Award-winning high-end restaurant Felix, luxuriating in historic surroundings just below Buda Castle, has spread its wings and opened a wine bar in Balatonfüred. We paid it a little visit.
Recently recognised by renowned US lifestyle magazine Wine Spectator in its annual global awards, Budapest’s Felix Kitchen & Bar has always matched the quality of its classy fare with painstakingly selected reds, whites and bubbles. After diners are wowed by the surroundings – Felix sits in a former pumphouse and casino designed by Miklós Ybl of Opera House fame, right by the Danube – they are presented with a wine list finely crafted by sommeliers Máté Horváth and Ágnes Fóti. Cocktails have been devised by András Ódor of Budapest’s sassy Black Swan, the aforementioned dishes by Ádám Mészáros, he of the two Michelin stars.
This, obviously, is a seriously high-end operation yet, for all that, pleasingly informal. And now, some 18 months after arriving in Buda, the whole shebang has come to Balaton.
The location is the former Figula wine bar in Balatonfüred, in the spacious Silver Courtyard on Zákonyi utca. The site, in fact, is even more specific, as the Felix team has picked out a stylishly curved row of shopfronts away from the crowds. Plans call for Felix to operate until the autumn, weather permitting.
Felix Balaton-style is primarily a wine bar, the selection overlapping with that the one on offer at its stablemate in the capital, but with more global varieties, popular in sailing circles, for good measure.
“The main consideration was to allow guests to sample wines they couldn’t find anywhere else,” says sommelier Ágnes Fóti.
French reds and rosés, and labels from South America, rub shoulders with top-quality whites from Balaton. Here you’ll find examples from the Bencze Estate whose speciality is natural wines, Villa Tolnay (their 2017 Chardonnay is only available here), the Gilvesy Winery, Barnabás Tóth, Káli Kövek, Válibor and the Pálffy Winery.
Among their champagnes you can find the domestic Kreinbacher as well as top-shelf items from the Champagne region: Pol Roger, Charles Heidsieck (ah, rosé champagne!), Dom Pérignon, Louis Roederer, Dom Ruinart.
“We have a narrower cocktail menu with tiny twists of classic mixes, but the pair behind the counter also get a free hand: whatever is at their fingertips, they can make something from,” explains Ágnes Fóti.
They have an extensive range of tequilas and brandies, in case you’re looking to challenge the bar staff next time you come. Superior snacks include selections of cheeses, hams and dips – it’s not every day you’re nibbling on cold cuts selected by a chef with two Michelin stars.
Felix Wine Bar
Zákonyi Ferenc utca 4, Balatonfüred 8230
Open: Daily 4pm-midnight