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Transylvania Restaurant, Park Street, Bristol Review 9th January 2018





One of Bristol’s newest additions to the around-the-world eateries collected in Clifton, the Transylvania Restaurant opened in early December 2017 serving traditional dishes as well as some with an Italian slant. Transylvania translates as “the land beyond the forest” a historic region of central Romania surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains and as you would imagine the local recipes are for hearty and nourishing foods.

It would be a pity not to capitalise on the region’s most famous mythical character, Count Dracula, and there is a nod to him from the moment you walk upstairs flanked as they are by candles and mannequins dressed in period costumes, leading to the restaurant which is most atmospherically dressed in red and black, and on each table a large candelabra glows in the low light. It felt as if we were to be entertained by the Count himself.

Perusing the menu I had already spotted one of my favourites, pan fried chicken livers, as a main course which can be very rich so I decided on a light starter of Capresse, mozzarella and sliced tomato with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. My husband chose bruschetta with tomatoes, cheddar cheese, olive oil and oregano to start, followed by Burger cu Mititei; beef and pork patty char-grilled, served on rustic sourdough with French fries, red onion, tomatoes and Romanian mustard. The menu had some very tempting traditional Transylvanian soups, especially for me the Ciorba de Legume which contained every vegetable you could name and was served with jalapenos, cooled sour cream and crusty bread but since I hadn’t just come from an energetic walk in the Carpathian Mountains I thought it might defeat me!

Our starters were most artistically presented on square white plates and were as good to eat as they looked, with fresh and ripe tomatoes being the best ingredients. Whilst waiting for the main courses we admired the shiny black piano that is no doubt played on special occasions and we liked the background music; lightly classical and traditionally Romanian. Our main courses arrived looking great; my chicken livers had been pan friend with red peppers and onion and were served with rounds of the creamiest mashed potato I’ve ever eaten and I really enjoyed the dish. The burger proved delicious and the Romanian mustard the best accompaniment.

So to the deserts, would it be a Tranylvanian Heart or a Vampire’s Kiss (my husband offered me one of his own but had somehow forgotten his fangs); in the end we chose Papanasi, Transylvanian donuts topped with cream and jam, or chocolate which were lovely. We really enjoyed our evening, it was great fun, service was excellent as was the food and we can feel an alternative St Valentine’s Night coming on!

Jacquie Vowles
 


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