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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.

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Saturday
Apr082006

Kampa Park

kampapark.jpg

Our next major dinner in Prague was at Kampa Park, one of the city's most reknowned restaurants. I'd read beforehand that though Kampa Park is a bit of a tourist destination, it so for a good reason and is a must-visit. I was thus expecting good but not mind-blowing food, and a setting to remember.

Upon our arrival, I understood why people say Kampa Park is a "Prague experience." The host asked us if we wanted a table in the main dining room or down in the dining area by the water. It was pretty cold, but after being assured it was warm down there we chose the water. We're glad we did - the dining area is literally on the bank of the river, with a view of the entire city right behind you. The Charles Bridge is right there. It was an amazing place to have a meal, and I can say with some confidence that it must be easily one of the romantic dinner settings in the world. We're glad we didn't pick the main dining room. As for the food... it was, as expected, good. Not amazing. But everything was certainly very decent. The service was excellent all-around.

carpaccio with arugula, basil oil, lemon and aged parmigiano reggiano - Kč 395 Carpaccio is apparently a pretty popular dish in Prague's dining scene, and supposedly Kampa Park makes the best version. They went squarely with the lemon/oil/arugula/parmesan direction rather than the original Harry's Bar aioli thing. This had a particularly heavy dose of arugula and parmesan, which I actually quite like (I'd be happy to eat a simple salad revolving around the two). The beef had the right thickness and temperature. Another drizzle of the basil oil might have been nice.

langoustine and porcini ravioli with Vichysoisse puree and walnut glaze - Kč 495 In awe of the setting, I got a little ambitious and decided to go three courses. This was my second app, and based on the description I expected a pasta. What I got was very different. I don't even know how to describe this dish. First of all, the two pieces are actually different - one was langoustine and the other was porcini. They were sort of like huge dumplings, but I'm not really sure what the outer skin was made of. It didn't seem like regular pasta or dough. Whatever it was, each of these were stuffed with ample amounts of langoustine meat and porcini respectively, and were really very tasty.

breast of duck with baked eggplant, parmesan/potato puree, duck rillettes and red wine sauce - Kč 745 This duck was alright, but a little bit lackluster, and the weakest of my three courses. The meat was somehow just a bit tough. The duck rillette pastry thing had a Greek feel to it and was delicious. The eggplant was good, especially considering I'm not the biggest eggplant fan. Overall, not bad but not that good.

chocolate fondant with roasted peach and verbena ice cream - Kč 295 As usual, we got a couple of desserts to split. The fondant in this was delicious - hot, chocolatey, and oozing. The ice cream was surprisingly light and a great foil to the cake. The peaches were a bit too sour for my taste.

strawberry cappucino with vanilla ice cream, meringue and forest berries - Kč 295 We weren't sure what to make of this when we saw it on the menu so we gave it a shot. It turned out to be a multi-layered puree type of thing. With each bite, it tasted better and better, and once we got the different elements mixed together it became delicious. It was like eating concentrated strawberry ice cream...

So in the end, my conclusion is the same as everyone else's. Kampa Park's food isn't world-class, but the place is a must-visit if you go to Prague. (Caveat: Keith claims his eggplant soup was the best soup he's ever had.) The setting is just breathtaking, with prices to match. Make sure you sit down by the water. And finally, any guys out there who are looking to propose... do it here and there is NO WAY she will say no.

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Reader Comments (3)

Yo Stop playing shadowbane and update your site!!
Monday, April 17, 2006 at 11:18AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael
*slobbers* Oh my god that carpaccio looks ravishing...
Monday, April 17, 2006 at 1:34PM | Unregistered CommenterErin Cooper
Arthur, please update us!! Miss your site.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 10:55PM | Unregistered CommenterTaz

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