Restaurants are getting creative while adhering to social distancing requirements.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
October 21, 2020
Advertisement
Credit: Getty Images

A Michelin-starred restaurant in Budapest has come up with what might be the most scenic solution for socially distanced fine-dining: serving its epic multicourse dinners inside the private cabins of a Ferris wheel.

Tickets for Saturday’s inaugural meal at the Budapest Eye pop-up cost 48,000 forints (about $155) per person and sold out within days, Costes restaurant owner Karoly Gerendai told Reuters. “Now that there are not many people either on the wheel or in the restaurant because there are no tourists, the opportunity arose that we could do this,” he told the news service.

Ferris wheel cabins offer the sort of natural social distancing that restaurants around the world have been trying to create with tents, dividers, pop-up igloos, and other creative approaches.

The Tate Dining Room in Hong Kong, for example, has added partitions and spaced tables at least five feet apart. It also uses steam to disinfect dining furniture between guests. In Amsterdam, Mediamatic ETEN has set up private greenhouses for diners looking to enjoy a canalside meal. And in New York, restaurateurs are embracing outdoor space heaters, while rooftops in California are being transformed into outdoor dining oases.

But Ferris wheels aren’t perfect. Saturday’s diners had to rely on blankets to keep warm and pillows to keep comfortable, Insider reported. Their reward: a menu that included stewed beef and duck liver terrine, grilled gnocchi with Jerusalem artichokes in marrow sauce, and poached pears.

Costes describes its style as modern European with Hungarian influences and a focus on local produce and wine.

Gerendai plans to serve another meal on the Budapest Eye when temperatures warm up in the spring. Until then, Costes is delivering its elaborate tasting menus, which allow diners to choose between four and seven courses to be prepared, plated, and artfully served in their own homes.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.