Restaurace Mincovna

Staroměstské nám. 930/7110 00 Prague, Czech Republic • Staré Město, Praha 1+420 727 955 669restauracemincovna.cz

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I’m back baby! Sorry for the hiatus to those of you who were heavily relying on someone to speak the truth amidst a sea of fake news, but my other job got kinda busy.

Excuses aside, there is absolutely no excuse for why this place is so damn good, because by all conventional wisdom, it should be touristy crap. Located right in tourist hell central, on the Northwest corner of the Old Town Square, Mincovna somehow manages to zag against all low expectations and nails it on all fronts. The setting is modern and clean (pictured), whilst paying homage to the arches and catacombs of its medieval surroundings. It’s also quite sizeable, so if you didn’t make a reservation, chances are you can just walk right in.

For a drink, I highly recommend doing as the locals and getting a fresh, ice cold stein of Pilsner Urquell. Yes, it’s basically like Coca-cola around here, meaning you can get it everywhere, except a nursery ward in the hospital, although I’m not even sure about that, to be honest.

The reason for said recommendation, however, isn’t to be a lemming, but rather because the cuisine here goes so friggin’ well with it!

Speaking of which, let me start by saying, “Pickled cheese!? Where have you been all my life?!” Shockingly this has yet to make it to the states, and I’m about to write a letter to someone, because it’s a massive culinary oversight. Now, in case you’re wondering WTF is pickled cheese, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. It’s pickled cubes of white cheese in a mason jar with herbs, scallions, sunflower oil, hot chili peppers and pickled onions on the side. Served with a buttery, soft Bavarian pretzel.

Another must-get is the beef tartar, served with a wonder smoky mayonnaise, marinated chanterelles and topped with a marrow parsley salad, because why not? Obviously there’s toast too, but you could eat this off a plank of balsa wood and it would be incredible.

For entrees, the cauliflower pancakes, while admittedly a bit of a zag to get, are insanely good. As is the sausage, the gnocci and the brisket. The only average dishes of the lot for me are the trout and schnitzel. I’d skip those in favor of the more interesting fare.

And while it’s a bit of a classic, with not much of a twist, the apple strudel is pretty darn good too, assuming you are some freak of nature and actually have some room left in your stomach.

So, all in, I’m giving Mincovna a super strong four and a hearty thank you for proving the old adage true once again, you can’t judge a book by its touristy cover.

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Aromi

Mánesova 1442/78, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady, Czech Republic
+420 222 713 222 • http://www.aromi.cz

126911-14-aromi-prague

When in Prague, the temptation is to take in one of the amazing Czech bier gardens and in all honesty, should definitely do that too. However, if you find yourself growing tired of Eastern European fare, than I strongly urge you to take in one of the best Italian meals I’ve ever had in Europe. And strangely enough I’ve been to Italy twice and Aromi is better than 95% of the meals I had in Milan, Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany.

From a killer wine list to an amazing olive oil served with the bread, things started off with all systems go and not a hitch followed. Everything was delicious from the antipasti to the pastas, entrees and dessert. And for a land-locked country, even the seafood was excellent.

Service was friendly and attentive, offering great recommendations and the décor is warm and elegant, yet inviting enough to welcome even the most casual of diners.

It was easily my favorite meal in Prague- well, tied for my favorite, after all, bier gardens do have their merits.

5 teeth