Romanian food at Balkan Bistro and La Mandragora in Bucharest

Romania’s traditional food sees touches of Turkish, Hungarian, Austrian, and other cuisines, but over the years, these dishes have become just as traditional as the oldest Romanian traditional foods. So you might say it has had influence from both invaders and neighbours where its traditional cuisine is concerned. It’s heavily feature is meat. Cabbage rolls, sausages, and stews (like tocanita) are popular main dishes. Muschi poiana consists of mushroom- and bacon-stuffed beef in a puree of vegetables and tomato sauce. You can also sample traditional Romanian fish dishes, like the salty, grilled carp called Saramura.
When I attended CEPIS Council Meeting last weekend, I had a chance of some culinary adventures and as always, I gladly share them with you:

Restaurant Balkan Bistro:
The Continental Forum Hotel’s restaurant impressed us by the Balkan traditional food. Side by side you’ll also find their Wine Cellar, even in the original cellar of the former Habermann coffee house (built-up in 1876), famous meeting place and symbol of the cultural life from Sibiu at the end of eighteen century.
The atmosphere gives the most ideal choice either for a business meal or a delicious dinner. The day before I attend CEPIS Council Meeting (the reason for my stay in Bucharest), my wife and I had a nice dinner here and we invite you all to join us:
Balkan Bistro in Bucharest Romania #1
With a 100 seats capacity, Balkan Bistro invites you to indulge in a varied menu consisting of the most delicious specialties from various countries: Albania, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, and a lot more. Guided by their excellent servant Anna, I tried my best to stick to the Romanian style, Bon Appétit (click pics to bigify and enjoy):
Balkan Bistro in Bucharest Romania #2 Balkan Bistro in Bucharest Romania #3
Left: Bread with Alioli – Right: Fish & Egg salad
Balkan Bistro in Bucharest Romania #4 Balkan Bistro in Bucharest Romania #5
Left: Romanian meet stew (beef, pork, chicken & sausage) – Right: Coffee

La Mandragora:
In the evening after CEPIS’s council Meeting, we all had another culinary adventure. Decadent décor and smart ideas about food have inspired a classy, edgy ambience at this lovely new restaurant that opened in a renovated house in June 2006. Cristi Puiu suggested the name, after his production company, and chose a special place for the restaurant. The house in 29 Mendeleev Street (Bucharest) is where the painter Ștefan Luchian, the flowers master, lived and painted:
La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #1 La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #2

Lilac-colored walls, a glittering bar, and gathered drapes are the opening gambit for an evening of superb food. French dishes with a twist are how you might describe the divine creations of German chef Paul Peter Kopij, who plans seasonal innovations and additions to a cleverly sophisticated yet simple menu:
La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #3 La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #4

The menu is among Bucharest’s most innovative and I gladly share my dishes with you:
La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #6 La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #5
Left: Cream of carrot soup – Right: Red wine, Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet, Australian
La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #7 La Mandragora in Bucharest Romania #8
Left: French breast of duck in Guinness ale with basmati rice – Right: Crème brûlée and Beignets filled with apple

This was our culinary adventure from our trip to Bucharest. Like I said in my last post, mentioning that I had DianeCA my wife with me, you might agree I have the ability to combine business with pleasure. However, I took a lot more pics and had some more time to explore this interesting, special and historical East European city. So stay tuned – there will be lot more about the contrast in architecture, history and culture as well as to show you spring was on its way!

This post is part of Reiseblogg2010 – A Norwegian Travel Blog Competition.

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  1. I am so curious about the decadent restaurant! I adore its decoration! And the chef did a fabulous job too! so delicate esthetic in the plates!!! the crème brulée is one of my favourite desserts!!! You know I stay tuned as I don’t want to miss your regards on the Romania’s architecture!

  2. I have no idea what Romanian food is like, but from what I see here it is a mix of various European dishes. French love the crème de carotte…

    Looks like an awesome restaurant!

  3. What a feast for the eyes. All dishes appear yummy. Understand you and your wife had a great time.!!
    waiting for your future posts

  4. What a delight there Renny and when I saw the beef, it reminded me of the some Russian cuisine which I had back then during my visit to Russia.

    I can see that you are having fun there and I wish you an enjoyable time with Diane :D

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