Gléda opened last year, but had been planned for 8 years before. The long preparation was rewarding: Gléda is a new favourite of many foodies in Hungary. The two owners are both men: Sándor Kerekes chef and János Deli restaurateur, therefore the word „lovechild” sounds a bit awkward (written by an article in Dining Guide), but indeed it is adequate.
Budapest is divided into Buda and Pest, Buda being more ancient, more romantic. And Buda has a subdistrict on the north called Óbuda (’Ó’ mean ’ancient, old’) with cobblestoned little streets, heart warming atmosphere. Óbuda has always been famous for its ’vendéglős’, small restaurants with hearty welcome. The word ’vendéglő’ is literally ’hosting’, it expresses the style of the place: as opposed to a fine dining restaurant, in a ’vendéglő’ the owner hosts you, welcomes you, makes you feel at home. This style of restaurant is hard to find, especially in outstanding quality, but Gléda – as the past year proves – managed to achieve the impossible. Their strongest weapons are the quality ingredients, for example the rare grey cattle, of which Sándor Kerekes is an expert, he even wrote a book about the meat of this special breed. The other important strategy is the lunch menu at a more than reasonable price: amazing plates for only 2200 HUF / 7 euros (2 courses) or 2600 HUF / 8 euros (3 courses). And of course the delicious Hungarian dishes made with 21st century expertise. The wine list cherishes our heart, too: many smaller, artisan wineries besides the well known ones. Here we go recommending 5 wines of the wine list paired with 5 dishes from the menu.
Béres Hárslevelű with duck liver terrine
Béres estate is an obvious choice: Gléda is located on the ground floor of Béres building (Béres is a winery in Erdőbénye, Tokaj, but the most important field of the family enterprise is a medication called Béres drops along with other products.) It is a bottle fermented sparkling wine using only the Hárslevelű variety. Complex, fruity and shows notes of maturation, works well with the complex appetizer, since the duck foie gras comes with fig chutney in Tokaji Aszu vinegar. „A firm beam of acidity enlivens the palate. This is an attractively light wine that exhibits rich mousse, tree fruits, citrus and yeast aromas.”
Babarczi Irsai Olivér pea cream soup
Soups are rarely paired with wine, some people simply think that a bowl of liquid does not require another. What a narrow-minded approach… Gléda green pea soup is flavoured with mint and served with goat cheese and bresaola roulade. This ample soup deserves a glass of wine, doesn’t it? The creaminess is beautifully balanced with the crispy acids of the Babarczi wine, while the flamboyant aromas of Irsai Olivér grape can deal with the mint. „Medium intense nose with elderberry, white flowers and citrus notes. Refreshing, gentle acidity combined with a palate reminiscent of the aromas of the nose. Light body, spicy tones. A crispy, juicy, light wine typical of the variety.”
Borbély Rózsakő with breaded cheese
Breaded cheese is a typical dish in many simple restaurants, usually the children’s choice (full of calories), but Gléda prepares it in a special way. The cheese was aged on beech wood and it is served with warm marinated and grilled vegetables. Borbély wine comes from volcanic Badacsony region, a touch of minerality is present here, and the barrel spices are also needed for the complex cheese dish. „Besides the typical mineral character some attractive flowery notes with barrel spices appear to make the overall sensation more playful, enchanting.”
Etyeki Kúria Pinot Noir with veal paprikash
’Paprikash’ is a kind of dish made of some meat, and seasoned abundantly by Hungarian paprika (product with protected origin). The tender meat is in a delicious sauce (fried onion, sour cream and the spices) and served with dumplings, as it has been served from the beginning of time. A full bodied, long aged Cabernet would kill the dish, but an elegant, sleek, fruity Pinot Noir, like the one made by Etyeki Kúria is a perfect match. „An elegant Burgundy-style Pinot Noir. A complex and layered wine with excellent aging potential. An intensive bouquet of sour cherry and blackcurrant, with spicy notes of clove and cinnamon.”
Sabar Rhine Riesling 1118 with floating island
The favourite dessert of our childhood: a souplike, sweet, vanilla-flavoured liquid with fluffy ’clouds’ floating on the surface made of beaten egg white. At Gléda these clouds are flavoured with lemon, thus the dessert is lighter, less sweet, so we can try it with a dry, but complex wine, like this stunning Rhine Riesling from Sabar Wine House from Badacsony wine region. „Berries harvested from Hegyvölgy vineyard were transformed by nature into a spotless masterpiece during spontaneous fermentation. We took our job „oaked seriously” – we have made 1118 bottles.”