When I heard that a chef who ran the kitchen at La Finestra in Cucina had opened a new restaurant in Dejvice, I put a meal there at the top of my to-do list. Chef Tomáš Černý also worked with Vito Mollica at the Four Seasons, which earned a Michelin star.
Dejvická 34 is just the latest in a boom of new restaurants around Prague 6 and 7. It’s a smart-looking place with a bright, small upstairs section and a larger, stylish dining area downstairs. There’s an open kitchen at the back.
We started out with a cocktail: Pimm’s with fresh orange, sparkling water, and fresh basil over crushed ice (135 CZK). It was quite watery, with the sweetness and citrus mainly at the bottom of the copper cup. The restaurant serves drinks with plastic straws, which I am against. I asked that they not include straws, and they happily complied.
They served good-quality bread, focaccia, and a sliced white loaf. But it was not the freshest, and the texture was a little spongy.
We had two starters. The corn soup with coconut milk, turmeric, mushrooms, and fried squid was beautifully presented (89 CZK). The thin layer of sweet, creamy corn didn’t have a great depth of flavor but was pleasant enough. It was held on one side of the bowl by the other ingredients. The squid was a bit chewy and could have used more seasoning. The mushrooms enriched the flavor of the dish, but didn’t pair well with the squid in my view.
We also had the homemade Parmesan brioche starter with Sicilian caponata and marinated AAA anchovies (239 CZK). The caponata was delicious and sweet, studded with big pine nuts. The brioche was a missed opportunity. Although it had good Parmesan flavor, it was rather dry and crumbly. The brioche, served at room temperature, lacked the buttery beauty we had hoped for. A better brioche would have been transformative. The salty taste of the anchovies was excellent, but we didn’t think it went well with the dish. The soft, silky textures of caponata and the fish were too similar. The anchovies also had many soft, tiny bones that not everyone likes to eat.
We tried two main courses. The risotto “Cacio e Pepe” was the star of the evening (315 CZK). The buttery rice distilled the essence of black truffle and pepper – really beautiful flavors. It was topped with a generous amount of grated truffle and Parmesan chips. The rice was mixed with diced potatoes, which is not a common style. For us, the addition of the extra starch was a distraction, but some find it perfectly acceptable.
Shortly after this, we had black truffle risotto at La Bottega di Finestra. It’s fair to say that, overall, Dejvická 34’s version was clearly superior in terms of flavor.
The cod with mushrooms was the most expensive dish of the evening (495 CZK). It was a big and fresh fillet. The white, glistening flakes of fish were fairly bland. Although it was billed as grilled, it didn’t seem so, with no exterior crispness, just soft skin. The more flavorful part of the dish was the black lentil puree underneath. It also had chive oil. The menu said it came with a tomato ceviche, but aside from the dried tomato slices and a few diced pieces, it didn’t really register.
All of these dishes are suitable for pescatarians, and the risotto would be a good option for vegetarians.
We were tempted by desserts like vanilla mousse with red fruits, strawberry jelly, and pistachio bread (135 CZK), duo chocolate cake with praline crisp, passion fruit, and baked egg whites (139 CZK), and tiramisu (115 CZK). But we were too full.
The service was friendly and helpful. The chairs and benches without cushions upstairs were not comfortable over the course of a long meal. We wish they didn’t use paper napkins and wasteful paper placemats on the tables.
The modern bathrooms, with automatic taps that help save water, were excellent. They were also stocked with lotions and hygiene products.
Overall, this new restaurant didn’t meet our high expectations. We’ve been to La Finestra and Allegro at the Four Seasons in its early Michelin-star days. Those are high bars, and this meal didn’t clear them in this restaurant’s opening weeks.
But we’d go back for that truffle risotto and hope that, over time, we’ll find more delicious offerings like that on the menu.
Dejvická 397/34, 160 00 Praha 6-Bubeneč
Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-10pm