Pastař: Extraordinary Czech-Italian cuisine

Bars and Restaurants

As many of my friends will testify, I, perhaps, have been ignorant when it comes to learning Czech. After living in this beautiful country for 5 years, my Czech skills are still pretty basic. One of my main battles has been with the extra symbols on letters; namely the hacek.

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So when I received an invite for lunch at a Czech-Italian restaurant called Pastař, I really wanted to understand more about the name and where it comes from. I had a chat with the restaurant manager, Kateřina Stibůrková, who told me all about the restaurant and what they are trying to achieve.

The name originally comes from the fresh pasta they serve and sell. It is all made freshly in Karlovy Vary, a town just a short drive away and brought to the restaurant on a daily basis. Kateřina gave me a tour of the restaurant and showed me the produce they have on sale and the extensive wine list to go with any type of meal you might want. Argentinians and Italians featured prominently on the shelves.

She told me that 3 things are extremely important to the restaurant. Firstly, she expressed concern at the bigger restaurants and chains getting all their produce from corporate suppliers and she stated that most of the produce was sourced locally. Secondly, price is very important to her because they want people from all backgrounds and statuses to get a good meal. And thirdly; the food has to taste good. And it bloody well did.

The Venue:

Delightfully located within walking distance of the National Theatre, Kampa and Andel, Pastař has an ideal location for the summer. Kampa is usually packed in the summer with people having picnics, wine and generally lazing in the sun. Whilst it isn’t in tourist town, it is just a quick walk from all the transport hubs and it is really easy to get to.

The restaurant is looks small from the outside but it seats over 70 and is fairly extensive within. You can buy Italian products that are stocked on shelves and meats from the deli counter, or you can do what I did and sit for a nice meal.

The Food:

The food here is incredible. No word of a lie, it was one of the best Italian meals I have had in a very long time. I ate potato and truffle soup that had an amazing texture and tasted like nothing id had in a while. I am not usually a ‘soup guy’ but this was pretty special.

The first course I had was a beef ravioli with the pasta cooked to perfection. It had mushrooms a delightful sauce that I would definitely recommend. The dish was perfectly proportioned and I would certainly recommend it.

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The next dish had me slightly concerned. Although I love Italian food and consider myself fairly experienced when it comes to the regional Italian dishes, I’ve never had a huge thing for fish. So when they brought cannelloni filled with salmon I was slightly concerned. It was neatly polished with peppers and capers, and I needn’t have been worried at all; it was brilliant. It was perfectly cooked, expertly seasoned and served well. The waiters all knew their stuff and they were extremely cheerful.

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The first few dishes had already won me over and I’m not really ever a dessert person but Kateřina insisted that I try the French cottage dumplings with pistachio and pomegranate. I was in heaven for a while. It was amazing. The taste combinations were incredible. It’s very rare that I like all the courses on offer but I literally cannot recommend this place enough. The prices were very reasonable and you can take a look at the exquisite menu here. The menu changes every few months to match the seasons, but you can guarantee you will find something brilliant on the menu.

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I have to say that I felt awfully spoiled after coming to Pastař for a light lunch. The food here is simply incredible and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring family, friends and whoever else fancies a lunch to this delightful restaurant.

Contact Details:

Malostranské nábřeží 1, Malá strana Prague 1, 118 00.

E-mail: info@pastar.cz

Tel.: 777009108

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Prague Geezer Restaurant Review: Le Grill, Grand Mark Hotel

Bars and Restaurants

Being a gentleman of style and sophistication, I decided to take my significant other for a very special meal at the Grand Mark Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic.

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I did have high hopes for the restaurant, given the five star hotel rating, exquisite menu and classy look of the venue. The theme of Le Grill restaurant is described as Modern Bohemian and whilst Czech food can often be heavy and pork-based, this menu looked sophisticated, light and classy.

Location:

Right in the center of the city, the Grand Mark Hotel could not have a better location. You are within walking distance from Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square and a host of theatres and bars to entertain you during your stay in Prague. If you already live here, then public transport is the best way to get you to and from the hotel and it is easily navigated from the nearby stops.

Venue:

Just a quick glance at the front of the building and you realize that you are in for a treat. Of course, a man like me goes to many fine establishments like this and I expected nothing less than perfection, which is exactly what we received in our Grand Mark experience. The friendly, smartly-attired doorman opened the glass doors for us and escorted us into the gorgeous dining room. Our coats were taken and we were shown to our seat and presented with menus by the super polite staff.

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Food:

For some people, fine dining is all about the overall experience. The wine, the venue and the ambience will all factor into your judgment of the experience, but for me, it’s all about the food. I was initially worried that the chef would neatly rest a few capers and a sniff of beef on my plate and drizzle a little sauce over the top but the plates were of perfectly filling proportions.

For starters, I chose the Smoked Trout with marinated turnip, tapioca and apple. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite of the 3 courses, it went down very well and prepared me nicely for the main course. My partner chose the game pate with raspberry, pickled onions and mixed Salad; in all honesty I wish I’d chosen this dish as it was beautifully presented and tasted delightful.

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The main course arrived soon after the starters had departed and I was immediately impressed with the presentation. It wasn’t too fancy as to take away from the fact that it was food, but the plate looked sublimely decorated. I chose the Beef Terrine option and my partner had the Wild Boar Cheeks. Both meals were cooked to perfection and were rich in texture and flavor. I even ate the tiny sprouts on offer as they were super tasty and that is a rare event for me. For lack of a better compliment, the food was magical.

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I have never been a huge lover of dessert but this was an experience in itself. I went for the conservative option with a gorgeous chocolate brownie. It sounded simple but it caught my eye at the start and I followed through. It included coconut, pineapple and ice cream and it was very special. My partner, as she had all evening, went one better and ordered the hot chocolate Callebaut with Grand Marnier. The waiter poured the sauce onto the ball and it melted away to reveal the ice cream treat inside. Amazing food and a wonderful experience all-round.

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Price:

It wasn’t bad at all to be entirely honest. Most people know that if you avoid the tourist traps, Prague is a cheap city to live and work in. Located in tourist town, I was worried that Le Grill would adopt tourist prices and charge through the roof but the experience was quite the opposite. In London you would certainly pay several times what the Grand Mark charge for such an excellent experience.

Overall:

If you want to impress a date and you aren’t a millionaire, you can’t do better than Le Grill at The Grand Mark Prague. If you want to impress your family and you aren’t a millionaire, you can’t do better than Le Grill at The Grand Mark Prague. Le Grill is a master class of a restaurant without the associated prices.

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The experience is luxurious and the food is remarkable. One of the best indicators of a restaurant experience is your personal thoughts and feelings after you leave the premises. After leaving Le Grill I immediately thought that I’d bring my parents to the restaurant when they visit Prague in a few weeks’ time and my feelings were of contentedness. Overall I would give The Grand Mark, top marks for an immense culinary experience. I would recommend this to all.

Reserve a table at Le Grill here

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Best 5 Places In Prague To Get A Decent Cup Of Rosy Lee (Tea)

Bars and Restaurants

Tea is one of the most important things in the world. I literally cannot function until I’ve had 2 cups in the morning. Here are my favorite places to satisfy your tea needs.

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Getting a good cup of tea in Prague can be a difficult challenge. In every office I’ve worked in so far, the range of tea has been phenomenal; blueberry tea, raspberry tea, Chinese tea with hemp and nettles or carrot and strawberry tea are the types of fanciful hot beverages on offer. A decent Black tea, however, can be hard to come by. But, there are some places you can find with a nice ambience where you can relax, read the newspaper and get a lovely cup of tea.

You could always head to Iceland or Tesco’s and get a nice box of PG Tips or Tetley’s. Alternatively, you could always visit any specialized tea store to choose from a wide selection of black tea such as Darjeeling or Ceylon. But sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting in a café, reading a newspaper, enjoying a nice cuppa and watching the world go by.

Interesting Fact: You should never boil water more than once because as the water temperature increases, the solubility of oxygen decreases. This means that the water has less oxygen in it causing a change for the worse in taste. Some also believe that it can be harmful.

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There are many ways to drink tea; you can add honey, lemon, sugar, cream or any other condiment or style. The only way for me, however, is a black tea with milk and no sugar.

Interesting Fact: People started putting milk in tea to stop their thin china from cracking when the boiling water went in.

Being an Englishman, I’ve certainly experienced a few cups of tea in Prague so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite venues:

  1. Tea Mountain

Křižíkova 488/115, Prague, Czech Republic – Website

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I am not usually a fan of sophistication, as many of my friends will agree, but the teas on offer here are pretty incredible. I usually take just a black tea with milk but after entering this place I was caught up in the incredible smells and decided to try something different. I dot usually try anything different; I’m not a big fan of change really, but this place got me hooked on some Himalayan tea and I recently ordered some for home. I thought I was a bit of an expert on tea because I can tell the difference between a Darjeeling and a Ceylon, but these guys at Tea Mountain really know their stuff. It is well worth a look.


  1. Café Savoy

Vítězná 5, Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Republic – Website

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Café Savoy is a beautiful venue. The best feature of the décor is the Neo-Renaissance ceiling which has an interesting story dating back to the Second World War. To keep the artwork and all the gold out of the hands of Nazi’s, the owners placed a second ceiling below the elaborate one which was uncovered many years later, or so I was told but the staff would explain the story in a more interesting way.


  1. Café Imperial

Na Poříčí 15, Praha 1, Prague, Czech Republic – Website

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Café Imperial is a fine establishment in a perfect location. The décor is beautifully art deco and the tea is extremely fancy. I often visit here with a friend and he very highly rates the coffee and the espresso. The service is top notch and the staff are all extremely well versed in the art making a good cup of tea.


  1. Café Boutique

Minská 775/4, Prague, Czech Republic – Website

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Café Boutique is a fairly new venue as it only opened in the New Year and it gets a mention in the list because my friend runs the place. The staff here are absolutely superb and are always smiling, come rain, sun or snow. The tea is delicious, as are the cakes on offer and the prices are extremely reasonable.


  1. Café Louvre

Národní 22, Prague, Czech Republic – Website

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Café Louvre is one of my favourite places in Prague. You can smoke at one end of the room, for another few months at least, and you can play pool (billiards) on some fantastic tables. You can read an English newspaper, even if it is the Guardian, and tea is superb. My favorite tea on offer here is the Ceylon and it comes in a very nice pot which will give you at least 2 cups. It isn’t the cheapest place on the list, but for the overall experience I would say that Louvre is my favourite tea venue.

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The Prague Geezer Bar Reviews: Prolog

Bars and Restaurants

 

 

Prolog Cocktail Bar is one of the best looking bars in Prague, but how does the experience match up?

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Also Check: The Prague Geezer Bar Reviews: JJ Murphy’s

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with cocktails. I grew up watching Del Boy order drinks such as Baileys and Cherryade or Drambuie and Tizer and for a time, I thought that was the height of sophistication. It took me a long time to understand there is more to a cocktail than meets the eye.

As the staff at Prolog might tell you, a cocktail is more of an experience to savor and enjoy than something you slurp down to get a bit tipsy. We’ve come a long way from the days of Pina Coladas and Bloody Mary’s and the upmarket cocktail bars of Prague have modernized; in a brilliant way. I headed to Prolog to see for myself:

The Venue:

Those that have been in Prague for more than a few years will remember the Andel of old and wonder how a brilliant cocktail bar could ever flourish in the run-down area on the wrong side of the river. Fast-forward a few years and Andel is thriving.

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When you arrive at Prolog you are immediately take by the grand entrance and the authentic 30’s feel to the venue. No expense has been spared in making this place look Arte Deco and simplistic in its design and feel.

The Drinks:

I settled on 3 different cocktails on my first trip to Prolog. I would have enjoyed more, but as a fine, upstanding gentleman of Prague I can’t be seen to be stumbling around outside in the early hours. You can find the full menu here.

Being a man of the sciences (seriously!) I couldn’t resist going for the Milky Way. It consisted of vodka, crème de cacao, cream, lemon, chocolate and even edible gold. It was great to start with and had me feeling interstellar after the first few mouthfuls.

I used to be a big fan of BBT and I had to try Bazinga. Having looked at the ingredients of this one I was extremely curious as it said stuff like Barium, Zinc and Galium; I thought those were in my daily vitamin supplements. Anyway, the deliciousness of the lemon and coconut made the experience completely worthwhile.

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Being a military man (seriously!) I decided to try the Good Soldier and I wasn’t left disappointed. It contained Becherovka, which I’ve never fully appreciated unless obliterated at 03:00am, but the taste was offset by a strong beer flavored syrup. It was an interesting combination and it went down well, although I am glad I didn’t start with this one. i think 3 cocktails is enough for me, although many people can handle more!

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The Service:

The first thing you notice is that all of the staff are impeccably dressed. They wear the fitted uniforms with pride and they are always more than helpful, in whatever language you choose. Whatever you order, they will happily pour, explain a bit about the process and what they are trying to create and have a nice chat with you.

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The Price:

If there is one thing I’ve learned from cocktail bars it’s that they don’t come cheap. If you are out on a date and trying to impress a young lady, or gentleman, you can expect to spend quite a few of your hard-earned Koruna’s. That being said, Prolog is surprisingly cheap given the location, the experience and the range of exquisite drinks on offer. Most of the cocktails on offer range between 100-250CZK and whilst they might not sell 27czk beers like the nearby Hospuda, you are still getting a fab drink at a reasonable price.

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The Verdict:

Whilst I can say with all honesty that I probably would visit Prolog on a daily basis, Prolog is a fine establishment that I think is fast-earning a stellar reputation as one of the finest cocktail bars in town. It isn’t a particularly saturated market with only a handful of decent cocktail bars (not aimed at tourists) on offer, but I can easily say that if I needed to impress a young lady, or if I had some friends in town that I wanted to impress, I would immediately consider bringing them to Prolog. The drinks are delicious, the staff are welcoming and the venue is top notch. Definitely worth a cocktail or 15.

Contact:

  • +420 775 005 007
  • Nádražní 108, Praha 5
  • Dnes otevřeno do 2:00
  • Website

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The Prague Geezer Bar Reviews: JJ Murphy’s

Bars and Restaurants

Every self-respecting geezer has frequented a few Irish bars in his time and Prague offers a wide range of excellent establishments. JJ Murphy’s is amongst the best.

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Also Check: Czech to Cockney Translations

A few years ago I met this lovely young lady and asked her out on a date. Being a charismatic geezer, she said yes of course and I started planning for a romantic rendezvous. I was getting proper excited about it but realized I’d made a terribly shocking oversight; the agreed date night clashed with Champions League football. I was in despair; should I cancel the date? Should I skip the football? Instead, I took her to JJ Murphy’s. Two birds with one stone.

We had a lovely meal, a few Pina Coladas and a nice chat, taking in the authentic ambience of the Irish bar. We were having a lovely time (of course we were, I’m an interesting geezer, I’ve got a lot of stories) and then the football came onto the screen. I acted pleasantly shocked and surprised as the commentator announced the lineups. This was make-or-break time and it could have gone either way; 2 years later and we are still together so I guess it went pretty well. Now I regularly visit this bar and I love watching the live Premier League Football and Rugby here.

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The Food.

The menu is pretty much what you can expect from an Irish pub; Burgers, Steaks, Full Irish Breakfasts, Fajitas and Nachos. But my favourite has to be the Thai Green Curry which is absolutely superb. It’s spicy, but not ‘smash your face off spicy’ and full off chicken which is often sparse in nice pubs. The Fish and Chips is also well worth a look.

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The Beer.

This is Prague so the beer is already a cut above what you might find in London. Guinness, Kilkenny and Magners are all available on tap, as is Staropramen which is freshly delivered from the factory less than a mile away. JJ’s boast a wide range of spirits on offer, including Scottish and Irish whisky, and everything else you would expect to find. It isn’t a traditional Czech bar with beer cheaper than water, but it also isn’t a tourist bar with English prices so expect a happy medium.

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The Entertainment.

One of the main draws of JJ Murphy’s is the live sports on offer. The main attractions are Premier League football so you can watch Arsenal bottle it again and Arsene Wenger’s selective vision. You also get international rugby, including The 6 Nations and various other competitions and sports. Live Music is on offer, usually after the football has finished and is always worth a listen and a dance.

The Location.

JJ Murphy’s is ideally located close to Malostranská Metro station and near to Prague Castle. It is a safe, clean area at all times of the day or night.

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The Staff and Ambience.

The staff of JJ’s are always friendly and ready to get whatever you need. The ambience is superb as you get a mixture of local Czech people, local expats and tourists coming in to enjoy the experience. When the live sports isn’t occupying all attention, they play country, rock and classic music to boost the mood. Sorry kids; you won’t find any Bieber here.

Overall:

Prague has a wide selection of Irish bars with many designed to cater for the stag parties and travelling tourists. Whilst you do get tourists in JJ Murphy’s, you also get a nice environment of people that just want to enjoy themselves. I would certainly rate JJ Murphy’s among the best in Prague.

Contact Details

Well worth a look; you know it makes sense.

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