Feb 19, 2017 No Comments
Fellow Bansko gastronauts, we’re just over half way though the ski season, so it’s time to take a look at what is being served up in Bansko’s restaurants this year. Armed with a healthy post ski healthy appetite and some good friends to get variety in dishes ordered I’m now ready to name places I’m enjoying this season.
DISCLOSURE: Some of the restaurants mentioned in this article sponsor this blog. So bear that in mind. But also please remember that I never recommend anywhere I have not enjoyed.
I’ve listed my favourite restaurants in no particular order.
1. Sushi and Teppanyaki at the Kempinski
With great dexterity the teppanyaki chefs here make for a special treat for the family and your loved one. Pure entertainment. But the food is tasty. A choice of seafood, meat or mixed teppanyaki means most tastes are well catered for. If you’re like me and you like fish and meat only just cooked, then you can instruct accordingly. The sushi is top notch. Prices reflect the quality and surroundings.
Carsten in the General Manager of the Kempinski and the impact of his tenure is being felt. Eli and Donny are the long time Thursday, Friday and Saturday musical act that makes up Taboo in the piano bar, Sing Sing. This wonderful bar is located right next door to the Teppanyaki restaurant. Listen to my interview with Eli and Donny and you’ll see why I am a Taboo fanboy.
2. The VIP Room
For the best lunch on the mountain head to the FIP Room at Banderishka Poliana. The long time Italian chef, here combines with excellent service in the best dining room in Bansko. Pretend you’re in Courcheval 1850.
Choose the Korten Grand Reserve red wine as your wine here. It needs decanting to open up this deep fruits and a decent amount of tannin to accompany robust Italian dishes such as Lasagne and the lamb chops.
The restaurant opens in the mornings, so I grab a hot chocolate for morning email catch up by the roaring log fire. The world seems a better place here like this.
3. The Irish Harp
I’ve been here three times this season. Read my review here. The new chef I think is the bets yet here. Everything is good here. Brian is the host. The servers are friendly welcoming and good. The steak and ale pie with pea and potato mash, slow cooked beef, chilli con carne, the ribeye steak, spicy prawns and avocado (this is my regular favourite) and the best spicy chicken wings in town.
Guinness, Kilkenny on draught, hundreds of brands of whisky and a fairly priced, but short, wine list. The Lizard is the live singer guitarist on Wednesday to Saturday nights. Not to be missed.
You can book your table in the Bansko App. http://bit.ly/BanskoApp (iOS) or http://bit.ly/BanskoAppAnd
roid. You get a free pick up and drop off too. Just put your request in the comments.
4. Amvrosia at the Premier Luxury Mountain Resort
The Premier gastronomy fest is an unmissable event in November. The General Manager, Takis, is one hell of cool dude too. I interviewed him and learnt why Bulgaria’s “Queen of Sex” is so close to his heart.
The Greek influence is found in the devine cheese in pastry with honey. A greek classic done very nicely here. The menu ranges from excellent salads, burgers, pasta and meats.
A comfortable dining room completes the Amvrosia experience.
5. Smokey Mountain Bar And Grill.
The burgers are always good but it’s the ribs that stand out. Book these and book the sharing platter, see below. The sharing platter Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights only is enough for three people. You’ll regret not booking the ribs or the platter.
Real craft beer from Brew Dog (Punk IPA, 5AM Saint etc) make this my go-to bar. Apres ski live music from 4pm till 6pm and from 9pm means that Smokes Mountain continues to have its fans, which include me. Wine selection is limited but with Cycle’s Le Photographe series you’ll have a wine with the robust rich fruit flavours you need for the food here.
6. Egur Egur
Egur Egur, located in the Perun Lodge Hotel, was new to Bansko last season. I’ve been back to review this Armenian restaurant earlier in the season. Following on from then there is now a special Egur Egur menu that is only available by booking in the Bansko App. 35 leva per person. It’s an ideal way to get the taste of Armenia in Bansko. Vegetarian choices are excellent here too.
The best slow cooked lamb; a top choice here at Egur Egur.
Plamen, the manager is welcoming. A great wine list and a relaxed Sofia crowd complete the Egur Egur experience.
7. Tomahawk SteakHouse NEW for 20116/17 season
Dobrin and his chef wife offer 21 kinds of steak to choose from. Amazing 21 day aged T bone steak for two persons. My review earlier in the season focussed on the wonderful venison steak.
No hint of venison gaminess either. This is quality food and makes a very welcome addition to the Bansko restaurant scene.
Italian cravings hit us all at some sage and the go-to Italian is Leonardo’s. It’s located Lucky Bansko. They will pick you up if you call them. Best pizza in Bansko too. But I have not been this year, but read my review here.
Friends who have been this season love it and go back there whenever they go. I’ll there soon to update my review.
9. Stafish Coffee & Champagne bar
I could not finish this listing without adding a few bars I like and this is the place for meeting friends for a tasty sandwich such as the smoked salmon special and for the legendary cheesecake here.
Warren Mace is the co-owner and I recommend you to listen to him in my podcast. He not only reveals a lot about himself and his passion for design but also offers wise words for anyone thinking of setting up business in Bulgaria.
Fast and reliable internet complete the picture here at Starfish.
10. Kempinski Lobby bar
What’s a lobby bar doing here in this listing? It’s similar to why Starfish is also in my top 10 here; it’s a place to meet others without the noise. Good service and a decent gin and tonic are other compelling reasons. Prices are on the high side.
I recommend The Kempinski afternoon tea. A Bulgarian take on this theme. You get savoury offerings such as herrings. Because I love afternoon tea in the London hotels, then this scratches that itch. I am British and it’s the ritual of afternoon tea that we gave to the world. The Kempinski lobby bar offers comfort, tea, drinks and even Eli Donny play early evening at weekends here before kicking off at 10:30 in Sing Sing.
Download the Bansko App: http://bit.ly/BanskoApp (iOS) or http://bit.ly/BanskoAppAnd
roid. (Android) for all these restaurants for booking details and for contact details. Egur Egur, The Irish Harp and Amvrosia you can book quickly and easily in the Bansko App. Please read full disclosure at the top of this article. I wish you lots of happy eating out moments in Bansko.
Bansko culinary ambitions have come a long way in fourteen years since the modern resort opened. There are a few places that will make this list but I have not has the opportunity to try them this season. The Sunday night dining in night at the Avalon Hotel is one and Soprano’s, above the Happy End, is the other. Same goes for the Avalon Hotel curry nights. This will Top 10 could well be growing soon.
I a final note, you’ll see that there are no traditional mehanas in this list. Mehanas needs its own Top 10. I’m working on that. But in the meantime try the original Bansko Han as being consistently people’s favourite.
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