Romanian traditional Vegetable stew with truffle & kidney beans* (150g). - 18 lei
Cream of pork greaves with spiced lard and toasted bread with garlic cloves (80g) - 8 lei
Pork jelly terrine with horseradish cream and toasted potato bread (100g) - 16 lei
Traditional Winter Platter - Bacon, liver sausage, pork cracklings, Romanian specialty “toba” with red onions (180g) - 22 lei
Pumpkin cream soup with caraway seed (300ml) - 17 lei
Soured bean soup with porcini mushrooms* (300ml) - 17 lei
Soured pork soup with tarragon (300ml) - 17 lei
Soured tripe soup (300ml) - 18 lei
Cauldron cooked smoked and unsmoked pork, sausages with white wine, polenta & pickled cabbage with thyme (350g) - 34 lei
Monks dish* - Rice, beetroot puree sautéed vegetables, sun dried tomatoes and artichokes (350g) - 34 lei
Pork loin with herbs, lentil and corn puree & corn chutney (350g) - 34 lei
Roasted smoked pork, red onion and plum chutney, beetroot puree with horseradish (350g) - 34 lei
Rolled stuffed pickled cabbage with pork, bacon chips and chili jam & fried truffle polenta (350g) - 34 lei
Pumpkin, apple and pear pie spiced with cinnamon, served with quince and aniseed gem (100g) - 15 lei
Baked apple with walnuts and lavender honey* (120g) - 6 lei
Carrot cake with cinnamon syrup (150g) - 18 lei
Mulled wine/ Hot apple juice (200ml) - 15 lei
(Note: *Vegetarian products)
For the Romanians, the Christmas holidays start with sacrificing the pig from their own household on the day of Ignat, on December 20th. The name ”Ignat” comes from the fact that the sacrifice of the animal overlaps with the celebration of the Holy Martyr Ignatius Teoforus, descendant of the apostles and disciple of St. John the Evangelist. This makes the Ignat celebration a mixture between old pagan customs and new Christian meanings.
It is believed that on the night of December 19th to December 20th, pigs dream about their approaching death, so they refuse to eat and they no longer gain weight. Hence, the Romanian statement: "to fatten the pig on Christmas’s Eve", as an expression of the impossible. According to the tradition, those who don’t own a pig will sacrifice poultry, since it is said that, on the occasion of Ignat, everybody "must see blood". In order to be forgiven for killing the animal, the words "Ignat, Ignat / Swollen pig!" are spoken and people also invoke God’s help.
Once the ritual is accomplished, the boys and girls are dancing, while the housewives, together with their helpers, are preparing sausages and other dishes that all must be ready until Christmas dinner. In some areas of the country, a cross is made on children’s forehead with the blood of the slaughtered animal, as it is believed that the ritual will bring a blush on their cheeks and keep them healthy during the coming year. Also, the spleen of the animal predicts whether the winter will be a mild or a long and a cold one.
Ignat ends with a meal cooked from the most tender meat, which is a custom coming from the Dark Age, as a way of commemorating the animals’ death. The fresh meat is prepared in the kitchen or in the backyard with lots of spices and served with polenta, garlic and a glass of mulled brandy.
Sometimes, it was believed that pork fat had magical properties, so people used it for different spells. In the past, the corpses suspected of becoming Strigoi were anointed with lard before they were buried. According to the tradition, the witches are trying to steal prosperity from peoples’ homes on the eve of Ignat. This is why the housewives are scattering wheat in front of their houses to keep witches away from their loved ones.