Bratislava boasts an ever-increasing number of restaurants offering international cuisine, and diners no longer have to wonder what relation the 'Italian spaghetti' they saw on the menu bears to the bowl of clotted pasta they clutch in their hands.
The restaurants below represent a selelction of our favourites.
(for two with drinks)
$$$: Over 1,600 Sk ($40)
$$: 600 Sk - 1,600 Sk ($15-$40)
$: Under 600 Sk ($15)
Pizzeria Saranda-Ristorante (Italian) $
Tel: 52 49 77 51,
Saranda is about as close as Bratislava gets to Italian cuisine, which is very close indeed - both owners & kitchen staff are from Calabria. Situated opposite the YMCA cinema near the train station, the restaurant looks uninspiring from the outside, but its plush red carpets & spacious layout set the stage for a long, quiet dinner. Aside from the 20 thin-crust pizzas on offer, you could have a stab at the scampi alla griglia or the filetto con broccoli. Service is quick & urbane. Several varieties of Italian wine are on offer, but nothing more exciting than the Masi Valpolicella and a nondescript Chianti.
Spaghetti & Company (Italian) $
Tel: 54 43 23 03,
Located about 50 meters from the National Theatre, this place is ideal for a post-opera or post-symphony meal. It's a regular ex-pat dining spot as well, even though the Italian fare isn't quite as authentic as it should be. Seven types of Italian wine are on offer, along with the local vin du pays. New to the menu are various types of Italian sandwiches as a hearty breakfast or a light lunch.
Jasmin (Chinese) $$
Tel: 54 41 51 82,
Jasmin is the best Chinese szechuan restaurant in the city, situated just under the castle in what used to be the old Jewish quarter before the communists moved in with the bulldozers. Peking duck is the undisputed king of the menu, which is full of spicy & authentic dishes. Italian & Slovak wines, along with the outrageously expensive Tsing Tao Chinese beer, are there to douse the fire on your tongue.
Chez David (Jewish) $$
Tel: 54 41 38 24
The only kosher restaurant in town, David is an outstanding place in its own right. Chef Martin Korbelic was schooled in Israel, and he now teaches other Slovak chefs who want to learn kosher cuisine.
The wait staff are also quick, polite and thoroughly familiar with Jewish culture and cooking. Sitting just under the castle, elegant Chez David offers baked duck, trout stuffed with salmon in a saffron sauce, turkey in a sweet apple sauce...the list goes on. Austrian kosher wines make up the wine list.
La Dolce Vita (Balkan) $$$
Tel: 54 43 21 48,
Several things about this place stand out: it's open from 09:00 until 24:00, while the owners and chefs are all Yugoslav in origin. The menu is 'European', ranging from Balkan to Czech to Italian to Serb specialties; the main item on offer is seafood, which is selected live by the customer and prepared to order. Entrées like Yugoslav carpaccio make this a complete dining experience. Wines include French, Italian, Argentine, Chilean and Slovak vintages, and go from 300 Sk from the cheapest local offers to 19,000 Sk (almost $500) for the best burgundies.
24. Jan 2000 at 0:00