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Matthew Grant

Restaurants in Prague

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Shaya   

Thanks for the travel diary, Megan. I love to see the foods you had, but I am equally taken with your gorgeous photos of the architecture.

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racheld   

Lovely, Megan. The best way to see a city for the first time is on a rainy day.

On to France!!

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kayswv   

Megan,

Al and I have greatly enjoyed your account of your time in Prague. We leave for a tour of Eastern Europe for three weeks shortly and have enjoyed your insight into one of the cities where we will be for four days.

Have made a lot of notes.

Thanks, Kay

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ludja   
Megan,

Al and I have greatly enjoyed your account of your time in Prague. We leave for a tour of Eastern Europe for three weeks shortly and have enjoyed your insight into one of the cities where we will be for four days.

Have made a lot of notes.

Thanks, Kay

Have a great trip and consider sharing some of your food adventures upon your return. We don't have much discussion of foods in "Elsewhere in Europe" and it would be great to hear what you encounter.

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Megan,

Al and I have greatly enjoyed your account of your time in Prague. We leave for a tour of Eastern Europe for three weeks shortly and have enjoyed your insight into one of the cities where we will be for four days.

Have made a lot of notes.

Thanks, Kay

Have a great trip and consider sharing some of your food adventures upon your return. We don't have much discussion of foods in "Elsewhere in Europe" and it would be great to hear what you encounter.

Here, here! I would love to hear about your trip, Kay - and please do PM me if you want any non-food recommendations. I'd love to help! :biggrin:

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MsAzadi   

Thank you for a very inspiring travelogue Megan. My dear husband and I will be in Prague this Saturday and look forward to having cold enough weather to take advantage of that 'solid' food. We too are going to the opera...Sicilian Vespers, which is a new one for us. :rolleyes:

Maureen

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I never know on what authority or by what standards these choices are made but for what it’s worth May’s Conde Nast Traveler lists 95 “hot tables” that includes Oliva in Prague.

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And, yesterday in the NYT there was a mouth-watering 2-page article by Evan Rail on "haute Czech" that recommended: La Degustation, U Petrske veze, CzecHouse + Cerny Kohout.

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In Sunday’s NYT, Evan Rail wrote about Prague on a rainy day and mentioned the following: Gordon Ramsey’s Maze, Angel + Corner Bar & Bistro for lighter fare.

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Iestyn   

Personally I'd stick to the bohemian muff, preferably young, but old if need be. Fnah Fnah

But seriously, has anyone on forum tried Maze Prague, how do quality and price compare to Maze UK?


Edited by Iestyn (log)

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And, yesterday in the NYT there was a mouth-watering 2-page article by Evan Rail on "haute Czech" that recommended: La Degustation, U Petrske veze, CzecHouse + Cerny Kohout.

And yesterday's NYT had an answer to a letter by David Allan that repeated Evan Rail's recs from March 25, 07 for affordable: Cafe Savoy + Tynska literarni kavarna; clubs and pubs Palac Akropolis, Blind Eye + Pivovarsky klub and high-end U Petrska veze as well as Allan's bar favorite U Sudu and cafe-bar-coffeehouse-bookstore Globe.

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Rehovot   

Hmm... Pivovarsky Klub is not technically a club in the sense that Akropolis and Blind Eye are; that is, Pivovarsky Klub doesn't offer live music...and is known for the food and vast beer selection.

If you can't find a table at Pivovarsky Klub, head over to their parent restaurant, Pivovarsky Dum, on Ječná.

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FDE   

We had dinner at the three best restaurants in Prague according to Zagat. All three meals were mediocre, nothing memorable.

Allegro – An Italian restaurant, the only Michelin star in Eastern Europe:

gallery_57364_6099_12699.jpg

David – A more traditional local food

gallery_57364_6099_20869.jpg

V Zatisi – A modern local food

gallery_57364_6099_34326.jpg

Nonetheless, we documented all three meals with photos here:

www.finediningexplorer.com/other

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FDE   
nice website, FDE.  However, I believe Gordon Ramsey's place in Prague also has a Michelin star.

Thanks for letting me know, but I just checked the 2008 Michelin Guide Europe, Allegro is the only Michelin star there. Maze Prague opened in Nov 2007, it probably missed the cut-off for 2008.

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The famous starred French chef Marc Veyrat is closing his last place in France and from the France Forum:

He for several months, has been working on setting up an ecological farmstead in Manigod, his native village in the French Alps.

And also, according to this week's l'Express establishing a bio restaurant and molecular lab in Beroun, in a forest 20 km outside Prague.

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pep.   

Any new recommendations? I'm going to Prague with my girlfriend on Thursday and as of yet, I have no clue where we will be eating :rolleyes:

La Degustation would have looked nice, but they are closed for the whole of July.

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pep.   

Since no-one has offered any recent recommendations, we went by instinct and visited two restaurants: Rybí Trh on Thursday (July 28) and Francouzská restaurace on Saturday (July 30).

Rybí Trh

At Rybí Trh, my girlfriend and I both had the 7-course fish market menu, which costs CZK 1490 (slightly less than US$ 90) per person. There is also a 9-course tasting menu for CZK 2450 (about US$ 144). I think there was the possibility of a wine pairing, but since it was our first evening in Prague and since we both were already a bit tired from travelling, only I had a glass of wine. Compared to Vienna, I thought the wine prices were outrageous. Wine prices are not listed on the webpage and I can't find the receipt, but even the house wine (Moravian red, white or rosé by the glass) was more than CZK 120 (I think it was 150). This seems to be a characteristic of the Czech Republic: (good) beer is very cheap, while even domestic wine is rather expensive.

As for the setting, the weather was good and we dined on a terrace or dais in the courtyard. As usual in such circumstances, the table was a bit small for two people, but since we were dining rather early (around 18:30 IIRC), the waitresses simply requisitioned an adjacent table for keeping our water bottles. The amuse-gueule (if one can call it that) consisted of lobster butter, a white mousse of smoked trout and regular butter. Nice, but really nothing to write home about.

Now for the actual menu:

  • Tuna tartare with beetroot carpaccio, avocado foam flavoured with Tuscany lavender, and quail’s egg
    I would have liked the tartare a bit less salty, but overall the combination worked very well. It also included lots of greens (what I would call "Wildkräuter" in German). The quail egg was only half an egg, with a cooked white and perfectly creamy yolk. Whether it was cooked sous-vide or conventional, I don't know, but I don't think it was poached.
  • Baby carrot soup, cold spring baby carrot soup with ginger and vanilla
    Very refreshing, more sweet than spicy. Garnished with greens and edible flowers. Didn't taste cooked, so I guess the base was raw carrot juice.
  • Glazed Black Tiger shrimp with liquorice risotto, dried Parma ham and Beurre blanc foam
    Nice ensemble, I especially liked the risotto. Again, decorated with greens and flowers (I guess they had lots of those at hand ;-))
  • Lime sorbet
    Simple, but refreshing. Good.
  • Wild Sicilian sea bass with crispy skin and Barbera olive oil, with sweet parsnip confit, nettle stuffing, fresh baby spinach and saffron-vanilla sauce
    The best course for the both of us, although I didn't care much for the nettle "stuffing" (it was more of a small slice of bread dumpling). The fish was great (moist, but with a crispy skin, just like the menu promised), as was the parsnip confit (decorated with a crisp parsnip chip).
  • Variation of cheeses with confited apricot
    The usual assortment of cheese: chèvre, some blue cheese, etc. No revelations, but nicely presented and good quality (as far as I can judge that).
  • Cantaloupe marinated in a vacuum, “Mascarpone” cheese mousse and mango sorbet
    Unfortunately, the dessert was a bit of a let-down. The vacuum-marinated cantaloupe was diced like a tartare, but it simply didn't taste very interesting. The "mascarpone" (I guess the had to use quotation marks because it wasn't actually Italian mascarpone) didn't have much taste at all. The mango sorbet was good, though.

Edited to add heading with restaurant name (and correct some errors).


Edited by pep. (log)

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Andrew   

Any tips for a visit to Prague would be welcomed. I can go through the Michelin Guide but any recent experiences / views? Only requirement is there must be a vegetarian dish on the menu as one of the group doesn't eat meat or fish.

Thanks

Andrew

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pep.   

Rybí Trh has some vegetarian options that could work as a main course (mushroom risotto etc.). I would recommend it over Francouzská restaurace.

If you happen to visit the former Jewish Quarter, stay away from U Golema! Even though the food is not that bad, it's a tourist trap. They only serve beer by 0.3 liters and rip you off on the extras (salted almonds on the table that are not included in the cover charge etc.) .

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Andrew   

Just got back and thought I'd jot down details of the three dinners we had.

The first night we went to a restaurant in the Municipal House just by the Powder Gate. I understand it has only recently become a 'fine dining' estabishment called Francouzska Restaurace. The building is an amazing art deco dining room which is worth visting just for the room. The food was very good (pushing 1 Michelin star) and the service friendly and helpful. By way of example a small amusee bouche was brought out (a pork terrine) my partner is vegetarian and they immediately took it away and replaced it with somethng else cf Kampa Park (see below). The food was well executed and presentation superb. Well worth a visit. It cost CZK xxx for two people to have 2 courses, share a dessert, a decent bottle of local pinot noir and a bottle of still water.

The second night was a less formal 2 courses each at Zavoje just off Wenceslas Sq. This seems to be a group of 'shops' including a deli, wine / off licence and restaurant. The foot was hearty local dishes although was all a little bland. At CZK 1,220 inc a good local bottle of red it was good value for money for ok food. Their wine selections are excellent and good value.

The final night was Kampa Park. The view is amazing (right beneath Charles Bridge) and it has a display of 'famous diners' in reception. The food was very good although not quite as good as the first night. The bill came to CZK 4,400 for 3 courses, 2 glasses of local fizz, a bottle of local red and a bottle of still water. The service was good and quite formal. Presentation excellent and well worth a visit. When they brought out an amuse bouche (salmon) we explained that one of us was a vegetarian, unlike the first night when something different was found without fuss and with a smile, this time it was handed to me with the words "you get two then"!

One issue at Kampa Park to be aware. We ordered a bottle of wine listed as 2007 on the menu. It seemed fine when I tasted it although clearly needed some air. On checking the label it was in fact a 2010. They apologised and offered us free desserts. Instead we opted to change the wine for something else. The wine we had was more expensive and they charged us the full price and also for the desserts saying we had the choice. I thought that was a little off as they were trying to palm off a different (and cheaper vintage) on us. Having said that it is a great setting for vistors.

Andrew

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