Owner and head chef Laurent Bavay previously worked at the French Embassy and he has assembled a fine menu, attentive polite staff and an extensive ... More
Owner and head chef Laurent Bavay previously worked at the French Embassy and he has assembled a fine menu, attentive polite staff and an extensive wine list in an excellent lunch location. Entering Le Cardinal restaurant gives the most peculiar sensation of going downstairs into a rather upmarket public toilet. Pink bathroom tiles are on the wall and floor of a narrow staircase. You emerge into a rather bare cellar room covered with more flesh-colored tiles, sparsely decorated in a kind of canteen-gone-all-haute-cuisine style. Ghastly chairs upholstered in a fabric that Marie Antoinette would have raised her eyebrows at, and a strange two-tone hospital green and muddy red paint work gave the one-roomed cellar bar an unusual atmosphere. The peculiar decor is compensated by the menu which caters to all tastes. The vegetarian menu provides an alternative to the wide selection of fish, meat, game, poultry and a section called 'Snails, frogs legs, crabs' which is for the strong in constitution. The sorrel soup combines the citrus sharpness of the sorrel with crunchy brown bread croutons floating in abundance on the green sea surface. Sole, prepared in the Molnar mode - delicately grilled to just the right consistency and served with butter and lemon (HUF1800) is a delicious and light lunch. Nouvelle cuisine vegetables are arranged all over the large white plate: grilled slices of aubergine, sculptured glazed carrots, a slice of pancake and spinach roll, broccoli and cauliflower. A bright yellow brick of polenta is a delicious way to soak up the juices. Wine by the glass costs HUF600.
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