Elegant yet informal and affordable, the N28 Wine & Kitchen has opened in the heart of Budapest’s Theatreland, Nagymező utca. We dropped in for a glass and a bite right after the first bar bell.
The names of Barta and Szentesi resonate
in the world of Hungarian wine. Károly Barta – with the help of master
winemaker Vivien Ujvári – makes world-class Tokaji in Mád, while József
Szentesi is a leading winemaker in the Nadap-Sukoró-Pázmánd triangle, north of
There, his passion is creating Hungarian champagnes, and reviving ancient domestic varieties of grape, such as Csókaszőlő, Tihanyi Kék and Fekete Muskotály.
Together with a family friend, they opened the tastefully designed N28, which also functions as the wine shop where, in addition to the quality items supplied by Artizan, tasting platters and main dishes, József's daughter Kati Szentesi was waiting for us, smiling.
Another plus is the courteous, well-trained and wine-savvy staff, a real godsend in these days of staff shortages in hospitality. They can talk you through the selection from a winemaker’s point of view – and there’s certainly plenty of excellent examples to choose from. In addition to consuming sur place, you can also take your favourite wines home at the going rate.
While choosing wine is obviously subjective, everyone should be able to find something from this exclusively Hungarian assortment that matches their own style.
The range of wines by the glass changes constantly but they’re usually happy to break open a bottle of almost anything for most customers. Among the accompaniments, the cheese platter (Prima Donna, Manchego, Brie, Roquefort, HUF 2,890) and ham platter with watermelon (from Fény utca market, HUF 2,990) should satisfy the most discerning of customers.
From the main dishes, the superfood salad with chicken supreme (chickpeas, quinoa, cauliflower, broccoli, pomegranate, sour cherry and chicken breast together with the upper bone of the wing, HUF 4,280) should not disappoint. It’s a meeting of great flavours, and the chicken sous-vide received just enough heat to keep its texture perfect.
With opening hours from 11am to 11pm every day, N28 should attract the lunch crowd, casual strollers along this most strollable of streets and, of course, theatregoers. Not to mention anyone curious to discover a gem or two among the Magyar wine canon.