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Address Book: Budapest

Budapest's hipness quotient is starting to rival that of nearby Prague--and so is its dining scene. The city's newest restaurants offer menus that riff on Hungarian staples and show off local wines. And you'll have trouble spending more than $30 a head.

Arcade Alongside classic Hungarian comfort food, like goose liver and a native perch called fogas, chef László Fazekas serves such novelties as duck with spicy rice and an orange­coffee bean sauce. In summer, dine in the Creamsicle-colored room, then sip Tokay on the terrace (Kiss János altábornagy utca 38; 011-36-1-225-1969).

Baraka Chef-owner David Seboek gives a multicultural kick to dishes like the meltingly soft goose liver, beef tenderloin strips and veal medallions, adding flavorings such as cilantro, curry or sumac. Seboek and partner Leora Levi-Seboek contribute to the global mix: She's Israeli, he's a half-Hungarian from Rockland County, New York (Magyar utca 12-14; 011-36-1-483-1355).

Rivalda Located in a former imperial theater, Rivalda  is decorated with spotlights and portraits of Hungarian screen idols. Chef György Gunst, formerly of Gundel, laces wild-boar soup with dill, stuffs pheasant breasts with pumpkin seeds and spins sugar spires over poppy-seed mousse hemispheres (Színház utca 5-9; 011-36-1-489-0236).

Published May 2002


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