When it comes to catering, the first year is usually critical: that’s when it turns out if the restaurant/café/bistro has the raison d’etre. Do guests like it? Can they sustain interest, and keep the quality steady? We visited Á la Maison last year when it opened as a French-style breakfast bistro, but thanks to the very positive feedback, the crowd of regulars, and the lack of a rich breakfast and brunch scene in the area, they outgrew themselves in one year, and moved from Nádor Street 8 to the much more spacious number 5 on the opposite side.
Those who enjoy the art of brunching probably already visited À la Maison; we also visited it a year ago when they opened. We fell in love with their French toast, and the charming interior with a vaulted ceiling, and have returned there many times. Recently, for the delight of sweet-toothed guests, they have posted pictures (just like their guests) of waffles served in glasses topped with whipped-cream and fruits – so we were intrigued. Meanwhile it turned out that the dessert is not the only novelty, but they also moved to a new place (opposite the old location), where, besides breakfast foods, we can order à la carte dishes all day long, whether we arrive for lunch, dinner, or before a party – as they also extended their opening hours and serve some alcoholic drinks.The design is very similar to the previous one; for example, a remarkable ceiling shelters guests once again, but all things considered, À la Maison becam more elegant with its colors, shapes, bar, and the spacious restaurant area in the back part. The shabby chic style remains, which is good news for heavy Instagram and Pinterest users. The lemonades and syrups still arrive in mason jars, and the desserts are topped with plenty of whipped cream. As we mentioned previously, they have extended their opening hours, so during the second half of the week, we can be there until midnight... and besides the colorful lemonades, we can drink alcoholic beverages, too, such as a very impressive champagne selection, served not just by the bottle, so those who are up to some fancy-fun can toast with Möet and Veuve Clicquot over their weekend breakfast or on the way to a party.The menu has been broadened; it’s been a while since we encountered such a wide selection. Fortunately, the beloved breakfast dishes remained, we can feast starting from 590 forints to 3,490 forints, moving from croissants towards poached eggs served with loin. Egg dishes are their strong point: our vote goes to the goose-liver Benedict (2,190 HUF), which is a homemade muffin topped with goose liver paté, red-onion marmalade, cheese, and two poached eggs coated in hollandaise sauce. Their Italian waffini (1,690 HUF), which is a salty waffle with ham, poached eggs, aragula, pesto, and parmesan, is also perfectly thought out. From their sandwich selection, we tried Cubano (1,790 HUF) which is a very satisfying creation with a lot of ham, mustard, and pickles. As for sweet breakfasts, the Belgian waffel is still a great choice, and during the past year it has been improved to perfection. Of course, the one with Nutella could never disappoint, but there are plenty of other versions to choose from. It’s easy to get lost between the sweet and salty breakfasts. Plus, during summertime, the egg-waffles that they serve in glasses will also be accompanied with ice cream.Breakfast was served until the evening at the first Maison, and they also had a lunch menu, but they didn’t have the more serious, dinner-like courses. This is one of the main aspects of the renewal, but they are still in test mode, so, to be honest, we found a few mistakes in the dishes. But this happens during developmental periods, and mistakes can teach us the best lessons, and surely the à la carte dishes will soon catch up with the superb breakfasts.
Due to the expanded size, Maison is also great for romantic dinners, or even for baby showers, small-scale bachelorette parties, and for girls’ nights.