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Bright flowers and parrots, butterflies and dragonflies swarm on Gisell’s walls. The beautiful colours on the patterned wallpapers at the restaurant, which opened just over a year ago, make us long for springtime. On the tables and countertops little porcelain rabbits and other seasonal decorations remind us that Easter is upon us once again. Up to 12 people can sit on the velvet-covered bench and matching tables and chairs inside. However, if the temperature keeps rising, Gisell will be reopening its street terrace pretty soon. Here at Nagymező Street, which is also called the Pest Broadway due to the surrounding theatres and the Operetta theatre, the lack of space is not a problem, so they are planning to put in tables to accommodate up to 35 guests, Orsolya Vörös tells us, welcoming us in the warm interior space.


It takes a whole village...

You can see that the young woman, who is 26, is passionate about her job. Serving guests, she says, has always been her. It all began when she was still pretty young: "My parents always took us kids to travel a lot and we also went to many restaurants. I already loved trying many different cuisines back then." Later on she studied marketing at university and after graduating worked for several years at an agency specialising in gastro-marketing. It was always clear to her that she would only be happy once she opened her own restaurant. And she started with the best prerequisites: "I have been a passionate cook for many years. I have learned at the agency of course, how to present a restaurant or café to the public and in social media in order to be successful."

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When she learned that there are free rooms at Nagymező street she snapped them up fast and opened Gisell in March 2018. There is a folk saying according to which it takes a whole village to raise a child. In the case of Gisell we should say: It takes a whole village to open a restaurant. "Without my family, my friends and my partner I would never have made it," Vörös is sure. They all chipped in their contribution. For example, her mother is the one who established the lovingly curated interior of the restaurant, her sister helps out from time to time, and in the kitchen Vörös shares responsibility with her best friend.


Springtime delicacies and antipasti

Gisell’s menu has offered mostly breakfast delicacies ever since opening, including omelettes with different toppings, French toast in classical sweet and typical Hungarian savoury version, and waffles. These latter can be ordered in a natural version or sweetened with fresh fruits and cinnamon sauce, plus there is even a salty variant with eggs, bacon, salad and cheese sauce. Vörös’ concept has always been that Gisell should serve those lazy people who get up late and have breakfast in the afternoon, then perhaps switch directly to cocktails and wine. A focus of the menu, then, are the so-called snack foods. A real highlight among these for both our eyes and our palates are the antipasti plates, which can be ordered in Hungarian- or Italian-inspired versions. In addition to these they offer sandwiches, bruschetta, several dips and a selection of colourful salads. Based on the numerous requests they have received, Gisell has recently added warm dishes to its offer, which are especially popular around lunchtime. "Our kitchen is tiny, so we had to rely on real simple dishes," the young caterer explains. "For this reason we only have three different types of pasta. In the future we would like to offer hot soups and other hot main dishes as a specialty of the day."

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Evaluation

Gisell admittedly has a rather feminine character. This is emphasised by the fact that the restaurant attracts its guests on some weekdays with Sex and the City quiz nights. Even the name Gisell plays for the emphasised femininity: "I had been looking for a female name for my restaurant that is beautiful on one hand but which also generates sympathy. Gisell sounds like a best friend," Vörös believes. Of course, men are welcome: "In the summer we always have pure male visitor groups sitting on the terrace," Vörös laughs. After all, sometimes men simply want to come for their favourite dishes, and the environment does not stop them from enjoying the taste. You should not be counting calories at Gisell though, since the sweet and salty feasting at this magical restaurant does have its price. Perhaps you should walk a little more on the way home to set the balance right.

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Gisell Café & Aperitivo Bar
District VI, 26 Nagymező Street
open: daily 10.00-22.00, Thursdays to Saturdays until midnight
reservations at (+36) 30 455-4902 and gisellaperitivo@gmail.com
See www.facebook.com/gisellaperitivo/
Prices
breakfast: HUF 790-1690
sandwiches, salads and pasta: HUF 990-1890
plates to share: HUF 3790-3990
dips: HUF 1090-2590


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