Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Gourmet Club

Our last evening in Prague ends with dinner in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, “The Gourmet Club”. This dinner is included in our package and is three courses with a bottle of domestic wine. When we arrive, we are the only guests in the restaurant. As we dine, only one other couple comes in. Consequently, we get fantastic, attentive service. There is a piano player playing on a grand piano the entire time we are there.

We are offered menus and told we can choose anything we like off them, one appetizer, one main course and one dessert each. The sommelier gives us the wine list and lets us know if we want anything not Czech there will be an additional charge.

I order the Terrine of Fois Gras du canard with roasted apples, cherry chutney and anise seed (560kr) and Mom has the Cream of Sweet Pea soup with mushroom tartlet (210kr). The Fois gras is excellent as is the sweet pea soup is extremely flavorful with a wonderful little puff pastry floating in the center.

Between courses we discuss wine with the sommelier who tell us all about Czech wines. We select a bottle of Chat Dowina Michiovsky, Rulandske Modre, 2003, a Czech Pinot Noir. It’s “decent” but not fabulous, and certainly not worth the almost $50 it would have cost.

For my main course I have the duck-Magret de Canard with roasted oyster mushrooms, caramelized shallots and spring vegetables (780kr). Mom has the veal medallions with asparagus, lime foam and roasted potatoes (780kr). The entrees here fall flat compared to the apps and come across as standard hotel dining room fare. Technically fine, but uninspired and boring.

The desserts don’t do much better. I order the “mint cream” which turns out to be mint flavored whipped cream (surprise!) in a tasteless chocolate cup with sliced fruit. Mom has some ice cream which is better in its simplicity.

In all, the service was wonderful, but the food, certainly not worth the approx. $200 the meal would have cost us if we’d paid for it.

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