Winter is ideal for tasting various delicacies with friends or business partners. Until February 17th, you have a chance to try more than 40 restaurants in all regions of Slovakia – this is the offer of the 2016 Winter Food Festival! The fourth edition of this exceptional gastronomic event is for anyone who has a passion for quality gastronomy, wants to visit the best and often unaffordable restaurants and get great meals for symbolic prices.
DISCOVER THE TASTES OF SLOVAKIA
Participating restaurants offer a special menu to the culinary enthusiasts, consisting of three meals:
- Our iconic dish – characterizing a given restaurant
- Tastes of the regions – with an emphasis on using local and seasonal ingredients
- Our grandmas’ recipes – family recipes with a long tradition
The majority of the restaurants is in our capital city, however the organizers thought of other cities as well – and prepared various gastronomic buses with which you can travel not only to the surrounding towns but also those more distant ones. We tried one gastronomic bus this week and can only recommend it – you’ ll be able to please your taste buds from the very morning till late afternoon, and drink the fantastic food down with some quality wines.
START YOUR DAY WITH GOOD BREAKFAST
For the first time in the festival’s history, there is a special breakfast menu in the offer – which you can taste in the Moods Bakery & Coffee at the Hviezdoslav’s square. The festival breakfast menu includes poached eggs in a bread bowl served with fresh salad.
But you can also have other treats when you stop by – from various egg variations to tasty cakes and pastries. The special thing about Moods Bakery is that they have locally roasted coffee and they bake their own bread which is always fresh.
PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS IN BRATISLAVA
There are 19 restaurants in our capital and its surroundings which offer a winter festival menu to its visitors. The one we tried was the River Bank Restaurant in the Grand Hotel River Park***** offering traditional Austro-Hungarian cuisine fusing time tested recipes with modern presentation and highest quality ingredients. Upon our arrival we were welcomed by Igor Čehy – the executive chef himself, who introduced their current menu to us and explained the ways he prepared the dishes we were about to taste.
The main dish was just fabulous – stewed lamb shank served on roasted root vegetables with garlic and potato gratin. All the plates were finished to the last bite! The dessert was a surprise to us – the very traditional “vtáčie mlieko” which in translation means “bird’s milk“ and we can remember it from our childhood days, was transformed into a high class treat that tasted heavenly. The cream from real vanilla and salted caramel went perfectly well with the sweetened egg white, topped with caramelized pieces of sugar. Good job done there we must say.
SPECIALS OUTSIDE OF BRATISLAVA
If you don’t mind traveling (or you join one of the gastronomic buses), you can explore new places in the capital’s less known surroundings. One of our tips is the Landsfeld restaurant in Hotel Majolika*** in Modra, a small city around 30 minutes from Bratislava which belongs to the most important vinicultural centres of the Little Carpathians Region. The restaurant offers traditional Slovak dishes but also dishes from the modern cuisine, enriched with a current seasonal offer. Their festival menu includes for example a poached perch stuffed with baby spinach lightly seasoned with garlic, served with potato rosti, or crispy roasted duck breast with plum sauce and Hokkaido dumplings – the latter one was pure heaven in mouth!
SOMETHING FOR THE WINE LOVERS
One stop planned on the route of our gastronomic bus was at the Miklovic Winery in Svaty Jur – a small family winery producing special products with heart. We tried four different wines and their specialty – a wine jelly which goes perfectly with foie gras or as a separate dessert.
Our top recommendation is the strawberry rose wine which was super delicious and we weren’t surprised when told it is usually sold out very quickly once they make it.
We also had a small tour at their wine cellar where the owners store their bottles as well all the certificates and diplomas they have so far received for their products – impressive!
GASTRONOMIC OVERNIGHT TRIPS
Treat yourself to experience the festival with a three course menu combined with relaxation in one of the participating hotels – the price of gastronomic overnight trips includes accommodation and a three-course festival evening for each guest. For more information, refer to the offer of a specific hotel or guesthouse.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WINTER FOOD FESTIVAL?
All it takes is to buy one of the three degustation vouchers:
- Basic degustation (1 meal + 0,25 l water): 10 €
- Two course degustation (2 meals + 0,25 l water + 0,2 lwine/0,33 l beer): 18 €
- Three course degustation (3 meals + 0,25 l water + 0,2 lwine/0,33 l beer): 23 €
More details can be found (in Slovak) HERE.