Friday, February 8, 2008

Valentine's Day Dinner

Looking for someplace to take your (potential) lover for Valentine's Day? On February 14th, Prague's restaurants will be awash with special menus, red roses, and in one case at least, complimentary condoms.

Here's a fairly exhaustive list of the kitschy goings-on to be held around town this Valentine's:

Alcron / La Rotonde - Each of the Radisson SAS restaurants will offer different four-course "his 'n' hers" menus. Highlights: At Alcron, raw oysters (for him) and scallops and crayfish in champagne soup (for her); at La Rotonde, beef tournedos Rossini with seared foie gras and truffle sauce (to share). Price per couple: 4000 CZK (Alcron) / 3400 CZK (La Rotonde).

Allegro - Choose between a four- and five- course Valentine's Day menu at this upscale Italian restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel. Price per person: 2500 CZK (four courses), 3600 CZK (four courses + wine pairing) / 2900 CZK (five courses), 4300 CZK (five courses + wine pairing).

Brasserie M - A special three-course menu for two. Highlights: An "aphrodisiac" duck fillet with ginger and Middle Eastern spices, chocolate fondant with passion fruit. Price per couple: 1750 CZK / 2250 CZK (with two glasses of champagne).

Chateau Mcely - The luxury castle retreat outside of Prague is offering a Valentine's Day package that includes a four-course dinner at their restaurant, Piano Nobile. Price per person: 1600 CZK, including dinner, welcome drink, chocolates and flowers, plus an invite to a screening of a romantic movie.

CzecHouse - A romantic five-course meal will be available at the spacious Hilton restaurant. Highlights: A trio of Valentine desserts - chocolate parfait with orange cream, mini pear tatin with port wine ice cream, and marinated pomegranate on honey yoghurt. Price per couple: 2950 CZK.

Essensia - The Asian-inspired restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is putting together a five-course meal that includes a welcome cocktail (the "Valentini") and a small present for the lady. Highlights: Gratinated Fine de Claire oysters and caviar, crispy Peking duck and langoustine. Price per person: 1900 CZK.

Flambée - Two Valentine's menus will be offered from the 14th to the 17th of February: an afternoon dessert and champagne menu, and a six-course dinner. Highlights: Baked langoustine with truffle cream and caviar, and a selection of veal entrées. Price per person: 890 CZK (dessert and champagne) / 2990 CZK (dinner).

Kampa Park - Sit by the river and enjoy a candlelit three-course dinner. Highlight: Monkfish wrapped in bacon with celery-dill purée, leek confit, and salmon roe beurre blanc. Price per person: 1665 CZK.

La Provence - The French brasserie will serve a three-course Valentine's Day dinner. Highlight: Poached halibut with shrimp and asparagus risotto with vermouth sauce. Price per person: 1125 CZK.

maze - Gordon Ramsay's Prague outpost is preparing a seven-course menu for lovers' day. Highlights: Poached lobster with apple and fennel salad, pan-fried John Dory with crushed potatoes and white bean velouté. Price per person: 1700 CZK.

Monsoon - Three special courses will be available at the Dejvice fusion restaurant. Highlight: White chocolate Grand Marnier mousse in pistachio tuille cups. Price per person: 595 CZK.

U Emy Destinnové
- No set menu, but special Valentine's Day dishes, red roses for the ladies, and live music will lend this cozy below-ground restaurant an even more romantic tone than usual. Highlights: Grilled scallops wrapped in bacon with red currant wine sauce, fresh-grilled lobster, shrimp, and langoustines.

V Zátiší - The long-standing Prague restaurant is planning a four-course menu, including a "sweet surprise." Highlight: Roasted Barberie duck breast with foie gras and mashed potatoes in bresaola, spring onion, and lavender sauce. Price per person: 1295 CZK / 1995 CZK with wine pairing.

For romantic after-dinner drinks, look no further than Bar and Books: both locations will be holding Valentine's Day celebrations. Buy a bottle of champagne and the lady will receive a strawberry fondue and cigar on the house; her man gets a flavored Durex condom. Formal attire is required.

And if you're in the mood to just stay at home and cuddle or whatnot, Bakeshop will be making all of its well-loved cakes in heart shapes next week. Especially recommended are the perfectly pretty marzipan-and-raspberry princess cake and the frosted heart butter cookies (see picture above). Happy canoodling!


images: williamssonoma.com, chateaumcely.cz, mandarinoriental.com, flambee.cz, gordonramsay.com, vzatisi.cz, praguespoon

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