Destination: Czech Republic: Prague
Conveniently located in the heart of the ritzy Jewish district, this elegant restaurant serves Italian cuisine including homemade ravioli, cured meats and Florentine-style steak.
Located in the Four Seasons lobby, though it also has an outside entrance, this restaurant serves modern Italian fare throughout the day and is the location for Four Seasons guests’ breakfasts. The large bar makes for a good pre-dinner drink and the terrace in warm weather is very pleasant on the river. Menu items range from antipasti to sashimi. The atmosphere feels decidedly un-Prague; in fact the restaurant could easily be located in New York or London.
Walking distance to the Four Seasons, this rustic restaurant with exposed brick is the epitome of “relaxed but refined”. Spectacular specials included an amuse-bouche of smoked salmon panzanella. Between such courses as truffle risotto and a local pork tasting dish, diners are served a palate cleanser like a delectable caramel and lemon sorbet.
The in-town sister restaurant of local favorite Aromi, La Finestra has a soaring open dining room clad in red brick and has oak parquet floors; the small tables are pushed close together, imbuing a cozy, intimate ambience. La Finestra is open for lunch, but it’s dinnertime when the space glows in the light of candles that is the time for a visit (reservations are recommended). As at Aromi, the cuisine is Italian with a focus on steak (get one of the large meat and cheese platters to start). Those tired of Czech beer will also love the extensive wine list.
The flagship restaurant of Tommy Sjöö, one of the first restaurateurs to bring modern dining to the city, Pravda occupies the ground floor of a grand Art Nouveau building. (Sjöö’s first venture was glamming up the restaurants in the Municipal House; he then worked on Kampa Park before starting the Bacchus Group.) The interior, which makes dramatic use of the vaulted ceilings and arched windows, combines whimsy and refinement in a warm way, giving it the feel of a less edgy Philippe Starck space. The cuisine flirts with exotic influences by mixing traditional Czech dishes and homemade pasta entrées with starters like spring rolls stuffed with lobster and rice noodles and poached octopus marinated in herbs on a bed of arugula.
Open from breakfast on, Square, one of the Kampa Group’s six restaurants, is packed until late into the night. Square offers a clean, contemporary setting in a historic building on a main square on Malá Strana. (In fact, it occupies a central spot between the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle that has been home to cafés since 1874.) Breakfast fare ranges from croissants and porridge to eggs Benedict, but the lunch and dinner menus feature excellent Mediterranean food, including an extensive tapas list, all of which is moderately priced but delicious. When a fire burns in the cellar hearth, this is one of the coziest dining rooms in the city.
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