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Find fine dining, expensive prices at Maria Terézia

Address: Palisády 50
Tel.: 5325 590
Hours: M - F 11:30 - 15 (lunch), 18 - 23 (dinner), Sat. only dinner
Cuisine: Nouvelle cuisine
Prices: Sk Sk Sk Sk
Reservations: Probably not necessary
English menu: No (German)
Credit Cards: Euro, VISA, AmEx
Recommended: Moderately

If you have ever entertained the idea of ordering a whole goat for dinner - this is your place! Named for the popular eighteenth century monarch, Mária Terézia is probably Bratislava's most expensive restaurant. Catering to wealthy tourists and Bratislava's nouveau riche, it offers an opulent atmosphere, high quality dishes and efficient, friendly service to its customers.

Burgundy carpets, wood paneling and soft lighting greet you as you descend the stairway. A harpist plays soft background music which completes the romantic atmosphere the restaurant strives to achieve. The restaurant seats 40 in two rooms. While there is no English menu the waiters speak excellent English.

The menu is seasonal, and the Mária Terézia uses only the highest quality ingredients. We were surprised, however, that there is no drink menu or wine list, and we caution customers that ordering alcoholic beverages can more than double the cost of your meal. If cost is a consideration for you, we recommend that you request price information for drinks, many of which are imported.

Our meal began with a small complimentary terrine of zubáč (perch). It had a soft texture and was attractively served in a white sauce. My dining companion sampled the carpaccio with goose liver appetizer (395 Sk). Attractively served rondelles of thinly sliced beef with goose liver on a bed of olive oil, it was very tasty. I had the asparagus (415 Sk) as an appetizer. Cooked to just the right texture, it was served in a lemon hollandaise sauce as good as any in Paris.

For the main course, I sampled the grilled salmon (560 Sk). Served in a hollandaise sauce, the tender, flaky fish was attractively prepared and served. My companion chose the brisket of lamb (610 Sk). The meat was tender, however, the brown sauce in which it was served was over-salted.

I sampled a glass of Veltlín pezinský, a locally produced white wine which was perfectly chilled. For dessert, my companion chose the apple strudel (240 Sk), which he pronounced almost as good as his godmother's, high praise indeed. I had the white chocolate mousse, served in a chocolate and kiwi sauce, decoratively painted onto the plate (290 Sk). It was delicious.

Nouvelle cuisine portions are meant to be light, so we did not leave the restaurant feeling overfed. Prices for an entrée and main dish without alcohol run approximately 1,500 Ak per person. A businessman's lunch is available on weekdays at 1,200 Ak, not including drinks.

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