Tölgyes Kúria reopened in 2018 and besides being a popular wedding venue, it now also houses an exciting à la carte restaurant where you can find Hungarian flavours and slightly more daring pairings. And all with a splendid view of Balaton and old oak trees.
The white building of Tölgyes Kúria can be found at the top of the hill between Káptalantóti and Badacsonytomaj. Surrounded by ancient oaks, this century-old house with its spacious terrace could easily be part of a film set. Stopping here to slow down while gazing at Lake Balaton with a glass of wine in hand is a calming joy, the view and the atmosphere magical.
Retired cavalryman Vitéz Bálint Szalay commissioned the construction in 1896. The building served as an office during the Communist era, then was a restaurant before closing for almost two decades. The new era started with a wedding and then the building was completely renovated in 2018. It remains one of the few venues around Balaton suitable for large-scale weddings and events, with alternative options if the weather turns grim.
According to Tölgyes Kúria manager Péter Vincze, their main aim was to organise weddings, but since they already had a kitchen in place, they decided to open an à la carte restaurant, too. The cuisine is Hungarian, both modern and traditional, based on regional ingredients. Special attention is paid to quality and presentation.
Variations on beef
Chef Zoltán Szaszák, who spent his childhood in the area, gained experience in the kitchens of Italian and French restaurants, as well as at the Nomád Hotel in Noszvaj. When it comes to appetisers, he recommends the cognac-soaked goose liver terrine with toasted milk loaf and orange green salad (3,490 HUF). It’s a filling and complex dish with bell peppers and various fresh greens with confit cherry tomatoes.
There are two soups on the short menu: the creamy, cold peach variety is served with mint cottage-cheese doughnuts (1,890 HUF). It’s made with fresh peaches, and, like the other dishes, it doesn’t contain any dairy produce. According to Péter Vincze, there are more and more guests with food allergies, and they want to make sure that everyone can enjoy their meal. The other soup is essence of cooked beef with fresh vegetable tartare and matchstick pasta (3,490 HUF). Cooked for 12 hours, this soup is served in the traditional way.
If you want to try something more unusual, try the chicken breast stake-grilled sous-vide in butter with thyme, served with garlic black pasta and mushrooms (3,890 HUF). It’s a strange pairing but it works well. If you are looking for a special harmony of flavours, try the brisket confit with sweet potato and blueberry jus (5,290 HUF). The brisket is slow-cooked, the sweet potatoes made with coconut milk, and together with the fresh blueberries, they make an exciting trio. Finally, for a magical dessert, order the honey and Williams pear pie (1,490 HUF) served in a wine glass – truly enchanting.
The menu is refreshed every month and the chef’s seasonal offers are always worth trying. Meats, cheese and smoked goods come from the nearby Szegi family farm in Lesenceistvándi. The herbs are grown on-site by the chef and the overall aim is to use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. The wine list also reflects this, featuring labels from surrounding Szent György-hegy, Badacsony, Örsi-hegy and Sabar (which is to say GIlvesy, Laposa, Váli, Sabar and Büttner). Reservations recommended.
Weddings with a view
Tölgyes Kúria is also a great wedding venue – it’s romantic, picturesque and the service is professional. The restaurant can seat more than 100, the terrace can accommodate 150, while the grassy area is spacious enough for 260.
Zita Vincze-Ferenczi manages the events, and when it comes to weddings, she believes in clean, elegant yet slightly bohemian decoration. It’s important for her to get to know the couple who want to get married here – that’s the only way to make the big day truly special.
Being present is also very important, and that goes for the restaurant as well. As Péter Vincze says, to make all work well, they have to be there personally to oversee that everything goes smoothly.