You must see the New York Cafe in Budapest. Before I went, I really wondered why it was called so. But once I was there I got it. New York will be New York and if one were to go by the grandiose of the structure, it is difficult to call it anything else. It is a part of the New York Palace Hotel in the 7th District of Budapest.
Situated in the Pest part of Budapest, it is indeed the crème of the place. The sheer opulence of the place is awe-inspiring. Baroque architecture, ornate furniture, ceiling frescoes by Gusztav Mannheimer and Ferenc Eisenhut, with Venetian glass lamps softly illuminating the marble columns and gilded stuccoes. It takes a while to take in all that there is to see. French windows that match the length of the ceiling flood the café with natural daylight and the silken curtains drawn back to the walls add to the stately drama of the place. Once again it left me wondering why it was called the New York Café but this time because there is nothing quite café like.
Tables are difficult to get and God forbid you to have a larger group, without a reservation it would be practically impossible. White-gloved waiters scurry around silently, bringing the orders in with etiquette and finesse. Taking into account all that there is, I must say that I did find the menu to be limited and of course fairly expensive for the quantity. But then one has to consider that it is after all the experience combined. And today was a special day as we were celebrating a birthday and this was a treat for the birthday girl.
While we waited for our order of Salmon with pea infusion, a truffle mushroom spaghetti, penne arrabiata and a braised chicken with veggies, we munched upon some freshly baked onion, pepper and mint mini buns with herb cheese butter.
I have to say that my truffle mushroom spaghetti was the best. The Salmon was fresh and well done. The chicken, however, was too bland. The dessert menu did sound very promising and calorific but then birthdays can’t be without a cake, so we went for the cheesecake which was absolutely divine.
The New York Café is an experience. Don’t go there if you are in a hurry, go to languorously sit over the afternoon enjoying the food, desserts, coffee, and ambiance.
The Café has a long history of it too. It was once a popular place for writers and editors, the most influential newspapers were edited in the gallery upstairs. However, it fell into disrepair and then became a sporting goods shop. Even after its revival, it did not come into its former glory till 2006 when it was officially named the New York Café. Known as the world’s most beautiful café, this is one coffee-shop you don’t want to miss.