The establishment that opened at the end of 2014 near Kálvin tér offers seasonal home-cooked food to keep you healthy and fit, rather than curry sausages and schnitzel. Sommer’s small but fine one-man business relies on his friendly style, and must be one of the reasons why guests like to return.
Here is a man who likes to have a little chat with his clients – in several languages including German, Hungarian and Italian – from behind the counter of his open kitchen. He has been living in Hungary for more than 15 years, and “gastronomy has been a second source of living for me” all the time. Before opening his business in Budapest he operated a wine canteen and grocery in Sopron.

Four seasons vital cuisine

Besides Sommer himself, his many culinary delicacies are really convincing. The passionate cook describes his own cooking style as “four seasons vital cuisine”. He explains what he means by this expression: “The difference from the other cooking styles is that I use really fresh ingredients. I go to market each morning and I select the ingredients. I stick to planning the menu according to the current season.

“Now spring is coming so I am going to use more vegetables again – spring onions and wild garlic, for example. When I select meat I pay attention to only buying the best quality.”

It’s a fact that you can see vitality in his culinary creations. Sommer’s Beef Wellington is packed in puff pastry with mustard garnished by bright green beans and juicy orange baby carrots. For his daily changing menus – mostly composed of a soup, main and dessert – he prefers to use ingredients that are only available for a short period, “for example blood oranges or rhubarbs”.

He is already preparing for the asparagus season. Sommer lays emphasis on culinary composition, the fine use of different spices – unlike some of the Hungarian restaurants that hardly use more than salt, pepper and paprika – and the appropriate presentation of his dishes.
The weekly menu in DIÓ is determined by a

thematic plan besides the current season. Sommer always prepares a fish dish each Friday, on Monday he starts the week with a light menu and on Tuesdays he offers traditional Austrian dishes such as Tafelspitz, Kaiserschmarrn or spinach dumplings from Tirol, in a modern interpretation.

The middle of the week is quite hearty in DIÓ because of the Mangalica-Wednesday, and on Thursdays he offers a menu called “Superfood”. He says this refers to those foods that contain a lot of fibres, for example legumes or quinoa, but also those supposed to have a positive effect on your health, such as pomegranates or nuts.

The menu also contains breakfast, sandwiches and salads besides the daily choice.

Nuts are a must

For Sommer nuts are a must, and particularly walnuts (dió in Hungarian). This is not only because they taste good and contain many unsaturated fat acids, vitamins and minerals, but also because of the family with whom he operates a winery with a neighbouring walnut plantation in Burgenland, 230 kilometres from Budapest.
“This is the explanation for my love of walnuts. It was there for me during my whole childhood.” For this reason he sells his

Sommer house wines, others including Muscat Ottonel, Neuburger, Zweigelt or Blaufränkischer, and home-made delicacies based on nuts.

He offers an own product range called “Budapesto”, which contains among other items the home-made walnut pesto based on the restaurateur’s own recipe. The pesto tastes especially good with a slice of fresh walnut bread and a couple of bites from walnut salami and cheese that are also available in DIÓ. Furthermore they have walnut oils and walnut jams, paprika pastes and unusual sorts of pesto, such as lavender, almond, poppy or even mangalica pesto.

For repeat offenders
The DIÓ delicate:cantine is the right place for a relaxed lunch, having a casual atmosphere all through the airy entrance and bar area to the cosy dining room, which is downstairs. Pre-orders are welcome and dishes can be packed for takeaway. DIÓ is a healthy and high-quality alternative to the regular canteens and fast-food restaurants for working people This is a place where you will gladly become a repeat offender: Sommer motivates regulars with a loyalty card, with a small surprise in store after the tenth visit. DIÓ delicate:cantine

9 Királyi Pál utca, District V
Open Monday to Friday 9.30am-6pm
For reservations and orders call
(+36) 30 599-0537
www.facebook.com/diocantine

Prices
Two-course daily menu: HUF 1890
Three-course daily menu: HUF 2390
Single dishes: HUF 690-1590
Cold or warm drinks: HUF 290-790

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