PRAGUE, Czech Republic – In the restaurant business, some places have a head start thanks to the tools they have at their disposal. A great location is a tool worth having. A terrace is certainly a positive. Offering a panoramic view also is certainly part of the list. A famous chef never hurts. An inviting décor or a good press kit also helps. A well-defined theme and signature dishes … You see where I’m going.
In this series of articles, Cédric Lizotte visit some of the best restaurants in Europe. From France to Switzerland via the Czech Republic, here are the best places to sample the delights of some of the best chefs on the planet. Follow it with the hashtag #CedricInEurope.
In Prague, two restaurants in particular have the luxury to offer, in addition to a great meal, a stunning panoramic view. These are the restaurants and Coda and Terasa U Zlate studně.
The first, Coda, is a chic, modern restaurant in a beautiful city hotel, the Aria Hotel.
The second, Terasa U Zlate studně is a rather classic restaurant in one of the oldest hotels in Prague, Golden Well.
In both cases, hotel and dining room are in the Mala Strana neighborhood, on the west bank of the Vltava River. The Prague Castle is on the same bank and both Golden Well and Aria are right in the shadows of the majestic icon of the city.
If Aria Hotel is its restaurant’ counterpart, which is to say chic, contemporary, luxurious, the same can be said of Golden Well and its terrace restaurant: authentic, old, multi-centenarian.
Pictures of Coda:
In both cases, the panoramic view from the rooftop terrace is remarkable, stunning, spectacular.
Pictures of Terasa U Zlaté studně:
Coda and Terasa U Zlate studně: The Dishes
The dishes need to be in sync with the diners, and in both cases the chefs seem to know their customers well.
Terasa U Zlate studně serves the classics, the compulsory dishes, the ones that appeal to the masses. The managers of the restaurant are right to do so: their terrace is booked for every meal, noon and night, from spring to fall. (Reservations mandatory!) To prove my point, I’m served, as a first dish, a beef carpaccio with parmesan croquettes and grilled artichoke. The carpaccio has some sort of ketchup/tomato sauce underneath it… It doesn’t get any more middle-of-the-road than that.
Since Coda is rather on the forward-thinking side of things, its dishes play with modern cooking techniques. Innovation is sought, but not at any price, because they – the chef and his bosses – have to please a wide array of diners. As a straightforward example, therefore, I’m served a homemade beef ravioli, simple, with a little melted butter and parmesan shavings. The fresh pasta is so delicate!
For the main course, on the one hand – Coda’s – a grilled salmon salad; on the other – Terasa’s – a seafood dish of shrimp, tuna, cod and risotto nero. The cod and risotto are good. The shrimp and tuna, less so.
At Terasa U Zlate studně, classics we love, and desserts reflect this trend: a trio of sorbets and a slice of apple pie. The sorbets are exceptionally tasty. Superb.
Coda entices thanks to a nice presentation on slate. An apple-pecan pie, a cream quenelle and a ramequin of pecan ice cream.
In both cases, the panoramic view is the main attraction. In both cases, the decor stands out.
Terasa U Zlate studně is a classic, right on the tourist path, and for good reason: a history that dates back to the 1500s simply has no price! However I preferred Coda because of the service, which surpassed Terasa’s. Also, if you forgot to get a reservation, you have more chances of finding a table at Coda, since Terasa U Zlate studně is so popular. In both cases, it is a magically romantic experience. There is nothing like dinner and a panoramic view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Prague!
Terasa U Zlaté studně – U Zlaté studně 166/4, 118 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic – +420 257 533 322
Coda – Tržiště 368/9, 118 00 Prague, Czech Republic – +420 225 334 761