The choice of the name DNB may not be as self-evident as that of its previous incarnation. Well, it wasn’t totally obvious to us. Find a quiet corner where nobody can hear you (lest they think you a bit odd) and say the three consonants DNB over and over to yourself. “DNB, DNB, DNB.” See if some vowels start to appear: “DNB, DNB, DaNB, DaNB, DaNuB, DaNuB, DaNuBe, DaNuBe.” Yes, now the DNB name becomes apparent: DNB Restaurant is the new restaurant in the Marriott, and the Marriott sits right next to the Danube River. With a view like that, who wouldn’t want to draw attention to it?

Peppers was in operation up until January 2019, after which came a two-month closure and complete renovation and change of style, resulting in the rebirth in March as DNB Budapest. With the switch over to Hungarian cuisine, “fresh and local” are the bywords now, explains an enthusiastic waitress, with the best possible ingredients sourced from inside that tight radius.

In other words, they are aiming near but high. It is a farm-to-table concept that showcases the regional produce and celebrates the various wine regions too. The idea was implemented by executive chef Konstantinos Kranakis, from Crete, whose profile, we read, is that of an award-winning, progressive culinary professional with 24 years of experience in establishments that include five-star international hotel chains and several upscale restaurants.

Apart from the brand-new approach to the menu, DNB Restaurant was planned as a standalone, modern space with a new design to suit. The interior was inspired by the German art school Bauhaus of 1919-33 and Cubist avant-garde artworks of the early 20th century, as the hotel tells it. Diners waiting for their food to be served may like to amuse themselves by spotting the Bauhaus and Cubist influences.

The Marriott’s intention, in the hotel’s words again, is to give a more residential look than usual hotel public spaces, with an independent atmosphere rather than the feeling and vibe of a corporate restaurant. To achieve this effect, antique brass, blackened steel, granite, a mix of oak and white Carrara marble table-tops, leather seating on banquettes and on oak chairs, and weathered-oak bar-stools were the materials chosen for furnishing.

The restaurant seats 210 and has a riverside terrace. The refurbishment also included an adjacent brand-new bar, called the Liz and Chain, offering a leisurely breakfast or lunch, tea or cocktail. And again, that view.

When The Budapest Times visited DNB, we selected Oak-smoked “Lillafüred" trout fillet with horseradish, potato salad, stewed turnips and homemade basil sauce from the seven starters. The others included Seared local goose liver, Homemade mangalica pork terrine, Venison tartare with quail egg, Grass-fed Hungarian beef marrow and Stuffed cabbage rolls.

The soups were Alföldi goulash with beefcheek and Chicken broth with vegetables and dumplings, with four salads featuring Hungarian farmer lettuce, Slow-roasted Heirloom beetroot, Smoked Hungarian duck breast and Crunchy seasonal leaves with mangalica cracklings.

Our choice of Main, Grilled Fogas fillet with baby fennel, river crayfish and Hungarian white wine sauce, meant passing up Saddle of venison, a Hungarian rice preparation called Rizi-bizi, Lecsó and breaded egg, and, fifth, Hungarian chicken paprikás, galuska and sour cream.

The Meat Cuts presented Hungarian tenderloin and T-bone steaks, Mangalica pork rib chop, Oven-roasted tarragon and mustard-infused chicken, or 12-hours slow-roasted lamb shank, with a choice of five Sides: Creamy spinach and pistachio, Mashed potatoes, Slow-roasted root vegetables, Triple-cooked potato chips and Crunchy lettuce leaf salad.

To finish: Chimney cake with hazelnut nougat mousse and vanilla ice-cream, Somlói galuska trifle, Cottage cheese dumplings or a Hungarian artisan cheese platter.

The menu will change four times a year following the seasons. Breakfast is available for visitors as well as hotel guests, with the triple choice of Continental, All American or Good Start. There are two-course and three-course lunch specials. A Shopper’s Lunch every Saturday from noon to 3pm offers a buffet designed to ease hunger before sightseeing or a shopping spree. And a Sunday Brunch, also from noon to 3pm, is prepared in the open kitchen, fresh and healthy, and leaning toward locally produced specialties such as Greyhorn beef, Mangalica pork, Racka lamb and lecsó.

The wine selection lists what are described as the crispiest whites of Etyek to the most full-bodied of Villány and the top of Tokaj.

The riverside location is a priceless daily benefit but will be particularly so on the next August 20 national holiday, St. Stephen’s Day, when a live barbecue station and cocktail bar will be set up for a great view of the customary eye-catching fireworks display. A buffet dinner will be available from 6-11pm, with a price discount for early-bird reservations.

Budapest Marriott Hotel
Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4, Budapest 1052
Reservations.: (+36-1) 737-7377

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