With Brix Bistro, Hévíz has a new restaurant and terrace, but more than that, a place that has put this spa town on the culinary map. Often booked up, dinner here means classics as well as more daring dishes. Here is what Brix Bistro has to offer.
Brix Bistro is part of the Bonvital Wellness & Gastro Hotel, representing the same clean, modern style as this adults-only hotel does. Brix stands out from the town’s other restaurants, and would fit nicely into any cosmopolitan situation. The dark tones, the rustic brick walls and comfortable, spacious chairs offer an air of calm and cosiness – the restaurant is an oasis of peace as you come in from the buzzing street.
An everyday bistro with beef fillets and burgers
Brix decided to follow the bistro genre using premium ingredients instead of being a traditional, more conservative restaurant as found on this main pedestrianised street. According to Ádám Király, the head of the hotel and the restaurant, they wanted to be an everyday bistro, frequented by locals and holidaymakers alike. It can accommodate 70 people inside, while the recently expanded terrace can fit 40 guests. Another outdoor area is currently being constructed to offer smokers somewhere to sit, too.
The menu selection, changed every second month as suggested by chef Zoltán Csécsényi, has been conceived to cover a wide range, with dishes such as street food-style burgers and fish and chips, and more substantial ones, like beef fillets. This is a challenge as the bistro works with a short menu: four appetisers, three soups, ten main courses and three desserts make up the selection of Hungarian and Mediterranean options.
Even though the menu only runs to two pages, choosing is still tricky, as there are compelling pairings, along with more traditional flavours. The black mussels with toast (2,490 HUF) appetiser could easily pass as a main course for those who aren't famished. This creamy white-wine and garlic-flavoured dish evokes summer nights at the seashore. More popular, though, according to the manager, is the duck liver pâté with baked milk-loaf (2,890 HUF) – all duck- and goose-liver dishes, in fact, are a hit with diners.
The Budapest beef fillet (8,490 HUF), one of the restaurant’s specialities, is another favourite. Russians love it especially – no wonder, as the meat is perfectly cooked. Brix burger 2.0 (2,890 HUF), filled with goats’ cheese, tomato chutney, bacon and a beef patty, also flies out of the kitchen. As the manager says, they don’t want guests to feel any formality, and burgers help make the place appeal to a wider target audience. The fish and chips (2,590 HUF) is of similar ilk – the tuna nuggets are served with sweet potato fries in a metal basket.
The homemade orange and apricot Kaiserschmarrn shredded pancakes (1,490 HUF) is served in a small red pot, delicious and moorish.
Rare finds: blood sausage and phô
Schnitzel is always on the menu in one form or another, most recently as the supreme chicken Kiev (3,290 HUF), with spinach-mashed potatoes. Main dishes and sides come as one, meaning that there's no scope to make any changes, but also underlines the premium quality insisted upon. Not everything is made with locally sourced ingredients as producers here can’t always provide the quantity required by the restaurant – all the same, various local cheeses and vegetables do find their way onto the plate.
There are other exciting items on the menu – Ádám reckons they love lesser-known, slightly unusual dishes. The fried blood sausage with pickled paprika salsa (1,590 HUF) is a true rarity. The beef stew (4,390 HUF) is made from beef fillets, served as a steak, while the stew flavour comes from the sauce it is served with. It’s simple yet exciting. Two more dishes that must be mentioned are the sweet potato gnocchi with ramsons pesto and parmesan (1,990 HUF) and the phô (1,990 HUF), unusual for the area, and a menu mainstay thanks to its popularity.
Brix also has a lunch menu – a three-course offer will be completely transformed by the middle of summer, with a whole new menu for guests to put together their own meal from four or five different main dishes, sides and sauces.
Top guests and a Michelin-star chef
Coffee is made by award-winning barista, Ádám Udvari, while the wine list, mostly selected from the Balaton regions, was put together by sommelier László Zömbik. The wines of Somló, Badacsony and Zala are all represented as the restaurant wanted to have local items available. The cocktail selection is also excellent, and available until 10pm.
The bistro has not only brought new flavours to Hévíz but also some of the biggest stars in Hungarian gastronomy. The Gianni Evening, featuring a top Italian restaurateur, sold out in one day while Rozina Wossala will return to Brix this autumn. Szása Nyíri from Arany Kaviár and Viktor Moldován, who works in Japan, have already graced the Brix kitchen. These events don't run in the summer, but the autumn sessions will bring Ákos Sárközi, chef at Budapest’s Michelin-starred Borkonyha, to Hévíz. The culinary evenings can currently accommodate 90 visitors.
Brix Bistro makes the culinary palette of Hévíz more colourful by providing simple but high-quality meals and it’s a great place to stop by after enjoying the healing waters of the nearby lake.