Last week there was a midweek Czech holiday and the Mrs., Little NH and I decided to make a brunch/lunch of it at Prague’s Cafe Savoy. If you’ve never been, Savoy is worth a visit. It hardly feels like you’re in Prague. It feels more like Paris or Vienna. The service is great, the food is very refined and the atmosphere laid back yet, neat as a pin. The cafe itself seems to have a sense of sophistication that manages to avoid out-and-out snobbery. It turned out to be the perfect setting for an early afternoon epicurean adventure.
Mrs. NH started out with the Fresh Pea Soup. I had tasted hers the last time we ate there and I recalled being pretty impressed. It was just as good this time. Little dollops of mashed potatoes arrive in the bowl and the creamy, bright green soup was poured in afterward. Fresh and tasty.
I decided to go a little heavier with my starter. The Escargots à la Bourguignonne was my selection and provided excellent flavor and brunch conversation with my 2-year-old.
“What’s that daddy?” she asked.
“Want some?” I queried.
“Uh, no thanks. I’m eating French fries right now.”
And that was that. But I can’t blame her too much. The fries were good. Shoestring, golden and really crispy with just the right touch of greasiness to add a layer of decadence. But back to the Escargots – I was amazed how good they were. They were as good as any I’ve had anywhere – including France. This fact just helped to add a layer of authenticity and otherworldliness to Savoy.
Next, there was the main course. Mrs. NH decided to treat this as more of a brunch with a Mimosa and a Savoy Omlette with Gruyére. It was one of the prettier omlettes I have ever seen. The eggs were bright yellow and contrasted nicely with delicately dressed pile of greens on the side. It was rich and full of flavor.
Again, I decide eschew any brunch protocol and go in heavy with my main course. I ordered up a dark, heady Kozel beer with a rustic Veal entrecôte á la Périgourdine which included truffle sauce and fresh spinach leaves on butter. I told you I went in heavy. It was a rich, bold, yet balanced meal that was the perfect complement to a cool fall day. It certainly made the outing feel like a special occasion and gave me the same sort of pleasant lethargy that I used to get at Sunday brunch at the country club after church.
We took our time through the meal and the attentive but not overbearing service was perfect. I was a little worried when the bill came that all of this pleasure might come at a very high cost. My fears were unfounded, however. When I looked at the bill, it seemed just about right. Not to mention, with all of the money we had saved in not actually driving to France for lunch, we’ll certainly be back to do it again.