The original restaurant was built near the Pest end of Elizabeth-bridge and close to the Bazaar of the Franciscan Church (Franciscan Bazaar) between 1876 and 1877. The first leaseholder of the restaurant was György Holzwarth, who wisely appointed Károly Csalányi as manager. Within very short time elements of an excellent kitchen, a tasteful selection of quality wines and a wide selection of beers made the restaurant popular with Budapest citizens and visitors.
During those years, the courtyard was not yet covered, and the huge trees sheltering the tables gave it the ambiance of a real garden restaurant.
In 1899 Géza Neusiedler became the new restaurateur, but the public still carried on calling the restaurant “Csalányi” for years afterwards, in honour of his talented predecessor. People of all walks of life and from all social strata shared the same passion: to drop in for sumptuous meals served in a friendly style. Until the onset of the First World War there were groups of friends who regularly gathered at the restaurant (for example, the Bulls’ Circle).
Under the management of Géza Neusiedler, the reputation of the restaurant rose even higher with the introduction of breakfast and brunch morning menus, which turned the Kárpátia into a popular morning parlor.
He was also famous for his heady-flavored Munich beer. The arrival and tapping of the first keg brought so many people anxious for table reservations that the line stretched as far as the church. After Géza Neusiedler had died, his widow took over his place, but didn’t prove to be as successful as her husband.
In 1925, ownership of the restaurant transferred to the Spolarich families, who were famous as owners of several popular enterprises. The Spolarich family was an old and famous dynasty of restaurateurs, which also had links to the historic Hungarian Zrínyi family. For this reason, the themes of the paintings they commissioned reached back to the 17th century, when Hungary was defending itself against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and the poet and military leader Miklós Zrínyi led a heroic fight against the invaders. Even these images of the heroic past could not save the restaurant, and in 1934 it went bankrupt.
From 1934 the restaurant got a new management and the new renter was László Károlyi and his partner Ferenc Taussig. They give the name “Kárpátia” to the restaurant. In the end of 1930 they open a multiple store – called „Kis Kárpátia’ – in the I. district – Czakó street It was very trend nightclub in the city. In the age of 1940 János Pilinszky, Sándor Sík, Zoltán Jékely, István and many other actors of Hungarian cultural life turned to the Kárpátia.
At the end of 1949, the restaurant was nationalized.
In 1957, the HungarHotels Company obtained the rights for the ownership of the restaurant, while by proposal of the Museum of Gastronomy and the Museum of Applied Arts the Minister of Culture declared the interior decoration and furniture to be protected as a National Heritage.
The restaurant was renovated by HungarHotels in 1979.
In 1997, Dr. Ákos Niklai purchased the Kárpátia Restaurant. His broad management experience, including management of the Forum Hotel, The Restaurant Gundel and Alabárdos as well as 9 years in Australia and the United States, will be channeled into his vision of making the present reputation of the Kárpátia as grand as its past history. This motto encapsulates his philosophy: “For 120 years there has only been one king in this restaurant: the Guest”.
The rebuilding of the rooms made by plans of Károly Bodon, with the inner salons decorated in romantic style, complete with paintings depicting battle scenes and events of the heroic Hungarian history. The walls are hand painted, with gilded decoration and arches reminiscent of gothic times. All of the works of art are masterpieces by Hungarian artists: including paintings by Lajos Pándy and Károly Reischl, as well as sculptures by Henrik Kollátor.
The capacity of the restaurant is 250 seats including four separate salons – each of which has a seating capacity of 30. In the summertime the terrace offers outdoor seating for up to 150 guests.
The creative kitchen is managed by Zoltán Izsák chef, who represent the renewed Hungarian gastronomy with the latest flavors of international fashion kitchens.
The most popular dishes of the Kárpátia were: Green bean ragout soup with sour cream (“Palóc soup”), Venison ragout from Gemenc, Lights, Ewe cheese gnocchi with fresh sour cream, Pork fillet Vas style (marinaded in milk and garlic) and pumpkin-poppy seed strudel
Every evening (from 6 pm) the spirited and emotional Hungarian gypsy music of Lajos Sárközi and his orchestra accompany our specialty dishes. This orchestra plays traditional gypsy music, Hungarian folk songs, classical and jazz pieces, opera and musical excerpts as well as decades-old and contemporary hits.Karpatia.hu Karpatia Restaurant Facebook Page Karpatia Instagram
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