Saturday, January 30 I walked to the Lipscani district (Old Town). In the Middle Ages this was the most important commercial center in Bucharest. The district was planned to be destroyed during the communist times but this never happened. As of 2008, the city started renovating the district but they ran into a dilemma; after digging up the streets the ruins from the old buildings were discovered and this fact gave the city council 2 options: first one, to preserve the ruins and turn them into an historic site (which requires a lot of money for maintenance) and second option is to simply pave the streets and move on. The Bucharest mayor’s office cannot make a decision and some streets are left all dug up until… no one really knows when.
The district is now very popular when it comes to night life. Some websites claim it hosts over 60 cafes pubs and restaurants (as of early 2009), I would say this number must be closer to 100.
Well, after walking for a while I went to have an espresso at Grand Café Van Gogh on Str. Smardan. This Dutch owned café must be one of the best in town. Beautiful interior, big long windows, friendly staff, reasonably priced coffee, food and alcohol make it a great place for any time of the day.
I will surely be back to Lipscani to check out some of its popular pubs and restaurants… Later on that night I went to Silence pub with Bogdan and his friends; two Vlads and Dan. This small and kind of hidden bar is right next to Piata Romana, besides alcohol and coffe you could also enjoy Turkish Shisha. Beer is rather cheap, 0.5L of Beck’s costs under 5 Lei (less than $2) and the atmosphere is very nice.
A little past midnight I made it to Deja-Vu cocktail bar, I guess I can call it the “usual” place for me. It’s conveniently located just a few blocks away from my building, the cocktails are great and both barmen; Sergei and Ivan make sure that preparing a cocktail looks like a show or a ritual of some sort, very entertaining… I had quite a few drinks, some were on the house and at 5:30 when I was getting ready to leave, Sergei surprised me by bringing a plate of fresh, hot and very tasty ciorbă and some bread. That night (morning) I went home pretty tipsy, well fed and happy
On Sunday I woke up pretty late, since I went to bed at about 7am. Ruxi called at 3pm and told me Radu and her were going for lunch or maybe a drink and asked me if I wanted to join them – of course I did. Radu suggested that we should go for some “mititei” also referred to as “mici”. I already knew what mici was since I have quite a few Romanian friends in Montreal but for those who don’t know; ” Mititei or mici (Romanian for little or small ones) is a traditional Romanian dish, grilled minced-meat rolls made from beef (usually mixed with mutton and pork), which contain garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory and sometimes a touch of paprika.” (thank you, Wikipedia).
There were a lot of people so it took about 30-40 minutes until we got the food; mici, fried potatoes and pui la jar – chicken grilled with garlic and other spices. Beer, of course goes very well with mici so we had the local Ursus.
Next time you are in Bucharest, make sure to stop by La Cocosatu restaurant for some amazing mici!