I just have to say this…. we were coming from Rome and some of the best meals we had eaten a long time. Transitioning to the Czech palate was not easy! I am glad I put in the work of research and had a better idea of what to expect.
Before dinner on night one we had a snack of fried cheese at Two Cats pub with our beer. I mention this because it became a dish my husband would eagerly seek out for the rest of our trip. Since he can’t have pork/beef/chicken…
Dinner at Lokal (the main one Dlouhaa) - Thank goodness we had reserved, extremely busy and crowded. I even had to pull up my confirmation on my phone as I wasn’t on their list. Tried a pickled camembert cheese as a starter- not a fan. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I didn’t like it. Husband is a pescetarian essentially so he had a fish dish, it looked like a whole small white fish. I had fried pork (schnitzel looking), potato dumplings, “boiled cabbage” which was a tangy brownish dish more like sauerkraut. Everything tasted like well-prepared versions of the respective dishes, which I think is the whole point of Lokal (Thank you, Chows), but I can’t say these dishes are my favorite, especially the czech version of potato dumplings which to me taste neither like potatoes nor dumplings. The desert (something with coconut and chocolate) was good. This was a proper, appropriate introduction to Czech food. I would recommend for people looking for what I was looking for- a reliable way to try pub food.
Birthday Dinner at Terasa U Zlate for my husband. Okay, so I’m the foodie, he is more foodie by association. I gave him options for his bday dinner including Le Degustation “Modern foodie” or I could find something more “Traditional Fancy” with a view. He chose the latter. I didn’t really find “Traditional Fancy" here on chow so I actually got this one from Trip Advisor, a site I usually avoid for food. It’s in the castle district in a 5 star hotel, very adorable with beautiful views, and the menu looked good in a “tradtional fancy” way. It ended up being clearly our best meal in Prague, so take note! Everything served to us was outstanding from the homemade butter to the vegetables on the plate to the dessert. I had an incredible foie gras appetizer (not the mousse from the online menu, but a seared special), actually one of the best preparations of foie I can remember having. My husband had a trio of tuna, and then a delicate fish in a butter sauce that came on the side to pour over. I had a steak and foie dish, it was another HUGE piece of foie on top of my steak. I was really in foie heaven— the value in CR is certainly something to take advantage of if you like it. We had two different gorgeous and yummy desserts, and then they brought him a BONUS birthday chocolate dessert. The view was sensational, could see the whole lit up river area. The only reason I could think of that chows wouldn’t be a fan of this place is maybe the menu doesn’t change a lot, but if you’re only coming to Prague once as a tourist, this shouldn't matter. I’m also worried about the trend I’m noticing on Chow where only modern, “in” restaurants are recommended. I don’t want to only eat molecular gastronomy when I’m traveling, I want GOOD FOOD. If a place like Terasa is being passed up because it’s not “exciting” enough when it’s freaking delicious, I think we are missing something as food connoisseurs. Especially since I found Praugue to be a challenging place to love one’s meal.
Sansho Dinner. Disappointing after a lot of love here on chow. Menu sounded great, but execution wasn’t there. Asian flavors felt forced and with single notes. I could taste specific ingredients instead of the of harmonious combination I expect from a good SE asian dish. I eat a lot of asian food, fusion and traditional, and this wasn’t a good example. My little crab bahn mi had a bitter taste to its frying oil, marring the delicate protein, and the fish dish tasted of minced ginger above all else. The vegetarian dumplings — given to us because my husband doesn’t eat meat- were nearly inedible. We also got very little rice and just a strange proportion of items, the meal was served in an odd progression, and we left somewhat unsatisfied. I also didn’t care for the atmosphere/service. One of the waiters was friendly, but the other clearly thought he was doing us a favor by letting us eat there, though we had a reservation weeks ahead. Even though it’s chef’s choice, you might not get what your neighbor gets. Table next to me got a beef tartare I would have wanted to try. Because of my husband’s limitations, they treated me to half of what the meat eaters got (without my choice of which), and substituted fish/veg for half of my food, which is not what I would have liked to have happen. If you have good asian food where you live, I would skip this place. Also, this was the only dinner where we ended up hungry again a few hours later and grabbed a burrito of all things.
Le Degustation- I was so disappointed that my husband didn’t pick this for his bday dinner that I just threw it into the line up another night. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting. Everything was interesting and most of it was quite tasty, though I felt their strongest stuff came right out of the gate— the whimsical amuse bouche and petit appetizers were all playfully presented and as delicious as they were intriguing. We had a five course tasting as the 11 seemed like too much and some proteins that didn’t appeal. It was enough for a medium-hungry appetite. The service was excellent. I’m not sure about so many people who said that this place is quite casual and relaxed, I found it to be quite typical in that regard to any Michelin star restaurant. Overall, I’m glad we came and this was our second best meal of the Prague leg.
Brunch at Cafe Savoy- I had the french breakfast which came with a lot of stuff I didn’t want to eat (boiled egg that tasted gross), and a lot of things I DID such as a scrumptious, french- caliber croissant, their sensational brioche french toast, and excellent frites. I guess anything “french” is fabulous here! Lovely decor, lovely kitchen on display from the bathrooms. Didn’t have a reservation and we needed one! They let us come back in half an hour, but definitely better to reserve ahead even for lunch.
Dinner at Bredovský Dvůr- found this one on Yelp, my husband wanted more fried cheese after having it that first night so I found this place that serves fried cheese and typical pub stuff dressed up. It’s kind of a modern, trendy looking pub and it was hopping and required rez. Honestly the fried cheese dish does more for my husband than for me, the cheese itself has almost no flavor, less even than fried mozzarella. It tasted the same everywhere we had it. I didn’t care for my pork neck dish, the menu said it was slow roasted for 12 hours so I was expecting something falling off the bone like an oxtail, but it was a hard and strange texture. The potato pancakes I ordered tasted more like onion and herbs that potatoes and didn’t really hit the spot. My husband veered off his usual diet and had a roasted duck, which seemed like a better dish. But, this place isn’t worth bookmarking I don’t think.
Last dinner, at this point I had given up on great eating and was satisfying my husband’s desire for famous/recommended beer halls. We went to U Medvidku which is a historic hotel/beer hall/ restaurant recommended by a friend or guidebook. Great beer selection. Be warned if you don’t like smoke you’d need to reserve the small non-smoking section, as the main dining hall smelled like a vegas casino! This ended up being my favorite of the pub meals, we had the requisite fried cheese for DH, I had a sautéed pork and onion dish with potatoes that was more satisfying that I expected. And I kept stealing bites of my husband’s “potato salad” which was yummy and different than expected preparations. The hotel looks super cute btw!
Also if you want a fun bar czech out Anonymous Bar and order the Blue Blazer!