A night of fine dining was in order for our second to last night in the city of Cluj Napoca.
We reserved a table at a 5 star Steakhouse for 6pm, after reading fantastic reviews, and we were delighted to find out that it was just a short walk from our accommodation.
Upon arrival it was very mysterious. We followed the Google maps directions and found ourselves stood outside of what seemed like a residential home. No sign, and nothing pointing us in the direction of an entrance; in a way it was almost brilliant.
We walked through a small alley to a door with a TripAdvisor excellence sign and entered the restaurant.
Immediately we were hit with class; beautiful table presentations, a fantastic wooden clock, great alcohol selections and an atmosphere that was not only pleasing to the eye but ones whole self.
The music was jazzy but low and we were seated swiftly by a young man with exceptional English and lovely manners.
For our drink of choice we went for a bottle of Terrazas Rezerva Malbec from Argentina priced at 186 lei a bottle – £35 or $47. It was a great choice – deep and heavy to match perfectly with our steaks.
The menu was vast and we struggled to choose a starter, and decided to get one each hoping they’d be small in quantity whilst we waited for the feast to come.
How very wrong we were; we asked for a burrata mozzarella and salami starter but they had ran out of the mozzarella and did a lovely substitute of Parmesan. Second we chose a arugula, Parmesan, and thinly sliced steak salad and waited patiently with good conversation and good wine.
The starters were huge; almost like a full meal each. My favorite was the arugula, steak, and Parmesan dish and I found myself wishing we’d ordered only that, as I added balsamic vinegar and gorged on its deliciousness.
The salami and Parmesan was good, but nothing too crazy or elaborate. They had three different types of salami on the plate including traditional, spicy, and peppery which was a nice variety for the tastebuds.
However; it was just too much for a starter and we definitely made the mistake of ordering two, given their size.
The waiter also placed a duck fat pate on the table, and we received a basket of freshly grilled bread which steamed upon arrival, was clearly homemade, and was very hard to stop eating.
Next up we chose our main dishes, and here is where it gets really fun.
We didn’t realize that the minimum order of steak was 200grams as the menu said 100grams, and we almost ordered three thinking it wouldn’t be enough; thank you to the waiter we soon changed our mind.
After a short debate we got the 400gram chateaubriand, the 200gram black angus tenderloin, and accompanied it with a side of asparagus and roast potatoes.
Within 15 minutes the main had arrived; the chateaubriand was literally a door wedge of a steak and my heart skipped a beat of joy when we cut into it to find the middle almost rare, and beautiful cooked. I’m sure that if I’d used a spoon to cut it then it would have fallen apart at the touch; it was just that good. The Malbec complimented it flawlessly and my husband and I cut each steak in half and shared the whole meal.
The tenderloin had a very earthy taste but was aged beautifully and also melted in your mouth with its juicily rare center. Of course the tenderloin was no match for the chateaubriand, but I enjoyed the two of them for their own qualities and texture.
The asparagus was oven roasted and seasoned with a sharp salt which cut into it and added flavor without overpowering it. They also had a tray of 8 different salts which were rose, charcoal, a citrus salt – just to name a few; that was a nice added touch and was fun to experiment with.
The potatoes were sliced, and I think parboiled before being roasted in the oven. Little circles of joy to eat alongside the rest of this delicious meal. In hindsight I’d have axed them if I knew then what I knew now; we had a lot of food and I was determined to finish the steak.
As a sauce we chose the chimichurri, which was definitely homemade and had an intense garlic kick; perfection.
The steak was so good and plentiful that I really struggled to finish the chateaubriand, but I couldn’t possibly let such a masterpiece go to waste.
This was definitely the best meal we’ve had since being here in Cluj Napoca, and as we laughed and conversed in Malbec infused conversation we were amazed to continuously have our glasses filled by what seemed like a never ending bottle of delicious wine.
It wasn’t as cheap as most places in Cluj, topping a generous $250 for the whole meal, and I’d say it was on par with what we’d usually pay for a fine dining steak restaurant in the states, but it was worth every penny and we had a fantastic date night that we’ll remember for many a days as we reminisce on that delicious tender meat that was beyond exceptional.
It was also very clear that the service team waiting the restaurant had been given great training as nothing was missed, and their serving skills were second to none on quality, manners, and presentation.
Thank you Adi, you really were a real pleasure. The number one restaurant to visit in Cluj if you want the best steak and an overall fabulous experience.
Until next time,