mortality on a plate.

Most Bratisalva restaurants do offer broiled trout, which can be quite good. Regular old viener shnitzel is possibly better here than in Austria. Garlic soup is a common starter: simple boullion with garlic and bread cubes. Slovaks are good at various bean soups as well - always with some smoked meat.

You won't find elevated cuisine here, but you will be served good stick-to-your-ribs food at a very decent price.

#14 Hector

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:49 AM

Damn right.. You can enjoy very nice cheap country food in Bratislava, Halusky being one of the favourite.. I was there over a couple of nights this summer on a travel across eastern europe and I decided to go for these stuffs since that's often the best you'll get in these kind of places in eastern Europe. Wasn't very keen on eating at the sushi bar down at the "national square"

Great favorite dishes from Bratislava: Cabasa sausage with caraway and beer, served with a huge glass of beer, big langos with garlic and cheese, nice garlic soup and garlick bread, fried carp, Halusky with sheep cheese and veal pörkölt with halusky.

Then there was scary memories too. Once my friends was keen to try some cheap pizza, we ended up with pizza lots of canned vegetables and ketchup filling.

#15 andrewB

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:37 AM

All the info on bratislava which has been posted here is disheartening considering i am a chef in Bratislava!! Originally the US ambassador's executive chef, i have stayed because the market is so young, open, and inspiring. It's true that the history of Slovak cuisine didn't offer much variety, but the velvet revolution has come and gone and the times they are a changin!!! This city boasts a huge cultural diversity and a vast assortment of restaurants, you just have to know where to look. For example i have had one of the best tiki masalas i have ever had in my life in Bratislava!!!

For more info on good restaurants, here's a few. Oh, and for all you who will be here after April, I am opening a new restaurant right downtown next to the Opera and the Carlton hotel...

Krisna retaurant
paparrazi restaurant
Camoflague restaurant
Le Monde restaurant

The culture of food and cuisine has to start somewhere :biggrin:

Andrew M. Benjamin
executive chef, UFO restaurant & Mama a Papa restaurant.

if i knew how to post pictures, i would do so....

#16 Laibach

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 04:41 AM

Wow, Andrew you are opening on the bridge? That will be amazing, looks great on the web.

I popped in there for a coffee about four years and it had fantastic views but the place was a bit drab. I hope to go out there again soon so will apy a visit.

Good Luck!

#17 andrewB

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:10 PM

Wow, Andrew you are opening on the bridge? That will be amazing, looks great on the web.

I popped in there for a coffee about four years and it had fantastic views but the place was a bit drab. I hope to go out there again soon so will apy a visit.

Good Luck!

View Post

yeah, we have already opened on the bridge!! been a long 6 months. now i'm opening another restaurant located on the main square near the opera...

As for pics though, how can you beat THIS

#18 Portia_Smith

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:17 AM

Oh I didn't know this topic existed!!

I love Bratislava - and the UFO Bar is quite fabulous. No - incredibly fabulous.

A group of 7 of us travelled to the Slovak Republic for my partner's 40th birthday last year. Stayed at the Radisson opposite the Slovak Restaurant on Hviezdoslavova Namestie. The Radisson had an incredibly low priced internet offer of about 80 euros a double - hence the chance to see how the other half lives. Note - we flew Ryanair.

Our group consisted of 3 vegetarians and 2 fussy eaters. So I did approach the trip with a certain amount of trepidation. I love central european fare, but then I grew up thinking that knodel were a vegetable -so what do I know? But previous visits have demonstrated that even the most unreasonable vegie is pacified with fried cheese after a number of 40p beers.

I did plan the birthday meal to be held at Au Cafe an Italian restaurant on the side of the danube. The reasoning being that Italian restaurants are more sympathetic to vegetarians in the former Austria- Hungary and I have a (crazy) theory that a number of them are run by citizens of the former Venetian empire (present day Croatia, Slovenia, Trieste - who may or may not be ethnically Italian, but certainly cook like they are and the food is usually good!)

Au Cafe had a beautiful location and has been very sympathetically restored. Those aspects are probably best appreciated in summer, or at least during the day time when you can appreciate the view of the castle.

The meal was certainly more than adequete - I can remember some excellent tortellini with a cream sauce - but more than that escapes me. It was fun, but despite it being a saturday night there seemed to be only a few other diners having dinner - our table was the biggest. This surprised me.

We also ate at the Slovak restaurant - this was the highlight of the weekend! We had been drinking at the UFO bar - and before that, lunching (and drinking) at a strange little restaurant that had a secret police theme and uniformed waitresses - I think it was based on a 1960's cop show that was made locally. So we were in dire need of food on a Sunday night and the Fontana ( I think) down the other end of the square were not serving dinner, so I was sent in to negotiate their willingness to serve a table of 7 englishpeople. They were lovely, very accommodating.

The restaurant is decorated in a folk/rustic style and it's the only place i've been to that offers a slivovice trolley. It was duck / goose month and most of the guests decided to go for that - there were veggie options. I think Halusky. And I had a farmer's plate which consisted of a lot of sauerkraut, various smoked, cured and roasted pork products and potato dumplings which were divine.

We were offered desserts off the trolley which were mainly strudels and some sacher/ dobos type creations. The apple strudel looked (and tasted great) but I chose the cheese strudel which was fairly dry and a bit average really. On looking at their web menu I should have gone for some of the plum dumplings which would have been a better option, but we weren't given the menu for dessert - just the trolley..

Oh - and the UFO cafe. What can I say. I just drank there - but it's fantastic and the restaurant looked beautiful. We had lot's of gorgeous cocktails and watched the sun set over the danube- it was the highlight of the weekend for my husband and I believe more cold war listening stations should be given over for the drinking of highly alcoholic beverages.

#19 Hector

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 07:29 AM

Wow, Andrew you are opening on the bridge? That will be amazing, looks great on the web.

I popped in there for a coffee about four years and it had fantastic views but the place was a bit drab. I hope to go out there again soon so will apy a visit.

Good Luck!

View Post

yeah, we have already opened on the bridge!! been a long 6 months. now i'm opening another restaurant located on the main square near the opera...

As for pics though, how can you beat THIS

View Post

Marvellous Andrew! I missed that there even was a restaurant over there when I was in Bratislava. How is it possible? :wink:

I looked at your other pics too, they where great. but I hope cetainly that you'll not try to "fuse" old fashioned slovak central european cooking with kaffir lime leaves :laugh:

#20 andrewB

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 11:08 AM

Marvellous Andrew! I missed that there even was a restaurant over there when I was in Bratislava. How is it possible?  :wink:

I looked at your other pics too, they where great. but I hope cetainly that you'll not try to "fuse" old fashioned slovak central european cooking with kaffir lime leaves    :laugh:

View Post

laugh, ok i won't!!! fusion is much different than confusion. i think goulash would not benefit from kafir leaves :o))

Edited by andrewB, 14 March 2006 - 11:08 AM.

#21 Tomek

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 06:34 AM

I loved U-F-O. The food and drinks were great. Didn't eat much at paparazzi but I think we drank most of the cocktails on the menu.

Hoping to go back in april/may for stan's japanese cocktails workshop.
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. " - Marie Curie Sklodowska