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Czech food in Astoria

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Czech food in Astoria

Katerina | Sep 30, 2002 05:38 PM

I thought of posting this under the Zlata Praha thread but then changed my mind. It actually has little to do with Zlata Praha (which I dislike, anyway).

The Bohemian Hall, everyone's favorite beer garden, has a new chef. And it's not just anyone! It's Liana Fingesten, the Prague-born ex-proprietress of the former Cafe Andrusha of the Upper East Side. If she can hold out in that kitchen, you can be assured that she will bring some flair into it; she knows how to cook not just Czech, but by virtue of her colorful (typical central European) pedigree also Russian, Ukrainian/Jewish food and dares even be creative with it. She also cares about ingredients, presentation, and professionalism of the staff. When she sold Andrusha she swore she never wanted to work in a restaurant again, but I guess the pull of the "Bohemka" is too strong... I am not sure how the food there is right now, I haven't been since August, but I certainly expect it to get better as she becomes more comfortable there and gets her way. (I just hope she will.)

Mrs. Fingesten is not even my friend, by the way, just a friend of an acquaintance, but I have tasted her food before and even had an opportunity to hire her for catering once; and I expect good (perhaps great) things from her. After all, to beat the Zlata Praha/Koliba tandem (not that there's anything wrong with the latter) shouldn't take a Jean Georges Vongerichten.

Oh yes, and *my* Czech pedigree is flawless.

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