Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Food news: I'll have the scallops. And hold the tobacco, please

At a recent dinner, an American friend of mine was surprised to find out that the "mussels St. Jacob" she had ordered actually weren't mussels, but scallops. The mistake was in the translation: in Czech, scallops are "mušle Svatého Jakuba," which, if translated literally, can mean "St. Jacob's mussels." On that note, Oliva is holding a scallop event this weekend. Have a look at the menu here.

If you've never tried Persian food before, now's your chance: the Hotel Praha, in conjunction with the Islamic Republic of Iran, is hosting a Festival of Persian Cuisine on February 20th and 21st from 19:00. Entry is only 400 CZK and includes Iranian cooking demonstrations and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Call 224 342 621 for reservations.

For a few days only, Italian chef Christian Bertogna is leaving his post at the Ristorante Imperiolino to cook at the Hotel Paris's Sarah Bernhardt restaurant. A four-course menu costs 850 CZK; the event runs through Sunday.

And if inhaling cigarette smoke with your food irritates you as much as it does me, take a look at this handy website. Sponsored by the Czech Anti-Tobacco Coalition, maintains a list of restaurants that are smoke-free or have separate areas for smokers. Until the Czech Republic decides to wise up and follow the example of its European neighbors, it's the best we can do.



Pivní Filosof said...

I'm a non smoker. I like going to non smoking restaurants or to those that have a proper non smoking room, no just a corner next to the toilets. I don't like the smell of cigarrette on my clothes and hair and all those things.
What I do like less, though, is prohibition. Restaurants are places where we go because we want to. Therefore we can choose where or when.
I'm all for non smoking places and I really want more of them in Prague. But I want that to result from a choice of the owners and not the government.
I believe in incentives rahter than prohibition. Restaurant owners who choose to make their places non smoking, should be rewarded with tax cuts. Those who don't, should be made to pay higher taxes, they would also have to equip their places with appropriate ventilation systems.
Then, the market will decide. There are quite a few nonsmoking places in Prague that are quite sucessful because of that.
One of my favourite places turned to nonsmoking late last year, and business has not suffered. But again, it was a decision of the management, and a very welcome one at that.

Jack DeNeut said...

I went to Cowboys Steak House in Nerudova a few days ago, and noticed that they have gone completely non-smoking. Makes sense for an expensive restaurant that caters to expats and tourists.

My review and a few photos

Mark said...

I have to agree with Pivni ... I very much like a smoke-free environment when I eat, but I absolutely detest the idea of smoking bans. It makes me feel like a live in a police state.

Meaghan said...

Oh please, if Paris can do it, so can we.

I moved to Prague from a city where smoking has been banned in restaurants since 2001; in bars since 2004.

It's 2008- let's modernize the restaurant and bar industry here, shall we?

Pivní Filosof said...

I don't see the modernity of smoking bans.
Restaurants are places where YOU choose to go, nobody forces you to go to one specific restaurant.
You don't like smoking places, that is fine, I'm not a big fan of them either. So, excercise your freedom as a customer and patronise only restaurants and bars where smoking isn't allowed, and let smokers or people who don't mind stinking of tobacco go to the places they like.