In order to deem a meal at a restaurant “excellent”, I look for a few key things: good food, a nice atmosphere, friendly service, and a reasonable price. Caru cu’ Bere (loosely translated as “beer wagon”), a restaurant in the Lipscani area of Bucharest, Romania, delivered all of these things and much more.
My husband very wisely made us a reservation for dinner on our last night in Bucharest. Having found out a thing or two about the restaurant beforehand, he requested that we be seated indoors on the balcony level, and I can honestly say we had one of the best tables in the house. The outdoor seating area was very large and looked pleasant, however sitting outside means you miss out on one of the restaurant’s greatest strengths- the architecture of the building. The building itself is actually classed as a historic monument by the Romanian Minister of Culture. It was built in 1898, designed to have a wine cellar in the basement and a restaurant on the main floor, with balcony wings for extra seating. In the 1920s it was renovated to give the cellar more space, and when we wandered through to take a look we saw that there are tables down there now as well.
The balconies are flanked by stunning wooden spiral staircases, and there are beautiful stained glass windows and very unique paintings all over the place. Shortly after we arrived and took our seats at out balcony table, the traditional Romanian dancers began their routine right in the middle of the main floor. We merely had to scoot our chairs a bit closer to the railing in order to enjoy a perfect view of the show!
People who were seated in the wings of the balconies, or in the side rooms of the main floor, couldn’t enjoy the dancing without getting out of their seats, so our table was one of the best. The food was fantastic as well, reasonable portions at very reasonable prices. During breaks in the dancing routines, we appreciated the artwork and architecture. We couldn’t chat much though, as the jovial atmosphere and heavy crowds meant everything was very loud.
The dancers came out for a few more routines, one to a more “modern” mix, one to the finale song from the movie Dirty Dancing, and one where they invited restaurant guests to join in. The dancers were very talented and it was so entertaining to watch. We were a bit surprised when we saw the bill- converting the total from Romanian currency into our own currency I’d say it was worth every penny, from the delicious food to the fantastic entertainment, architecture, and artwork.