My Yummy Valentine

Prague's top tables for Valentine's Day dining out, plus crush-worthy cocktails and edible gifts

Here in Prague celebrating Valentine’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon, so it’s not quite the onslaught of hearts and chocolates and roses and pressure that it is in, say, the United States. Still, if you don’t want to risk overcooking expensive steaks at home or don’t have time to tidy up your flat before your hopeful lover arrives, check out this roundup of restaurant events for Feb. 14, and book early to avoid disappointment!

Valentine’s Day Menus



CzecHouse Grill & Rotisserie
On the evening of V-Day, CzecHouse in the Hilton Prague has a six-course menu that costs 2,950 CZK per couple, accompanied by live music from 7 to 11 p.m. The menu comprises salad of slow-poached king crab with mango and pickled tomato relish; heart-shaped lobster ravioli; lobster bisque and Armagnac foam; pomegranate and thyme sorbet; skin-crisp sea bass fillet on saffron risotto with black mussel infusion or roast duck supreme with orange crust, sweet-potato gratin and Montepulciano wine reduction; coconut-pineapple Napoleon with passion fruit ice cream; and Illy espresso with sweets. To reserve, write to restaurants.prague@hilton.com.

CottoCrudo
The flagship restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel, known for its excellent Italian cooking by Executive Chef Richard Fuchs, has a three-course menu for 1,450 CZK per person. The menu includes a starter of scrambled eggs with truffles and egg crisps with Parmesan fondue, Champagne risotto with Navelli saffron and scallops, and a choice of entrée: either milk-fed veal with potatoes Galette and foie gras with wine sauce, or fillet of turbot baked in filo pastry with fresh basil, beetroot mousse and Ossetra caviar. Dessert is a chocolate soufflé with raspberries and Amarena cherry coulis with a selection of homemade ice cream, as well as tea or coffee. To book, call 221 426 880 or email reservace@cottocrudo.cz.

CottoCrudo's seared Bretagne scallops
CottoCrudo’s seared Bretagne scallops

La Boucherie & Bistrot M
Tucked away on a side street in Smíchov, the French delicatessen up front belies a charming little space out back, with an open kitchen and consistently wonderful French specialties. For Valentine’s Day, there will be an a la carte menu of romantic dishes available for several days (Feb. 13 and 14 from 6 p.m.; Feb. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m.), with the choice of four courses for 1,999 CZK per couple. The menu features a choice of smoked salmon “Paupiette” with horseradish crème-fraiche and home-made celery chips, duck carpaccio with truffle and basil olive oil; cream of zucchini soup with chives; cream of cauliflower soup with chorizo; roast rack of lamb in a honey and mustard crust flavored with rosemary; purple potato puree with Provencal tomatoes, rosemary jus; poached monkfish tail in a clam and shrimp bouillon with creamy sauce with saffron rice; and chocolate fondant with a wild strawberry coulis. For reservations, call 702 033 020.

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MOOD Restaurant
It’s worth the trek to the far side of Žižkov for a meal at Mood, and the restaurant has a V-Day menu for two that costs 1,400 CZK. The three-course menu features foie gras with caramelized white-chocolate sauce and homemade brioche; tuna tataki with Nori seaweed and teriyaki sauce,  avocado puree with coconut milk, lemon foam and sakura salad; and panna cotta with fresh strawberry sauce, turmeric and basil. To make a reservation, call 222 517 615.

Mozaika
In Vinohrady, the much-loved Mozaika has a reasonably priced special menu for Valentine’s Day at 590 Kc per person. It includes a glass of sparkling wine; octopus carppaccio with wild-salmon roe and balsamic reduction; duck breast over oranges with carrot puree, gratin potatoes and Sicilian orange sauce; and homemade toffee with a chocolate ganache, caramel sauce and walnuts. To book, call 224 253 011.

Mozaika dining room
Mozaika dining room

Le Winstub & La Gare
Starting at 4 p.m, these two French-inspired restaurants just off náměstí Republiky, Le Winstub and La Gare, offer special menus for the 14th. In both places, the menu costs either 899 CZK per person or 1,499 CZK for two. Upstairs in La Gare, there will be strawberries with green apple; egg stuffed with truffle risotto and foie gras; creamed goat cheese with truffles and herbed vinaigrette; baked oysters with bacon; lobster etouffee with strong bisque served with Greaille potatoes, slow-baked cherry tomatoes and crispy herb salad; slow-roasted Charollais entrecote marinated in herbs and sea salt served with Bernaise sauce, mashed potatoes a la Joel Robuchon and beetroot confit; followed by chocolate cake and raspberries. In the Alsatian-focused Le Winstub downstairs, the menu features access to the buffet bar of French delicacies (including raw oysters); tarte Flambee with goat cheese and caramelized beetroot; baked guinea fowl prepared sous vide and served with rucola salad, baked apples and a Champagne-lemon sauce; and a dessert of chocolate mousse with Grand Marniere and pistachios. For either restaurant, call 222 313 712.

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Charming bistro La Gare
Charming bistro La Gare

La Bodeguita del Medio
This Cuban-themed restaurant in Old Town is a great destination for fun cocktails, and on Valentine’s Day it is putting on a special three-course menu that includes a passion-fueling cocktail called Endless Love for 750 CZK per person. The menu features fish filet with salmon sauce, confit chicken croquettes with almond ice cream and red roses in chocolate sauce. To book, call 224 813 922.

Renommé
Just behind the National Theater, this little gem, which has only a few tables, has a four-course special menu for 1,540 CZK per couple, with duck confit with shallot jam and vegetables; tempura prawns with salad, grilled tenderloin with polenta and roasted peas and čololádové mille-feuille with fresh raspberries. Call 224 934 109 to book.

La Loca
In the Mosaic House hotel and hostel close to Karlovo náměstí in New Town, the La Loca bar and restaurant is preparing an affordable treat of a menu with three courses for 390 CZK per person. On offer will be gratinated mussels with piri-piri and Parmesan crust or beef carppacio in a tortilla with rucola, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan crème fraiche; grilled duck breast with red currant sauce and potatoes or grilled halibut with a Parmesan fondant, tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes and peas; and baked chocolate fondant with forest-fruit sauce and bourbon vanilla ice cream. To make a reservation, call 221 595 350.

An affordable menu and plenty of fun at La Loca
An affordable menu and plenty of fun at La Loca

Luka Lu
For the affordable price of 980 CZK per couple, this Balkan restaurant in Malá Strana has a three-course menu with smoked salmon with salad and toast, roast beef with pepper sauce and mashed potato, and panna cotta with mint and fresh strawberries. Call 257 212 388 to make a reservation.

Aureole
On the top floor of the tallest building in Prague, Aureole boasts some incredible views over the city, and its chic Asian fusion cuisine is top-notch. On the 14th, the restaurant and lounge has a five-course menu for 3,600 CZK per couple, which includes oysters, variations of sushi, Thai Tom Kha soup, roasted bison loin with chestnut puree with foie gras, and chocolate mousse with Marakua essence. To book a table, call 222 755 380.

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Balkan delights at Luka Lu
Balkan delights at Luka Lu

Something Extra-special

Why stop at just dinner? For an evening that is far from over once the plates are cleared, the NH Hotel Prague in Prague 5 has a Valentine’s Day package that includes a four-course dinner in the on-site Il Giardino restaurant with soft drinks, a bottle of wine or sparkling wine and live music; one night’s stay in an executive room; breakfast the next morning and a “sweet surprise.” The cost is 149 EUR per couple, and reservations can be made at 257 153 107.

For a truly unforgettable weekend, you can book into the beautiful Chateau Mcely in east Bohemia for two nights in a room or suite of your choice, breakfast included. For couples, there’s a special Valentine’s Day spa treatment for two and a four-course dinner in the award-winning Piano Nobile restaurant, a welcome drink and free use of the spa. Prices start at 8,820 CZK per couple. The four-course menu is also available on its own, for 1,390 CZK per person, and comes with an amuse bouche, Belon oysters with a shallot dressing, cream of parsnip soup with tiger shrimp, duck leg confit with caramelized root vegetables and pink peppercorn sauce, and a rose-scented chocolate fondant with warm raspberry coulis. To book the package or dinner, call the chateau at 325 600 000.

Frutiko's Valentine's Day Strawberries
Frutiko’s Valentine’s Day Strawberries

Just need a really great gift for the foodie in your life and flowers won’t do? Frutiko offers beautifully sculpted candy flowers and fruit bouquets for every budget and taste, while the CottoCrudo restaurant in the Four Seasons is offering decadently decorated boxed cupcakes.

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Where will you wine and dine this February 14, 2014?

My Yummy Valentine


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