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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.


Cerny Kohout

Sorry again for the hiatus. It's hard to believe it, but I am graduating in 3 weeks. It kinda sucks that everyone will be separated for good, but I do look forward to living in San Francisco again.



It turns out the what I think was probably the best meal of our trip landed on our last night in Prague. It was at a restaurant named Cerny Kohout, which had a reputation for good cooking with modern Czech touches. The place was empty when we went - we actually had the entire place to ourselves for the whole night. I can't fathom why, as the food was delicious, the downstairs dining room was comfortable and elegant, and the staff was super friendly. I had arranged a tasting menu via email because it was gonna be our big last night in Prague, and it turned out to be an absolute steal. We got all of the following for 1200 crowns, which is about $50 a head.

zander fillet on garlic remoulade According to Google, zander is a pike-perch hybrid. I've never seen the fish before, and it turned out to be a pretty normal-tasting white fish, with a pretty mild flavor and slightly flaky texture. It was served chilled, and was a nice light opener.

"Goat chin" - cabbage soup with smoked pork, potatoes and cream I wish I'd asked more details about what the name of this dish means. This was, I think one of the superstar dishes of the entire trip. They seem to do a great job with soups in general around the region, and this soup was a perfect example. It had a very intense, hearty flavor from the pork and cabbage. The cream was thankfully very light-handed, and the potatoes added just the right bit of texture. Definitely one of the best soups I've ever had.

deer pate in butter crust, forest fruit sauce This dish was another highlight of the trip, and maybe even better than the soup. The pate wasn't as gamey as I'd expected, and tasted quite like a French country pate. Surrounding it with that beautiful, flaky crust may have been the best idea ever... I'm salivating just looking at it.

roasted duck breast seasoned with ginger and wild caraway, served with a red cabbage, onion and cranberry marmalade, garnished with potato medallions and caramelized apples This was a very nicely done duck breast, and easily bested Kampa Park's. It had an interesting mix of flavors going on with the sweetness and the ginger. The meat itself was perfect - juicy, tender, and flavorful.

veal fillet with "Old Prague" stuffing and rosemary souffle This veal was good, but not as good as the rest. It may have been because I was getting pretty damn full at this point. The Prague stuffing was an egg-based filling with some ham, sort of like a quiche I guess. The rosemary souffle was a tasty cross between a pancake and a frittata, if that makes any sense. The meat got slightly dry at the end.

Grandmother's blueberry cake with vanilla foam, and plum dumpling with curd cheese served with rum-spiked dark plum sauce I was pretty stuffed, but with a couple of courses still coming I had to soldier on. This was quite an interesting dessert - I loved the blueberry cake, which had a warm, gooey blueberry top with a delicious crust. The plum dumpling was too heavy for me though. I didn't like it much either; it was kind of like one of those Chinese-style sweet soup dumplings. Chewy, doughy, and not really my thing for a hot dessert. I'd rather have munched down that cake with some good vanilla ice cream... :)

Hermelin cheese baked in pear, served with nuts, cranberries, and grapes pan-roasted in Sauvignon The cheese came last, a little different than in France, but it was a cheese-fruit preparation so maybe that's why. I was really quite stuffed at this point, but still managed to gobble up the cheese pear thing. The mild cheese was actually melted onto the pear, and the couple made a great combo.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Cerny Kohout to anyone visiting Prague. We had 7 courses (8 if you count the not-pictured, fairly substantial salad that came with the mains) for $50, and the food was just delicious. I still can't believe we were the only customers of the night, but hey, the service was completely focused on us. They were professional and attentive, without giving that feeling of being constantly watched which I sometimes get when a restaurant is empty. Great food, great value.

Reader Comments (4)

Hi Arthur,

the food and photos looks nice, tasty. I like it. But the problem is that this is not Czech cuisine. I am Czech and I had problem to guess what is on your pictures. Anyway, looks like you had a nice time in Prague.

Monday, April 24, 2006 at 8:20PM | Unregistered CommenterBerka
Berka, I think, knows nothing about food. Cerny kohout doesn't do Czech cuisine "as grandma did it" but offers a rather sophisticated take on it. Berka seems to think that unless it's pork, dumplings and cabbage it's not Czech. Never mind. Glad you had a great time in Prague.
Sunday, July 2, 2006 at 1:54PM | Unregistered CommenterKaterina
Hello Arthur,

My name is Andrea, I am the daughter of your dad's long-time friend Alex Ou (I know, very random). Anyway, your dad, Kathleen, and Susu came over for dinner tonight and since I'll be going to Prague for school in September, your dad mentioned your website to me. I'll definitely check out some of the restaurants you've written about.

Okay, just letting you know that I've stopped by, good job with the site!

Saturday, July 15, 2006 at 5:55PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Hey guys - thanks for the comments. I'm not exactly qualified enough for this debate, considering I don't know a thing about Czech food. I'll let you decide for yourselves...

Andrea - hope you have a good time in Prague. It's an amazing place, and some of the food isn't half bad either. :) Thanks for visiting!
Saturday, July 15, 2006 at 10:36PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Che

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