It's not just the name that's quirky; located in an attractive Art Nouveau house in an interesting up-and-coming area just north of the cathedral, the decor at this fabled restaurant is equally eccentric. You are greeted in the garden by a classic Bulgarian water fountain sprouting some 20 taps; and an antique cupboard filled with childhood mementos (changed seasonally) is in the lobby. Even the bathroom is a surprise, so don't miss it (and look up)! Food is a mix of French/Italian but with Bulgarian influence -- the "village salad," for instance, comprises fresh vegetables topped with Rhodope cheese matured in a juniper casks, while the balls of Itchera goat's cheese, coated and deftly fried in slivered almond coats, is superb. With a large cellar updated annually, the wine list is also a superb introduction to one of Bulgaria's best-kept secrets. Small wonder that this is a personal favorite for the editor of Bacchus, Bulgaria's revered food and wine magazine and host to the likes of Bill Clinton and Catherine Deneuve. In short, if you have time for only one restaurant in Sofia, head to Beyond the Alley.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010