I admit that even after years since my first visit, Romania is still a small gastronomic challenge for me. Romanian cuisine is often too heavy for me, and although I am tempted to taste national dishes such as tochitură moldovenească (stewed meat with cornmeal mush, grated cheese, and a fried egg) or sarmale (cabbage or grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of meat and rice), it is not something I would like to indulge in every day.
The hotel restaurant Rustic in Iași was a revelation for me, as it tries to prepare these traditional dishes in a modern way and also serves them elegantly. I tasted several dishes at Rustic, and all of them were great.
Smoked pork ribs with country potatoes, cream, and dill for about 10 EUR. Excellent, traditional rural dish, yet served in a modern way within the possibilities. The meat was tender, juicy, and came off the bone very easily.
The Rustic restaurant is on the outskirts of the city, so you need to get there by car or a cheap taxi, but it is definitely worth a visit (and a possible detour). You can communicate with the staff in English without any problems, the service is fast, the prices are great, and if you visit the restaurant in nice weather, sitting in the garden is also very pleasant.
More information can be obtained by clicking on the map link: