Zlatá Praha

Whether it is our traditional hearty dishes, good Czech beer or our stylish and original folk decor, Zlatá Praha is your perfect escape to "Europe."

Upon recommendation from my grandmother, who immigrated to the U.S. from Czechoslovakia after World War II, we dined tonight at Zlatá Praha (which means Gold Prague). She knows what she's talking about. This meal was hearty and delicious and it brought me back to family dinners from home - and particularly reminded me of my trip to the Czech Republic a few years back when I dined with some family there on their farm.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was welcoming and friendly. V described it as almost like a church fellowship hall. It was brighter that we expected, dimmer lights and candles on the tables would have made for a more intimate setting. The walls were covered with pictures of Czech people and places and all around the room were mounted deer antlers and hooves (I'd never seen mounted hooves before).

The food was very traditional and home-style. We ordered pirogi (pirohy) as an appetizer which were served stuffed with potato and with onion and sour cream on top. The onions really made these delicious.

For the main course I had HOVEZÍ PECENE NA HOUBÁCH, beef pot roast served in rich mushroom sauce with dumplings. As I said above, it really reminded me of my mom's pot roast, though without the extra vegetables. The dumplings, half-inch thick slices of basically boiled/steamed dough, were good with the sauce, if a little heavy (though I believe that is how they are supposed to be).

My dad said that pork is big in Czech cuisine, so we also tried the stuffed pork cutlet, PLNENÁ PANENKA S NIVOU A ŠUNKOU. This was a breaded, stuffed pork cutlet with blue cheese and ham, served with potato salad. The tasty blue cheese oozed out reminding us of chicken cordon-bleu, and the potato salad was not American-style, which made it good.

We shared fruit dumplings for dessert - this was something my grandma had made for me years ago. They were filled with apricots and covered with a creamy sweet cheese and powdered sugar. We couldn't finish them because the meal was so filling, but they were good.

Overall, this seemed very authentic. The service was slow, reminiscent of Europe, but I think that is the way it should be, allowing time for good conversation and to savor the meal. The prices were very reasonable, with drinks the bill for three of us was only $70.

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