OZB April 2019

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April 2019 | N° 18 | FREE COPY





















d r a w r o F y l l g a n c i i r p S doscop i e l ka FR






e ns o M i t d a ess n Han wn Voc r e d il o W D n w ves nto i L w i o t ș D ăcăre V



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Of Pavements, Sunshine and Going Green





Douglas Williams - Publisher

So in my last utterance on the equivalent page in our March OZB I urged the relevant Bucharest authorities to consider traffic calming measures especially on those roads in proximity to schools. So imagine my surprise when, within days of that mag appearing, lo and behold a traffic calming measure sprung up on the utterly charmless Iancu Nicolae in Pipera, where there and no less than four schools. Ok there’s one traffic calming measure and it’s more related to a very popular supermarket and of course it’s a coincidence for sure but it’s a start and I’ll claim it nonetheless! Bucharest desperately needs more and also more consideration given generally to the vulnerable on the roads and pavements: to children, to pedestrians and cyclists and less to the impatient drivers of powerful 4x4s. Va rog. So, like the cockerel proud upon the farm dung heap I shall crow some more this issue, cue the eyes rolling.... First a little back story - once upon a time, a long, long time ago I lived in a little house on top of a hill in bonny Scotland but this little house had three solar panels on the south-facing slope of the roof. These panels were not the new fangled PV type that provide electricity, this was the early 80s, these panels just heated the water. Just wishing to draw your attention back to two key elements of this tale so far: solar (that’s sunshine) and “Bonny Scotland”! These are not the most natural of bedfellows but boy did these panels heat the water, even on grey, rainy days - and there are a few of those in Scotland - piping hot water! Which brings us back to the here and now of Romania and 2019 where there is an abundance of sunshine, year round, but for some reason solar panels, especially domestic ones, are rare. Why!? Look around the roofs in your average Scottish village and probably the majority of houses have solar panels, but here, there are almost none despite the quality of 6

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solar here and this meaning household independence of power is totally possible. I would have thought Romanians, with their independent, self-reliant nature, would have embraced solar power. If any provider of domestic solar solutions out there is reading this, get in touch and let’s work together to promote domestic solar power generation across Romania. A trick is most definitely being missed. On the subject of green energy solutions one year ago Uber introduced its Uber Green with 20 cars here in Bucharest. Readers may have seen these cars around the city but only occasionally. It was an ambitious project with high ideals but limited by the number of cars. Uber last month launched a similar initiative in the Ukrainian capital Kiev with 200 cars where it expects 10,000 people to be using the service by the end of this month. Imagine being whisked around the city in silent, clean, completely environmentally friendly electric taxis - it would certainly be an improvement benefiting Bucharest and Bucharestians. But as I write Uber in Bucharest is in trouble. I can only talk about my experience of Uber but it has been altogether positive, I use them a lot and I’d like to continue using them. My experience of the traditional yellow taxis has been mixed at best with some shockers, I don’t use them at all anymore. Yellow taxis can and must adapt, it’s not rocket science. Scheme’s like Uber Green are the future, pure and simple. OZB seeks to be a fresh new voice celebrating the best of modern Romania and we want to hear from you. We welcome your comments, criticism and suggestions. Green projects, NGOs, photography, food, art, music, wine, festivals, rural and urban, beer, comment, coffee, analysis, jokes, graphics all are welcome. We are delighted to promote schemes aiming to improve the lives of Romanians. Get in touch: douglas@ozb.ro


Publisher/Editor-in-Chief douglas@ozb.ro


Editor info@ozb.ro


Commercial Director sales@ozb.ro


Contributing Editor Layouting and Visual Communication by

FOR SALES ENQUIRIES: Paul Gibson 0730 037 755

You can get a hard copy of OZB magazine at the following distribution points: The American International School of Bucharest, The British School of Bucharest, World Class Gyms (Jolie Ville, Atlantis, Pipera Plaza, The Club, W at Aviatorilor), various Starbucks, 5 Star Hotels, at over 24 carefully selected cafes, restaurants and bars around Bucharest and more than 30 Ursus outlets around the city. If you would like to stock OZB magazine contact us and we'll add you to the list.


Contents April Events


The Ever Changing Legacy of Vacaresti


If it Makes You Happy Just do it!



The other face of Bucharest

National Heritage Goes Digital: Casa Macca


Cultural clothing: Hidden treasures of Romania

Repatriating to Romania...with Children


Going Out: Bars & Restaurants


Kid Friendly Restos x5


New Restaurants: Lido Brasserie & Restaurant and Berlin Brasserie


Ursus Tank Beer in one of Bucharest’s most ‘Biutiful’ locations


An Iorga Easter

14 16

Inherited Vocations. The Tailor, the Architect, the Lawyer


The Romania-France Season Cultural Diplomacy Par Excellence


Romania: A Winter Wonderland & Playground


Coffee with Lions

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April Events


Food & Drinks

• Femei pe Matasari

• Bucharest Coffee Week

May 31-June 2, Matasari Street

May 14-19, several locations

An eclectic storyline approach, a story

More than 30 events will be

in the street about stretched tables,

programmed, in order to give you the

music, lurex and diamonds, films,

chance to know more about coffee

dresses, and shoes. An event at its ninth

through tastings, parties, workshops,

edition, a place to be for those who want

talks, and other funny activities.

to discover or rediscover the odds of a

We promote the amazing job made by

small urban festival.

local coffee artisans, we aim to stimulate

• Prima Evadare

Femei pe Mătăsari

May 19, Baneasa Forest

the community feeling, and we want to give you the opportunity to experience coffee in ways you never thought about before.

Prima Evadare (The First Escape) is a cross country cycling competition

• BurgerFest

between Bucharest and Snagov. Since

May 10-12, Verde Stop Arena

2012 it has become the cycling marathon

RO - Wine, The International Wine festival of Romania Brâncuși, Brașov Exhibition

with the largest number of participants

For all the burger lovers from the city,

in Eastern Europe. The competition runs

the event which gathers more than 70

through forests and country roads over a

receipts of burgers is going to take place

distance of about 55 km. Participants pass

again, for its fifth edition. Music and

through rural areas, forests, meadows,

concerts included - RON 20 one-day

fields, lakes and historic sites, the arrival

tickets and RON 35 for the entire

being on the shore of Lake Snagov.


Bucharest Coffee Week

• RO - Wine The International Wine Festival of Romania May 25-26, Fratelli Discover the unique selection of Romanian and international wines, while this RO-Wine edition will host also the “Gourmet Experience” area, in the immediate vicinity of the wine festival’s exhibition area. Local and international gourmet producers will offer their products for tasting, tell their stories, pair dishes with wines or even have live cooking sessions in a dedicated


area. Restaurant owners and chefs, F&B managers, importers, retailers and distribution companies will showcase their iconic gourmet products.


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April Events

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If it Makes You Happy Just do it! By Dana Tudose-Tianu

1. Make Kaleidoscopes at one of Veronica Soare’s workshops


here aren’t too many people in the vast world of Bucharest culture who haven’t heard of Veronica Soare and her fundraising journey on the El Camino de Santiago. But not everyone knows that she also helps spread happiness by teaching people how to make kaleidoscopes. In 2014, Veronica started minuni. ro, a personal fundraising and volunteering project launched after she decided to do more to empower people to donate money, time, know-how for worthy causes. She organized several charity events, each time for another beneficiary (MagiCAMP, Touched Romania, Teach for Romania, Children's Heart Association, Clean Hospitals Association, Heart of Children


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Foundation). The 40 days she spent walking on El Camino (910 km), in 2016, were meant to raise funds for the Heart of Children Association. Veronica’s mission is all about spreading happiness. She has been running Kaleidoscope-making workshops, called Kaleidolove, for four years now, catalyzing the emotions of joy for corporate teams and individual happiness-seekers equally. Her workshops take place in offices, schools, cafes. Dana Tudose-Tianu asked Veronica what is the unique recipe for happiness one can find at the Kaleidolove workshops. Here’s what she had to say: “Kaleidoscopes are by definition magic and infinite and the recipe for happiness is within them just as it is in life - all you have to do is open your eyes and your heart and dare to play, no matter the age. I came up with this idea, that we are kaleidoscopes, and we can only show our beauty when we put ourselves into the light, every

If it Makes You Happy Just do it!

day, in our personal and professional lives. It is so interesting to observe the participants and their different ways of looking at this object and what is inside of it. The people at my workshops can be twenty or two hundred. It's a fun thing to do with a team, big or small, and each participant gives and finds his own depth. It's amazing to see couples or friends making kaleidoscopes and choosing to put in the same beads, only to discover they will make different shapes just as we are different as people, with our personal values and beliefs. This easy-to-make object becomes so vast when it is complete. It teaches us about the good in us and everything around us, it teaches us to embrace all shapes, all colours, variety and differences, and always be ready for a “wow” moment.” FOR KALEIDOSCOPE-MAKING WORKSHOPS DATES AND LOCATIONS, CHECK OUT THE KALEIDOLOVE FACEBOOK PAGE, OR WRITE TO VERONICA AT VERONICA@KALEIDOLOVE.COM


2. Attend classes or events organized by Fundația Calea Victoriei


undaţia Calea Victoriei is an independent cultural organization, based in Bucharest, that offers courses and interactive events to young people and adults, in a multitude of areas related to culture and the humanities. Acting & Cinema, Anthropology, Art History, Astronomy, Philosophy, Photography, Fashion and Beauty, Music and Dance, Religion and Spirituality, Creative Writing and Journalism, are some of the courses offered by the Foundation. The foundation also organizes guided historical tours of Bucharest and hosts two large classical music concerts each year. Dana Tudose-Tianu asked Sandra Ecobescu, the founder of FCV, how exposure to culture can enhance people’s state of happiness. “I think reaching a state of happiness through exposure to culture may be too big of a statement. But I can definitely tell you that the people who participate in our cultural activities feel a high degree of intellectual and spiritual satisfaction. They really enjoy learning about fascinating subjects, meeting their professors and classmates, and feeling the special emotions generated by immersing oneself in art and culture. So many people attend our courses and programs; there are hundreds and hundreds of people who take part in conferences, open dialogues with culture and art personalities, opera and symphonic music concerts. They tell us, our participants, that they get a feeling of communion with culture, which, in turn, gives birth to a feeling of community. They leave our classes or tours feeling more fulfilled, more self-confident, more optimistic.”. There are several motivations behind choosing a certain course at the foundation. Some participants pick a course or an event because they want to expand their knowhow on a certain subject. Others want to revisit an older passion, and others follow curiosity to learn about a new or trendy themes. Some are looking at personal development classes in particular, such as mindfulness, public speaking, communication, NLP, emotional intelligence, nutrition etc. Art and culture are manifestations of our imagination and human sensibility, of our society’s genius and talent. The Foundation makes art and culture accessible to the general public in Romania and promises that, among the multitude of courses you’ll find on their website, there will be at least one that will increase your state of wellbeing. •







NOVEMBER 26, 2018

NOVEMBER 25, 2018

DECEMBER 4, 2018

ancadumitrescu " #Arhitecture should deak for its time and place, but yearn for timelessness." (Frank Gehry)

danmihaibalanescu HeritageInstaMeet at Casa Macca, Bucuresti

dresssidestory If this isn’t the most gorgeous piece of building that you’ve ever seen..! đ&#x;¤Ż

National Heritage Goes Digital: Casa Macca


mong the luxury houses and embassies from the PiaČ›a Romană area is hidden one of the great forgotten architectural treasures of Bucharest: Casa Macca. Built according to the plans of the Swiss architect John-Elisee Berthet, Petre's and Elena Macca's house is a testimony to the Europeanisation wave of Bucharest in King Carol's time. The eclecticstyle building has art-nouveau and baroque influences, and has four levels. Right from the entrance of the building, the opulent architectural elements and the fresco on the ceiling of the hall enhance give the feeling

of a highly refined space. After 120 years of existence, the building that currently houses the Archaeological Institute "Vasile Pârvan" has never been restored and is today sadly in an advanced state of degradation.


The Digital Chronicles (@CronicariDigitali) project is created by Zaga Brand Agency and the National Heritage Institute. The project aims to bring the values ​​ and traditions of Romania to the millennials generation through social media.




NOVEMBER 26, 2018

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

NOVEMBER 28, 2018

designedtotravel.ro A marvelous staircase at Casa Macca in Bucharest. The beautiful building currently holds the Archaeology..

piamarina ĂŽn centrul Capitalei, nu există stradă pe care să nu existe măcar o bijuterie arhitecturală, uitată de vreme..

Ixherzog We, as the young generation, bear the responsibility to know and pass on the history and #heritage of the past generations.


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Repatriating to Romania… with children By Dana Tudose-Tianu


he most important thing I must say, six months on from our return to Bucharest, is that the children are happy. Our children are 10 (almost 11) and 4. They were born and raised in the United States, in New York and New Jersey. As I write this article, a Romanian friend from New Jersey writes to me, on WhatsApp: “I often-times think of coming back home… our jobs stress us so much”. He tells me that another one of his friends, who is from Sibiu, is thinking about returning as well. My friend has children as well. I am intuitively sensing he would come soon(er) if he wouldn’t think, re-think, and think again, about the future Romania can offer to his children. Two good jobs on the East Coast of the United States offer you a comfortable and predictable life. The children,


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Romanian by DNA, grow up American by culture and identity. You feel you’re not “entitled” to deprive them of their American life. Yet here we are, having come back after a decade in the States. So, how are the children doing? My daughter, Sophie, didn’t really know how to read and write in Romanian 6 months ago. She is doing amazingly well. She goes to the Laude-Reut Educational Complex and I can’t thank her teachers enough for having made her transition totally smooth and carefree. She didn’t go through emotional distress over missing her old school and friends in New Jersey. She made friends right away. She continues to live in an English-speaking environment, with several classes at her school being taught in English. Most of her classmates speak to her in English, too. She never felt “different” or a misfit in her classroom. She loves to sing (that’s her passion and major talent), act and write. At the school, she has voice lessons once a week and has recently started acting classes with Daniela Nane, also through her school. She has already been given several opportunities to sing publicly at various school events. Exposing her to culture, in Bucharest, is so much more accessible than In New York. Taking her to museums, plays at the Opera Comica, shows at Teatrul de Opereta, quick trips to the mountains, attending conferences and various educational events, costs a fraction and, because I do it frequently, is creating a shift in her life that only takes place when we are consistently exposed to something. It gives me so much happiness to know that European culture is a part of my daughter’s upbringing. Whatever she chooses to do once she finishes middle school, these few years of Romanian/ European education, blended with her American upbringing, can only give her an advantage. My son, George, goes to a public daycare down the street from where we live. Both my children had attended Montessori schools, in New York and New Jersey, through their nursery and kindergarten years. He spoke no Romanian at all six months ago (please don’t judge). He is finally speaking the funniest and sweetest Romanian tongue that makes me soooo happy to hear. It’s, literally, music to my ears. His teacher goes above and beyond curriculum and resource limitations and offers the children great learning experiRepatriating to Romania...with Children

ences. It’s not Montessori, but my son is happy, healthy, feels loved in school, and enjoys a menu I’d love to have, too! Their father and I are very lucky. Our kids, unknowingly, have given us the greatest gift “repat” adults with children can enjoy, because they have adapted easily and they continue to be emotionally healthy and happy children. As a result, we have no guilty thoughts that, by moving (back) to Romania, we might be depriving them of something, instead of adding value to their lives. •

George, age 4, in front of the Fagaras Fortress, March 2019

Sophie, age 10, in Sinaia, November 2018, getting ready for a visit to the Peles castle.


These are a few of my favourite things… I hope they help! 1. www.truman-g roup. com Truman group: This is online therapy for EXPATS…they get you…they really do! Salvador Dali, Moment de Transition, 1934

2. www.iwabucharest.ro IWA: I credit the local chapter of this women’s organization with saving my life in my 1st year here. Run, don’t walk. Join now!

3. www.twofatexpats.com/ who-are-the-fat-expats

A funny & irreverent site started by 2 Ozzies… great advice for wherever you are…or are going.

Transition Coping Mechanisms


By Sher Martelle-Climas

olks, this little ditty is about something called transition. We all experience transition in our lifetimes. It comes in many forms - from the bliss of a marriage or the birth of a child, to the bitter depths of divorce, or the death of a loved one, things change. They change and we adapt. Right? What’s the alternative anyway? I guess we could NOT adapt. I guess we could lay down and die. Or, in the case of an expat and a posting that provides complications – we could just …leave. And what complications

am I talking about anyway? Choosing to live in a new place can bring so many riches – like new culture, language, fabulous new foods & fashions, sure. These aspects of transition are so sexy n’est pas? But less sexy – leaving behind a fulfilling career that formed your identity to be supportive of your spouse’s career prospects, or your young children asking “Mommy, when can we go ‘HOME’?” Ouch. And still, we roll with these things. These are the understood trade-offs for an International existence. My kids know their way around airports, I can order dinner in 4 languages (so far). We’re nomads… with therapists. This has been the year I truly discovered the very necessity of sharing my experience with a professional and seeking advice from others in the same boat. I discovered I’m a terrible “stayer” meaning I hate watching people leave me. And leave me they do. The expat lifestyle is a revolving door of come and

go. And sometimes, we are the ones doing the leaving. It’s complicated and messy and emotional. I am still trying to find my way with it – and this is year 14! Transition, and more transition. Right now, central to my approach is to be very selective about what I read – helpful tips in a whatsapp group are a big yes, social media forums full of cranky expat complaints are a curse to be avoided. Some days are just plain hard and I feel like I’m just constantly “buffering” to endure Bucharest (traffic and parking alone)! Other times I head for the mountains or sea-side or old town architecture, breathe it in deep, and marvel at the beautiful madness of this place. I’m always grateful to Romania for being part of this fabulous adventure I’ve chosen for my life. •

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Inherited Vocations

The Tailor, the Architect, the Lawyer Dana Tudose-Tianu spoke with three Bucharest-born professionals who practice the same trade as one or both of their parents. She intended to uncover the intellectual and emotional reasons behind the interviewees’ decision to choose the same career as their parents’.


azvan Radu is a tailor at Home du Garcon in Bucharest. He just completed the Razvan Radu shirt line and is working on his summer collection. He is 29 years old. His mother is a seamstress.

How did sewing become a part of your family’s life? Was it the only trade you were exposed to in your childhood?

RR: My mother is originally from Teleorman County, Turnu Magurele. When she came to Bucharest, she chose a trade. So, she went to work at APACA. She worked in women’s sewing in the very beginning and then specialized in men’s fashion. (editor’s note: APACA is a communist-era textile/garment manufacturing factory in Bucharest that had over 18,000 employees). My father was a shoemaker, so I was also exposed to the specifics of his trade as well.

How come you found more affinity with your mother’s trade rather than your father’s?

RR: I was exposed to her work much more as a child. She used to take me and my brother to the factory quite often. I was playing with sewing tools and patterns as early as elementary school. To me, that’s what her workplace was – my playground. And I really liked it. The smell, the sound of the sewing machines, I felt mesmerized by it all.

Do you remember when you cut your first pattern? Or when you used the sewing machine for the first time?

RR: I usually did this at home. I would lay the fabric on the floor and start cutting. The first two pieces of clothing I ever made were two t-shirts. I was in high school. I used to cut all my pairs of jeans. Re-design them. Add something or cut something out. I did the same with my t-shirts.

You waited a little before “officially” calling yourself a tailor. When did you get your professional diploma in sewing?

RR: Two years ago, I graduated from ILBAH, a Romanian accredited institute where I specialized in pattern making and sewing. My field of practice is men’s bespoke tailoring. But I have been cutting and sewing ever since I was a child. 16

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study sewing.

What is your role at Home du Garcon?

RR: I began my official collaboration with Florin Dobre and Sorin Lucian a year ago. We share a space that’s very special, where we poured our hearts. We tried to create a unique experience for our customers. My own space, where I cut and sew, includes a barber’s corner. I am the tailor-in-residence at Home du Garcon.

What is the style that defines you?

RR: I wish I could say the Romanian men’s suits fashion style…but there is no such style. I found inspiration in the German and Italian styles. To me, a suit has to be, first and foremost, comfortable.

What are three qualities your suits and shirts offer to the person who wears them?

RR: Comfortable, great quality, creative.


lad Eftenie is an architect and a lector at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism and photographer. He is 40 years old. In 2014, he won the Open Low Light award at the Sony World Photography Awards. Both his parents are architects.

Why did you wait until you were 27 to begin and complete studies in sewing?

RR: Right after high school, I began working in fashion, as fashion consultant. I worked for various high-end stores. I believe it was the right choice, because I learned so much about fashion and fabrics. I worked at LeeCooper, Tom Tailor, I.D. Sarrieri, at Casa Frumoasa. But, at some point, I started to ask myself what my true purpose was. That’s when I decided to properly Inherited Vocations. The Tailor, the Architect, the Lawyer

When did you begin understanding that your parents were architects, and got an idea about what


architecture meant?

VE: I grew up in a family of architects. Both my mother and father are architects. I spent my early childhood years among architecture magazines, colored pencils, adjustable triangles, engineer’s scales, scissors, glue. The architect’s tools were familiar to me early on. They were always a part of my world, as long as I can remember.

Did they take you to work with them often?

VE: My mother used to take me with her to the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Architecture, where she was a young Assistant Professor. Her colleagues were always very nice to me. I used to drop by my dad’s office as well and received a lot of attention there, too. The atmosphere, both at the University, and at my father’s offices, definitely contributed to the image I developed, in my mind, from my childhood years, that the architecture world is very positive.

think my teaching style is more attuned to the young generation of students, more contemporary.

Is there any lesson you still need to learn from your mother?

VE: Perhaps the lesson of wisdom. And, maybe, also, the lesson of doing what must be done, first, and then doing what I want.


ndreea Micu, 34, is an attorney at the Stoica & Associates Law Office in Bucharest. She also runs her family’s wine business, Avincis. She is a published author of children’s books, and the mother of two children. Both her parents are attorneys.

Did you ever think of doing a different type of job?

VE: No. As early as 3rd grade, I used to build architectural models. I knew how to draw quite well even then. I was good at geometry, too. I had what you can call an architect’s talents, skills, so I went ahead and prepared for the entrance exam, with the full support of my parents.

Do you talk to your parents about your work? Do you share the latest developments and innovations with them?

VE: Generally, we do talk talk and they give me advice. My father still practices. Many times, when we visit a city together, we comment on the many aspects an architect’s eye captures, we come up with technical solutions for improvement. It’s a common area of communication, of bonding, if you will, outside of the generational gap.

If your mother would come to one of the classes you teach at the Faculty of Architecture, is there anything you’d like to teach her?

VE: I don’t think that, content-wise, information-wise, there’s anything she doesn’t already know. Our teaching styles are different, but that is a good thing. I

Did you always want to become a lawyer, like your parents?

AM: Well, my story with law… wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a film director and a screenplay writer.

So, what changed your mind, after all?

AM: I realized that practicing law would give me a more balanced life than that of a film director. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to have a family and children, and be present in their lives. I thought it would have been harder, as a film director, to strike a good balance between family and career. The choice to study law, I made it initially because it seemed the rational thing to do. But after going to law school,

day after day, getting myself familiarized with law, something shifted in my perspective. I started loving it. I joined my parents’ office after graduation and today, I can honestly tell you it was a very good choice.

Did you go to your parents’ office often, as a child? Did you enjoy spending time there?

AM: My parents’ office was like a second home for me. I know some of the lawyers there ever since I was a young child. They watched me grow.

What did your parents teach you that you feel made a big difference in the way you are today? And is there anything you believe your parents can learn from you?

AM: My mother taught me to use my intuition when reading a file and understanding the key subject of that file. My father taught me how to structure my legal arguments and approach each case with the outmost seriousness. But I have also been teaching them a few things, like communicating with the media, connecting with the needs of our younger clients. There are many entrepreneurs under 40, and that is exactly my age group.

That takes me to your passion for writing. And not legal writing but writing children’s books. You published three children’s books already.

AM: This part of my life stems from the same creative place that made me want to become a film director. I had been dreaming about writing children’s stories for many years. I felt it was the “time” to do it right after I had my second child. By doing this and going through with it, my inner child regained her power.

What are the most valuable life lessons that your mother and father gave you?

AM: My mother taught me how to be honest with myself and, therefore, honest with the others. She taught me that pursuing your dreams and objectives must take into account what others need. My father constantly teaches me how to be balanced. • W W W.O Z B . R O A P R I L 2 01 9



The RomaniaFrance Season Cultural Diplomacy Par Excellence


by Oana Vasiliu

here is a new talk of the town: the Romania-France Season which is about to start in Bucharest. This focuses not only on culture and contemporary creation but also on areas such as education, economics, sports and tourism between the two countries. It is the first time in the history of the two countries when a cross-season has been organised so what’s happening? The Romania - France Season will open on April 18 with the Spotlight Inter-


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national Light Festival in Bucharest and it will feature a series of exhibitions, theatre and film festivals, but also concerts and these will take place in over 30 cities. “The Romania - France relationship will be continued by the new generations, therefore we relay these ties between the two countries, a connection we renew and transpose to modernity. (…) France rediscovered Romania, its artists and how many personalities were of Romanian origin. (...) We must replace discriminatory attitudes,” said France's ambassador to Romania Michele Ramis.

The music chapter In Bucharest, the Romania-France Season beat will be heard in Control Club, in a series of four amazing concerts, as follows. The Romania-France Season - Cultural Diplomacy Par Excellence

Theo Lawrance & The Hearts, April 18. The band from Gentilly combinesTheo Lawrence's remarkable voice with soul & blues influences, dressed in Southern Rock attire a la Black Keys and all precisely and seductively executed. They will also present their debut album Homemade Lemonade, which has attracted attention beyond the Francophone boundaries. Grand Blanc, April 21. They conquered the internet first with L'amour fou, their most striking single. At the same time, they impressed thanks to the two albums, Mémoires Vives and Image Au Mur: the first, a seductive exercise in the cold wave, the second more organic and expansive in territories like neo-folk or blues. Malik Djoudi, April 21. The new electro-pop sensation, Malik Djoudi, has convinced everyone with his debut album, Un, which was launched two years ago,




elegant and fragile, but especially vibrant. His new disc, Cinq 7, comes out this spring and is mixed by Ash Workmann, who has worked with Metronomy, Christine and the Queens among others. Guillaume Perret, April 22. One of Europe's fresh instrumentalists, French saxophonist Guillaume Perret is hard to fit in a single musical genre, his artistic courage takes his audience through unusual territories: Jazz, funk and metal mix in a cinematic universe that engages all the senses of the audience.

TIFF-ing loaded with music Composer and pianist Jean-Michel Bernard, who was awarded in Cannes in 2007, and legendary French group Les Négresses Vertes will play in Romania for

the first time at the 18th edition of the Transilvania International Festival (TIFF). Award-winning pianist, composer, arranger and producer Jean-Michel Bernard comes to Romania for the first time with his work for films directed by Michel Gondry or Martin Scorsese, as well as with famous film music scores by Lalo Schifrin or Ennio Morricone, featuring special guest Kimiko Ono, Bernard’s collaborator of over two decades. Bernard is well-known for his scores for La science des rêves (2007, r Michel Gondry) and Paris-Manhattan (2012, dir. Sophie Lellouche), Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese), Be Kind Rewind (2008, dir. Michel Gondry), or Madame Bovary (1991, dir. Claude Chabrol), as well as for being one of the most important contemporary musicians. The event is scheduled for June 8, at the Students Culture House in Cluj-Napoca.

Reunited after an 18-year hiatus, the legendary French group Les Négresses Vertes will meet Romanian fans for the first time as part of a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first album. The band is one of the few international successes selling millions of albums without speaking English. In the 1990s, the band explored new territories and collaborated with major artists like Massive Attack and Howie B. Following an 18-year hiatus, Les Négresses Vertes got back together last year for a tour that will include the Romanian leg at TIFF 2019. This event will take place on June 4, at the Students Culture House in Cluj-Napoca. The entire season was created following Forget the clichés (Romanian: Uitați de clișee / French: Oubliez vos clichés) tagline. •

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Romania: A Winter Wonderland & Playground By Charlie Ottley


n August last year my partner Oana and I started trying to raise money to make the last ever “Wild Carpathia”. The concept was simple: “White Carpathia” - a portrait of Romania filmed entirely in snow and ice. Our purpose: to demonstrate that this country is a go-to destination year-round and for one last time to showcase the wild landscapes, castles and villages and state the case for their preservation and promotion. We needled, pleaded and cajoled our way into numerous boardrooms and executive meetings but no one offered to help except an incredibly kind lady called Angela. Months passed and on 21st De-


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cember I received a message from Carrefour saying they could also help but we still had a third of what we needed. I decided to risk it and work the rest out later. On the 22nd of December I jumped on a plane armed with camera kit and a bank transfer from our mysterious donor in London. I met the team in Bucharest - all of us, last minute had had to cancel Christmas with our families in order to capture winter in the Maramures. We started shooting White Carpathia the next day – Sunday 23rd – and every day since, travelling over ten thousand miles and visiting a bewildering number of breathtaking locations all across the country. Filming only finished on Sunday 31st March. We are battered and bruised, have dozens of new friends, well over a hundred hours of footage to sift through, and thousands of incredible shots. These include stunning close up slo-motion footage of bears in the wild, after countless days spent quietly freezing in an assortment of hides. Dog sledding,

Romania: A Winter Wonderland & Playground

snow kiting, tracking wolves in the Fagaras Mountains and the hills of Toplita. We have geothermal springs and waterfalls steaming in the sub-zero air, frozen lakes and ancient settlements carpeted in snow, the only signs of life being the lazy curls of smoke spiralling from their crumbling chimneys. We have children racing their sledges through Saxon streets, tourists on horsedrawn slays, being chauffered through wooden villages. We have sweeping aerial shots, brilliant interviews with an amazing cast of characters. In fact this could be the most beautiful film we have made to date. So let’s hope that we manage to raise the rest of the money we need to make it! I am now going back to the boardrooms – seeking the funds necessary to cover the three months editing and post production. We also have a launch date of late September for our Gala World Premiere. Fingers crossed we will have a film! Charlie@forge.tv


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Coffee with Lions

for English-speaking tourists ever since. And why wouldn't it? It’s ridiculously pretty, full of friendly English-speaking locals and has a very affordable cafe and restaurant prices. In addition, Lviv still continues its’ centuries-old love affair with strong coffee and lion sculptures. By Julia Leescu

It’s the season of presidential elections in my home country Ukraine. We are on the radar again, for all the most controversial reasons. I’ll go against the tide and offer you something more pleasant to read about. Let me introduce you to Lviv - a charming cultural capital of Ukraine. Lviv, which made it to Lonely Planet’s “Best in Europe” list of 2016, has become a popular travel destination 22

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hat’s good in Lviv? Just let me pitch you some travel ideas.

Eating at the quirky restaurants: The Jewish restaurant “Pid Zolotoyu Rozoyu” where you are left to negotiate the price of your food, the hidden Masonic lodge which is also a restaurant; the dimly lit “Masoch Café” where you can be whipped by waiters if you wish... Does it all sound to you like an ordinary restaurant visit in a post-Soviet town? Stefka Lytwyn, a British-Ukrainian Coffee with Lions

expat working in the tourism industry, offers her explanation: "I think Lviv picked up different aspects of culture from various nationalities passing through, and they traveled East to West on various trade routes. It just is as it is, at face value, and people fall in love with that. Love for a place transcends boundaries, anyone is welcome here. It doesn't have the same post-Soviet feel that other Eastern European cities do, and I think that appeals to Westerners too.”

Coffee culture: If you will check the super-funny “Atlas of Prejudice” by Yanko Tsvetkov (www.atlasofprejudice.com), you’ll notice that both Romania and Western Ukraine belong to the space of “coffee culture”. And Lviv is the Ukrainian epicenter of caffeine addiction. Back into the Austro-Hungarian Empire days, Lviv was well-known for its coffee-brewing traditions and coffee houses, where contracts were signed, lovers met and lonely locals came to people-watch. This coffee culture has miraculously survived grime Soviet days and grown


stronger in an independent Ukraine. There are hundreds of great cafes and coffee shops in Lviv, where you can get your quality caffeine kick. Coffee with cinnamon, ginger or even a coffee lemonade - everything goes better with coffee.

Love of lions: The name of “Lviv” comes from "Lev", which means “lion” in Ukrainian. There are more than 4,000 lion sculptures in Lviv and God knows how many smaller architecture and decor elements involving these noble beasts. Pose with lions that you will find on your way or rub their noses if you’re looking for a bit of extra luck!

Local people: As it is with any nation in the world, Ukrainians have their good side and dark side. We can be quite direct and rough, but in Lviv, our considerate and respectful side wins over. Lvivians, especially the younger generation, are courteous and kind to strangers, including tourists.

Art and architecture: The center of Lviv is one big openair museum with its monuments, palaces, and churches. Exploring it feels really like an immersive experience with the flavour of the former Austro-Hungarian empire and an occasional hint of communist shabbiness. I’ll share with you my favorite piece of art in Lviv: the mystic fresco in the Armenian Cathedral. It was created by Jan Henryk Rosen and represents the Funeral Procession of St. Odilon. They say that the fresco represents past, present, and future which exist simultaneously at that cathedral. So, would you consider dropping a Lviv pin on your Google Maps? If you are thinking about ways of getting there, taking a flight from Bucharest to Kiev and then from Kiev to Lviv is your best bet. Alternatively, a road-trip from Bucharest to Lviv is also an option. It will include an interesting detour since the best border-crossing point is near Suceava. There's one more thing I forgot to mention: you should visit Lviv with someone you like or love, it’s extraordinarily romantique! • W W W.O Z B . R O A P R I L 2 01 9



The Ever Changing Legacy of Vacaresti


By David McLean Shoup

or the average weekend tourist to Bucharest, Văcărești Park is a hidden gem tucked away off the beaten path. But to make the walk along the southern bend of the Dambovița Riverș past the blue arched bridge at Mihai Bravu and up over a tall concrete embankment behind the pagoda-like imposing Asmita Garden towers, is to step into an epic ecosystem steeped in a Romanian story of history, tumultuous change, and natural rebirth. At first glance, Văcărești Park can be intimidating. On a recent spring excursion, Adam Kit, an American physics student visiting from Leipzig, wanders through a 24

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field of meter high tall grass until he comes across a small watery cave surrounded by broken concrete blocks. “On the one hands it feels like a Hunger Games arena set in post-industrial Europe,” he jokes. “But it’s beautiful. I’ve never seen open nature like this in any other European capital.” Indeed, since its formal adoption by the city as Văcărești Natural Park three years ago, the nearly 200 hectare plot of wetlands, prairie, and animal sanctuary is the biggest conservation area in Bucharest and one of the largest such urban parks in Europe. The five meter tall sloping concrete buttresses ringing the park provide a glimpse into the epic demolition and reconstruction efforts of the 1980s. No relics of earlier times remain, which would show that Văcărești enjoyed a long history as an eclectic working class neighborhood for hundreds of years. Named after the Văcărescus, a family of aristocratic boyars who held high administrative titles during the days of Ottoman rule, the park was once a sprawling suburban village watched over by the imposing Văcărești Monastery that dated back to 1716 and once stood at the site of Piata Sudului in the southThe Ever Changing Legacy of Vacaresti

west corner of the park. This monastery was destroyed in 1984 during the surge of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s massive reconstruction efforts. Ceaușescu envisioned a great reservoir lake on the outskirts of the city. But the construction for this project, from 1988-1989, couldn’t come at a worse time. Although the basic foundation for a man-made lake was completed before the Romanian Revolution, fundamental drainage and elevation problems were quickly discovered. Coupling this engineering downfall with the uncertainty that followed the chaotic revolution, Văcărești was left to the wayside for two decades. It was in the following decades that Văcărești developed an unfortunate reputation as a dangerous blemish of failed urban planning and a hub for garbage, stray youth, and wild dogs. Many Romanian millennials still view Văcărești through the lens of a pre-EU Bucharest. Longboarding down the paved pathways at neighboring Tineretului Park, medical student Dennis Ursachi still recalls the recent past when Văcărești enjoyed less of a family friendly vibe. “That’s a place where people used to dump dead bodies, not to take picnics,” he says with a grin.


This is precisely the attitude that Park ranger and environmental communications graduate Gabriela Poiana is working to change. Poiana wrote her thesis about the environmental wonder of Văcărești while at the University of Bucharest. In the three decades since construction was abandoned, the park has truly returned to nature. Now part wetlands, part sparse forest, and with acre upon acre of willows and swaying tall grass of various shades, the park has become home to over one hundred species of birds, amphibians, and even otters. Spurred on by the work of founders Cristian Lascu and Dan Bărbulescu, the government officially took over the land in 2016 and the Văcărești Natural Park was founded. The organization of committed volunteers and staff has since built bird watching posts, a wetlands boardwalk, and dotted the diverse biohabitat with signs educating visitors about the plethora of flora and fauna to be found. “Organically, the park is becoming more and more popular,” Poiana says. “We receive more and more visitors and groups, more and more people from both within the country and abroad are becoming interested in the park.” One way Poiana

hopes to build interest and encourage sustainable tourism is through social media and community education. The team released their first vlog, complete with drone flyover footage, on YouTube in February (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXf4xsKKPio&t=7s). Gabriela says this is just the beginning. “There’s a big potential here for reaching out to young people and helping them understand, love and respect nature. We want to show them how cool it is to be a biologist, a geologist, or a ranger, and that starts with getting them out to the park for a visit.” Challenges to preservation as well as public perception still remain. On a recent visit, one needn’t wander more than a hundred meters down the western trail before encountering a modestly concealed camp hidden under a pair of willow trails, complete with an unoccupied tent, rotting mattress and debris field of paper and plastic garbage. And yet, just another two hundred meters west, visitors on the last beautiful weekend of March could come to the wetlands viewing spot to find a scene of smiling young families strolling along the boardwalk, children scrambling up and

down the bird observation post overlooking the prettiest stretch of pond, and binocular toting retired couples peering through their lenses at a flight of cuckoo birds recently migrated from Africa, just in time for a warm spring. To walk along the outer path on a windy day, then hop down the concrete slope and jog into the tall grass, one feels as if they are entering a new world. There exists an air of calm, punctured only by the scampering of a muskrat or the dropping flight of a cormorant across the still water. Steeped in history, lush in nature, and a five minute metro ride from the center of Bucharest, Văcărești Park is the new place to spend your next sunny day. •

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Commercial law | Immigration law




For the best, freshest, tastiest Sushi in Bucharest, visit Sushi2Go in the Strip Mall on Iancu Nicolae, Pipera. Or visit:

www.livrare-sushi.ro to see the full menu and call 0770 902 782 for delivery. Minimum order 100 lei, further conditions apply.

Mention this OZB advert when you order either in person or over the phone and you will get a free soup/drink/Kapa Maki.

Yoi shokuyoku 26

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premio = P r e m i u m Car Service Call Ronen or Mihaela on 0731 49 77 87 for more information Premio offers peace of mind when it comes to your car. With trained and experienced mechanics you can relax knowing your car is in good hands and with a manager with first class English, nothing gets lost in translation. www.facebook.com/BaramiPremioCarService


The other face of Bucharest


aul Alexandru is one of the urban photographers who likes to capture the city’s vibe and eclectic architecture. Whether is Millennial in Bucharest, Bucharest inside, Snow in Bucharest, Bucharest seen from top floor, Beaucharest, Bucharestless or Bucharest in a nutshell, just to name a few, his social media profile sparks glimpses of Bucharest that we are sure you haven’t seen before. •

The other face of Bucharest

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Cultural clothing: Hidden treasures of Romania


By Anda Ene

omania is one of the few countries in the world where, even today, people in the villages still wear traditional costumes for every day attire, not only for special occasions. Having over 42 ethnographic areas, with differentiation even between one village and the next, Romania is remarkable for the extraordinary variety of popular costumes. Traditional garments form a crucial part of the cultural heritage of a nation and are increasingly recognized for what they are - objects of art. Romania has a long and rich history in textile manufacture. Adorned with rich embroidery, Romanian costumes bear sewn signs of an ancient language, an old code of communication that precedes any form of writing. Is it said that every pattern is


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a sacred geometry, a vibration generator. The workmanship aims to defend those who wear them from evil, some symbols have apotropaic powers, while others are created to bring luck, health or even for aphrodisiac effect. From famed handicraft centers to the most remote villages, Romanian women make by hand costumes with craftsmanship that is easily the equal of French haute couture and it’s all done using very meager means and the women often have no formal education. They create very elaborate decorative compositions involving incredible stylistic genius and a startling talent for handcrafting but where did this incredible talent, inspiration and creativity come from? Traditionally, especially in farming communities, people had very little education, but they had an ancestral knowledge and the duty to transmit their proficiencies. Everything was taught “hands on”, rather than theoretically. In late autumn, when agricultural work was completed, the sittings began. Women and girls of the village, from a very early age, gathered together and began the needlework. They got inspiration from one another, but their crafts were never identical, because there was an undeclared contest among women: one’s piece would strive to be more beautiful than the other’s. The same rough and hardened hands that did the physical work in the fields, would nimbly create Cultural clothing: Hidden treasures of Romania

the haute couture sewing we now consider works of art, often under candlelight. Until the beginning of this century, the fabric was handmade in households from linen, hemp, cotton yarn, or Romanian raw silk called borangic, and also the decorative threads. Plants and flowers were used for thread dyeing. Luckily, a large part of this legacy was preserved, not only here and in the most prestigious museums of the world but also in the dowry wooden boxes, that still exist in many traditional houses in the countryside. There is currently a burgeoning interest, especially among the creative people of Romania, in collecting these old clothing pieces and integrate them into their contemporary outfits for every day wear. A new trend is appearing in urban aesthetic attire, a mélange between cool new clothes and vintage national costume pieces. We also see a new breed of clothing, promoted by designers who draw their inspiration from tradition. Saved parts from damaged traditional costumes, even the most humble, sometimes looking like a rag piece of embroidery is not overlooked, but rather seen as having a cultural value with a long and wonderful story to tell. • Curious to discover more? Check out these FB pages: Adrian Oianu, folCHLOR or Romanian Blouse ( www.romanian-blouse.com)


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5 Paris Street

Who knew crispy cauliflower could taste so good? Housed in an office building near Piata Victoriei, 5ensi offers especially interesting options for veggies, as well as superb cocktails and artery-challenging desserts.

14th Lane

15D Șoseaua Orhideelor

On the fancier side of Bucharest’s restaurants, 14th Lane nevertheless offers a varied menu of dishes that are either very reasonable or wildly expensive, depending on which side of ‘fine dining’ you feel it falls.


40 Polona Street

A VW minivan parked out front, jumble-sale furniture, and rainbow umbrellas everywhere give this café a kooky, hippie vibe. Try the spoon-bendingly thick hot chocolates (including with chilli peppers, berries, and a particularly lethal Disarrono version).

Alt Shift

4 Constantin Mille Street

Industrial style interior in what could be ‘the go to’ spot for consistently excellent food, huge 32

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portions, fair prices and late serving hours. We particularly recommend the salads, the schnitzel, the pasta, the cheesecake… OK, all of it, really. Usually busy so try to reserve.


45 Calea Victoriei

Super superfood smoothies, excellent coffee, and an unusual location in a shady alcove next to the oldest church in Bucharest make Artichoke worth the visit – and the friendly staff, of course.

Atelierul de Tarte 20 Ion Mihalache Blvd.

A legend among pastry lovers and sweet tooths (teeth?), who rave about the ‘Tarte Maitresse Mango’ tart and return for the ‘Tarte caramel beurre sale chocolat’ (salted caramel). The savoury tarts are also excellent, as are the breakfasts.


34 Jean Louis Calderon Street

A sweet little eatery with a fresh atmosphere and smashing beer selection. The portions aren’t huge, but the food is good quality, with some true delights such as wild garlic spaghetti. Going Out: Bars & Restaurants


27 Ion Brezoianu Street

Beans&Dots is the daytime face of Apollo club and Fix Me A Drink Bar, housed in the same block near Cismigiu. The coffee is excellent and the cakes delicious – the cheesecake is one of Bucharest’s best.

Bike boutique and more 5 Doctor Petre Herescu Street

Lycra lovers – if you haven’t pedalled down here already, then get those cleats on. Bike boutique has shelves of offerings for all cyclists, plus a surprisingly varied range of beers to test all ‘cycle sober’ advice.


53 Mătăsari Street

An attractive Scandi café with fresh food that is reasonably priced and packed with flavour. Try the Thai stew and the delicious cardamom cheesecake. Decent beer selection as well.

BOB Coffee Lab 3 Charles de Gaulle

A cosy coffee corner near the entrance to Herastrau with caffeinated offerings (hot and cold), toasted sandwiches, and posh beers and cocktails for those in need of a post-park restorative.


Cafe Verona

French Revolution

A very pleasant all-season garden attached to Carturesti bookshop, with shady nooks in summer and covered space for winter. The menu is not enormous but there are a few delights and the wine selection is very decent.

I don’t like eclairs – but even I go weak at the knees for French Revolution. OK, so it’s 16 lei for one single eclair, but the delicate pastry and perfectly balanced flavours make it worth every ban. Try Kalamansi (lemon meringue), pistachio, mango or salted caramel – and prepare to go into orbit.

13-15 Pictor Arthur Verona Street


42 Ștefan Mihăileanu Street

Inside a beautiful old building with high ceilings, chipped wallpaper, and piles of random magazines, Coftale is one of our favourite spots. The small menu includes (in our opinion) the best carrot cake in Bucharest. The peaceful terrace out front is ideal for summer brunching or beer-sipping.

Various locations


4 Intrarea Bitolia

Scandi style feasting in Floreasca in a café that prides itself on its quality (i.e. not cheap) ingredients. Try the famous avocado cheesecake. Packed on weekends when it’s tasty brunches draw posh expat types to its tables.

Distrikt 42


The funky steampunk décor rather than the food makes it worth a trip to this Calea Victoriei café. Fun Victoriana-themed cocktails include a delicious signature G&T with pineapple, rosemary and ginger.

Someone once told me you can tell a good Italian restaurant by the quality of its carbonara. If that’s the case, then Grano must be the Naples of Bucharest. Their cream-free carbonara is raved about by all guests, as are the desserts.

3 Sfântul Dumitru Street

Green Hours 120 Calea Victoriei

Jazz performers from the fabulous Maria Răducanu to rough-and-ready student bands gig in Green Hours, either in the steamy cellar bar or the outside courtyard. The food is pedestrian – pizzas, chicken wings – but the vibe and the low-priced drinks make it a great spot for a relaxing evening.


4 Ion Brezoianu Street

This chic spot near the Old Town makes for a classy weekend lunch of posh quinoa-laced salads and fishbowl G&Ts… or a cheap evening carb-up on one of the most generous helpings of chips in the city.

Fabrica de Bere Buna 91 Calea Victoriei

As the enormous ‘CRAFT BEER’ sign on the front of the building suggests, this is Zaganu’s microbrewery and all their classic blondes, IPAs, darks, reds and browns are on offer from the taps behind the bar. It’s also a fun spot for Calea Victoriei people-watching.

French Bakery Various locations

A perfectly nice Bucharest coffee shop / café chain, rather like PAUL before it went multinational. Don’t expect the world’s greatest ambience or service, but you can get a decent enough slice of quiche for a sensible price.

40 Putul Lui Zamfir Street

Gram Bistro

America House, 4-8 Sos. Nicolae Titulescu

Despite the somewhat corporate location, this is a good little place for a reliable lunch at a reasonable price near Piata Victoriei.

Il Locale

7-9 Soseaua Nordului

You can’t beat Herastrau Park for ambiance – so be prepared to pay a little more to dine in swanky Il Locale. The food and service are just about OK, but one forgets such minutiae when one is sipping a tinkling glass and watching the sun set over the lake.

Ivan Pescar & Scrumbia Bar 150 Uranus Street - The ARK

Trust a kingfisher to know his fish – and trust ‘Kingfisher Ivan’ to serve up some of the best fish in Bucharest, straight from the Danube Delta and cooked in Delta style. The storceag fish soup is to die for.

Jai Bistrot

55 Calea Grivitei

A hidden gem on a slightly grungy street, J’ai’s tiny bar space manages to pack in some of the most fun parties in Bucharest, from local talent to Northern Soul nights (yes, Northern Soul in Bucharest). During the day, it’s a great restaurant/café, with a beautiful outside terrace.

Joseph by Joseph Hadad

16 Nicolae Golescu Street

Jerusalem-born chef Joseph Hadad has been serving up high-class dishes in Romania for 22 years. His signature dessert ‘Earth’ involves fir resin and cigar tobacco alongside other ingredients, and it’s surprisingly delicious – as are all his delicately presented dishes.

La Copac

23 Pitar Mos Street

Intimate interiors and a summer courtyard set around an old tree make for what we think is the best traditional Romanian restaurant in town. The service comes with a generosity of spirit that you don’t often experience, and both the food and drink menus offer extreme bang for buck. Be prepared for a good deal of belt-loosening in between courses.

La Samuelle

3-5 Charles de Gaulle

A smart bistro that goes heavy on fish and seafood. Prices inch to the higher end of ‘reasonable’, but that’s to be expected for something called ‘Persepolis saffron and broccolli baby calamar’. The menu also extends to venison and wild boar in with equally poetically named dishes (plus veggie options).


78 Dionisie Lupu Street or 8 Arcului Street

Two elegant old mansions house the two branches of this pleasant little bistro. At lunch, you can build your own menu with ‘A-B-C-D’ combo options – or just order your burger or stir-fry a la carte.


2 D. I. Mendeleev Street

Great breakfasts, craft beers and killer aeropress coffee – it’s no wonder M60 has made a name for itself as one of Bucharest’s best hipster spots. At peak times, you might have to jostle a laptop or two for table space.

Manasia Hub

13 Stela Spătarul Street

Once a grungy backstreet bar, Manasia has upped its game recently, with a small but high-quality menu that includes daily specials, soups, bite-size burgers, and generous dip platters. It has something of a railway tunnel vibe inside, but there’s a lovely summer terrace.


3 Charles de Gaulle

One of Bucharest’s most extensive craft beer offerings, Mikkeler hosts regular launches of its own colourfully named labels, from ‘Weird Weather’ to ‘Einar… you are a funny man’. The likes of Ground Zero and Hop Hooligans also earn spots on its 20-odd, regularly changing pumps. W W W.O Z B . R O A P R I L 2 01 9




4 General Vasile Milea Blvd.

Narcoffee’s coffee has a name in Bucharest and around Europe – one sip and you’ll see why. The V60 is like its namesake but with added rocket fuel. Amateur coffee drinkers beware…

Orygyns Coffee 12 Jules Michelet Street

A tiny corner of caffeinated joy close to Piata Romana. As well as the excellent coffee, Orygyns’s staff are some of the nicest people around, and almost as sweet as the stellar cakes they sell. It’s a sin not to taste the pumpkin pie if it’s on offer.


26 Doctor Niculae D. Staicovici Street

Ota’s owner proudly runs the restaurant for pleasure rather than financial gain and the homely atmosphere attests to this, whether in the cosy interior or on the fairy-lit patio. A couple of tasty soups are always on offer at ten-ish lei apiece, and the wine and Zaganu beer don’t break the bank. Open Wednesday to Friday only.

Paine si Vin

4 Ion Brezoianu Street

‘Bread (or rather pizza-cum-foccacia) and wine’ are the mainstay of this drinks bar – and both paine and vin are OK, though slightly overpriced. However, the little wooden tables along the outside wall are good for perching on a fine evening.


6 Sfintilor Street

Down a tumbledown street near Piata Rossetti is this top spot for soup and sandwiches. Try their carrot and ginger – it’s to die for. The owners make you feel completely at home. A wonderful little café.

Raionul de Peste

Piața Dorobanți, 184 Calea Dorobanți

Superb fish, octopus and all manner of ocean delights that you can pick and choose yourself (sometimes still live) from behind the counter and see cooked in front of you. It costs a bit, but you don’t get fresher than this in Bucharest.

Rue du Pain

111-112 Calea Floreasca

A bakery-plus, offering breakfasts, salads and good coffee alongside its tempting croissants and loaves. 34

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The Artist restaurant

If you’ve not been to Simbio, then you’re clearly not serious about your brunch. This is the best breakfast menu in Bucharest, with eggs more ways than you can shake a smashed avo at, and eyeball-poppingly spicy Bloody Marys to kick that hangover into next weekend.

The gastronomical must-see / must-eat of Bucharest – Dutch chef Paul Oppenkamp serves up flights of dishes in spoon-sized portions, each more delicate than the last. At 76 lei for a taster menu of all mains, it’s one of the most reasonable ‘fine dining experiences’ in Europe.

26 Negustori Street

147 Calea Victoriei


Two Minutes

The sister restaurant of Alt Shift, with the same menu but a cosier vibe. Shift is magical in summer, when you can dine under fairy-lights and vines in the beautiful front garden with a bottle of wine and the most sumptuous cheese board you have ever seen.

Great coffee – some say the best in Bucharest – is hidden in this tiny little conservatory of a shop in Dorobanți. The beans change regularly and come from independent roasters around Europe.

17 General Eremia Grigorescu Street

50A Constantin Aricescu Street

Social 1


The enviable view of the Palace of Parliament is the main draw for Social 1. Friendly waiters serve decent if unexciting burgers, pastas and salads at slightly location-inflated prices.

This relatively recent addition to Bucharest’s flat white scene offers decent coffee, cakes and cocktails in a funky, tiki setting.

1 Unirii Blvd.

Switch.Eat 34 Horei Street

9 I.C. Visarion Street

Vivo Food Fusion Bar 70-72 Calea Floreasca

Close to the Fire Tower (Foisorul de Foc), these burgers have a cult following among the city’s meat-heads. Diners rave about the salads and craft beers too.

Vivo is a serious contender for the best burger in Bucharest (challenges accepted). As well as patties and buns, they serve a weirdly addictive tomato soup.



A sports bar joint, sister to afore mentioned Social, near the Hotel Intercontinental, with nooks and corners agogo and all the ingredients – pasta, burgers, beers – to fill a hungry stomach.

A truly lovely little French place in a beautiful building with an even more beautiful outside seating area. Order the duck. •

11 Ion Câmpineanu Street

18 General Constantin Budișteanu Street


Kid Friendly Restos X 5


By Dana Lev

Two facts about me: 1. I love my girls, they are so adorable and cute and smart. But they also like running around, singing and screaming while inventing dances or fighting with each other. 2. I also really like to eat out. My husband and I, we love getting dressed up, sitting in a nice restaurant and having a decent glass of wine (or two). Now, if you are a parent of young kids as we are, you will immediately detect the contradiction between these two facts. Since we arrived to Bucharest, we started searching for the local culinary trends and look for the best place for us to spend our Sunday lunch with a good meal (and a glass of wine, or two). Here’s 5 kids friendly places, we liked the most by now, at Sector 1 and Pipera area.

I live right next to this place, and had no idea that it had a kids club, in fact, a whole floor dedicated for kids entertainment! The reason is, that it is on the second floor and while passing by the nicely decorated place, you can’t tell it has such a magnificent kids club up stairs. Luckily for me, my girls were invited to a birthday party i here, with delicious pizzas served for parents and kids. This of course made me came back in more intimate family composition. Do NOT miss the goat cheese salad!

It offers live music, fast (good) food and entertainment for all ages. The little ones can enjoy the outdoor playground, while the bigger kids can go the Virtual reality room that offers more than 400 different games. Or to the climbing zone. This a place to spend a whole day with much pleasure. VIRTUAL REALITY WWW.VRSTUDIO.RO CLIMBING ZONE WWW.FABRICADECATARAT.RO THE RESTAURANT SITE: FABRICA-CLUB.RO ADDRESS: 11 IUNIE NR. 50, CORP C, SECTOR 4





This place surprised me. It is located far from the eye, hidden between the houses of Pipera, not on a main road. When you see it from the outside, you don’t really know what to expect, and then you get in, and discover a heaven for parents. Two kids clubs! one for teenageres with music and sceerns and the other for youngers, with big indoor playground. BTW - try the risotto WWW.PHILL.RO STR. SERBAN CANTACUZINO, PIPERA

This chain of restaurants, holds several places in different places around town. The one at Herastrau Park, Is our favorite. We get there after biking around the lake, place the order while the girls keep playing outside, and then after they finish eating, they can go a play quietly at the kids room in the heart of the place. This kids room is a simple one, but still allows them to paint or run around without disturbing the other guests. TRATTORIAILCALCIO.COM ȘOSEAUA NORDULU


Now, this is a place with a totally different vibe. It is a pub, a club, a hipsteri bohemian terase in the middle of the city. Kid Friendly Restos x5

Beautiful restaurant, locates in the heart of Dorobanti neighborhood, offers Italian fresh food, with big variety of salads BUT most importantly, a clean and nice kids play room, where the little ones can release their energy while waiting for the food. WWW.WHITEHORSE.RO STR. GEORGE CALINESCU, NR. 4A, SECTOR 1, BUCURESTI

I hope this will be helpful to your families to better enjoy your meals together. Pofta Buna! Dana Lev moved to Bucharest in July 2017. She owns a Blog in which she tells about her adventures as an expat mom in Romania, her trips with the kids and their Romanian experience. Take a glimpse at her Blog here: mishpachabemasa.blogspot.com (for English press on the google translate button). • W W W.O Z B . R O A P R I L 2 01 9



Lido Brasserie & Restaurant 5-7 Magheru Blvd. opened daily



nce upon a time, Lido Hotel of Bucharest was the place to be. Foreigners loved this place, it was talked about incessantly, especially due to the pool with its unique at the time artificial waves, a novelty for Europe back then. Following a complete facelift, the hotel reopened its doors in January, after more than 10 years closed. And now, Lido Brasserie & Restaurant awaits visitors to share amazing stories that unfold within its walls. •

Berlin Braserie 4 Constantin Mille Street, opened daily 10.00-16.00

Berlin tastes with Romanian flavour / fast-food / brunch



et another historical Bucharest building has been restored to its former glory but peppered with contemporary elements. During

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day, the space known as The Small Room of Control Club becomes Berlin Braserie, with a sandwich-friendly menu, offering a gastronomic incursions into Berlin, while preserving authentic Romanian tastes. The generous terrace of the club and the late frustuck menu will soon transform the place into a hub for nomad workers seeking inspiration in the middle of the city. •

New Restaurants: Lido Brasserie & Restaurant and Berlin Brasserie


Ursus Tank Beer in one of Bucharest’s most ‘Biutiful’ locations

For the past couple of months Ursus la Tank has been overcoming the curiosity of those consumers interested in trying the freshest beer in town, brought to them straight from the brewery. One of the newest locations in Bucharest, where you can enjoy a cold fresh pint of Ursus la Tank, Biutiful Downtown is located near the center of Bucharest. Biutiful reinterprets the pub culture giving it a contemporary note, mixing modern style with traditional imprints, shining a light on the many unique features, where everything is designed to come alive under your eyes. It involves a lifestyle, a vivid life, a modus vivendi. It is spectacular, bright, friendly and creates a great experience through sound, taste and smell.

Ursus Tank Beer in one of Bucharest’s most ‘Biutiful’ locations

With space for 200 people, Biutiful welcomes everyone who wants to be part of the fascinating story that is born every day and night. The flashing lights, smiles, laughter and the sound of clinked pints, all help paint the background of memorable experiences with friends and family. Therefore, even on your first visit, you will see that this is truly one of the most spectacular locations in Bucharest, a place where everything is brought to you in a warm and natural way. FOR MORE DETAILS AND RESERVATIONS, CONTACT BIUTIFUL AT THE FOLLOWING: FACEBOOK: BIUTIFUL (@BIUTIFULBYFRATELLI) INSTAGRAM: BIUTIFULBYFRATELLI PHONE NO: +40 737 297 297 ADDRESS: SPLAIUL UNIRII 165, BUCHAREST ROMANIA

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Iubire - Nicolae Iorga

Love - Nicolae Iorga

Vă credeţi puternici ca zeii, Pe-aripa iubirii zburaţ - : Răpiţi de-al plăcerii nesaţ, V’aţi prinde la trântă cu zeii.

Do you think strong as the gods, On the wing of the fallen love -: You are kidnapped by the unpleasant pleasure, You are struggling with the gods.

Cu flăcări din ochi păgâni, În patima ce vă înghite, Din inimi fanatic unite, Vă credeţi ai lumii stăpâni.

With flames of the heathen eyes, In the passion that swallows you, From fanatic hearts united, You believe the world's masters.

Natura doar cere atâta: O clipă ce n'a 'ncremeni, Şi cei ce din voi vor veni Să-şi facă şi dânşii ursita!

Nature just requires so much: For a moment that you do not scream, And those of you who will come to do their guts!

An Iorga Easter By David McLean Shoup


icolae Iorga, Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright, once said “a fact is only history when none of its roots no longer touch the present.” Although Iorga was born nearly a century and a half ago, his words couldn’t hold more true today, and in Romania especially, where he graces the cover of the 1 Lei bill. I’m often reminded of these words in Bucharest, particularly when handing over these Iorga-adorned bills in order to purchase ingredients for my girlfriend’s mother’s delicious ciorbă, vânătă, or sarmale


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dishes, all recipes passed down mother to daughter over the years. This month’s issue of OZB has demonstrated a diverse sampling of inherited Romanian traditions taught to successive generations of artisans, craftspeople and chefs. And despite the rapid pace of globalization and onset of Jamie Oliver prescription proliferation, Romanian family cuisine customs hold sway. These inherited culinary talents will be on full display come Easter 2019, when I’ll be celebrating my first Romanian spring in the sleepy mountain town of Vălenii de Munte, where the Wallachian plains rise up to meet the impressive Carpathians. Vălenii is also where Iorga resided for three decades, penning some of his most renowned works. The beautiful villa in which he lived with his family is now a well preserved museum, set back from a quiet park in the center of town and staffed by a charming tour guide and quirky security guard quick with a smile An Iorga Easter

to new visitors adept at basic Romanian pleasantries. On Romanian Easter, as Iorga alludes, the roots of Romanian culture are persistently reaching into the present. From the candlelit midnight ceremony outside of village and city churches across the country, to the ensuing Sunday feast that begins with painted egg games and concludes with heaps of sweet pasca and cozonac, family traditions dating back a millenium are still as ripe as the eggplants burning on the stove Easter’s eve in preparation for a breakfast spread of vânăta. This Easter more than any other, during those pauses between roasted miel face stuffing and painted egg spoon fights, I’ll think back on Iorga’s words and appreciate how a nation historically burdened with domestic and outside challenges has managed to preserve a remarkable tradition that charms and amazes the wandering visitor to this beautiful country. •

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