Bellevue

Simply put, Bellevue is an amazing restaurant and it’s Michelin stars are well deserved. I am so glad I found this on TripAdvisor. I would describe Bellevue as Czech fusion food. I guess they serve Czech dishes with either a French or Italian  spin to them.

When we first walked in to the restaurant we were politely greeted by the hostess who asked us if we had made reservations. Since we didn’t, she said it was fine and offered to take our coats into the cloak room then took us straight to a table. Unfortunately the tables by the window were all taken, but we were very happy with our table nonetheless.

Since this was my first dinner in Prague, I was really excited to try different things. Luckily, the restaurant offers a tasting menu. You can choose between 2 -5 courses for a fixed price depending on how many courses you choose. In my case, I went for the 5 course meal for 1590CZK (about $85). Yeah I know it’s pricey for a first dinner in Prague, but just hear me out and keep reading. One thing to note though is that for the stated price, you can order anything on the menu. For example, if you went for a 3 course meal, you can choose one appetizer, one main dish, and one dessert OR you can have two appetizers and one main dish OR two main dishes and one dessert OR even go for three main dishes for all one price. Kind of a sweet deal if you think about it. Anyways, let’s take a look at my dinner shall we?

We were given chips when we were sat and they were some of the best chips I’ve ever had. One of them had some curry powder and another had some mint flavor to it. My mom and I finished them pretty quickly, but were too ashamed to ask for more. As I was looking through the menu, our waiter, Andre, came by to introduce himself and to let us know about the daily specials and to explain some of the items on the menu. We asked him some questions about the prix fixe menu and then asked for a few more minutes to decided on what we wanted. Since my mom and I weren’t starving, we thought that maybe we could share a 5-course meal and picked what we wanted. When Andre came back, we asked him if it was alright for us to share. He told us that it should be per person, but he let it slide and let us do share the courses. He explained that the more courses you order, the smaller the portions get so it becomes more of a tasting menu. In our case, that was all we really needed. So as we made our final decisions, Andre explained how each dish was prepared and I was really impressed by his knowledge of the menu.

A few minutes after ordering some of the other waiters brought us out some amuse bouche, compliments of the chef. What we had was gelatin with diced salted ham. The gelatin was flavored with herbs and some citrus if I remember correctly. It was served on what looks like some tile flooring but I thought it was a really fun presentation. There was so much flavor in such a small dish. I literally finished this in two bites.

Our first appetizer was the Seafood Degustation with included Lobster in Lardo di Colonnata, scallops with barley kuba, and a tiger prawn tempura. Each was so small that we had to cut each one in half just so we could try them all. My personal favorite was the prawn tempura because it was a pretty meaty shrimp and quickly fried. I also really loved the lobster and the sauce they used. It was cooked to perfection and not rubbery at all. The same thing goes for the scallop and the barley that came with it was very tasty and had a nice texture, a little grainy and a little chewy.

The second appetizer we had was the mushroom risotto with mustard on the side. This was also a really good dish. The risotto was al dente and had some springyness. The sauce was creamy and had some garlic in it. Honestly, I can’t really remember what kind of mushrooms were in it, but all I remember is that it was very tasty. I love anything with mushrooms so I this was a must have. I think it came close to being one of the better risottos I’ve had, but nothing beat the one I had in London.

The first main dish we had was the monk fish. We originally ordered the Sea Bass special, but Andre put in the wrong order. After we asked him if we said the wrong thing, he remembered that we did order the sea bass, but he didn’t write down the order. He sincerely apologized for the misunderstanding as offered to take it back. We decided to just keep it because we know that we can have amazing sea bass at The House and that we should go ahead and try monk fish. To me it wasn’t a big deal that our waiter put in the wrong order because he had been so good to us that it was easy to let it slide. The fish was actually really good though. It wasn’t very fishy, which I was afraid of because I never had monk fish before. The fish was flaky and was seared nicely. I like that it was a lighter dish because we still had two more to go.

The second main dish was the traditional Czech duck with red and white cabbage and dumplings. The first thing I noticed was the size of this dish was huge. It turns out that the kitchen ended up giving the full-sized portion instead of the smaller serving for the tasting menu. The duck was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It’s very meaty and doesn’t have all the fat like the roasted ducks have from Chinese restaurants. I know some people don’t like eating duck because it might taste gamey to them, but I love duck so I was a happy camper. The glaze on the bottom was really good and was probably the drippings from the pan (score!). As for the cabbage, I was afraid it was going to be a lot like sauerkraut, but it was actually really light and didn’t taste too pickled. I actually liked the dumpling. It reminds me of stuffing during Thanksgiving, but my mom didn’t really care for it (which means more for me!). I guess she didn’t like the spongy texture, but I really enjoyed it.

For dessert, Andre suggested that we try the semifreddo with zabaglione. We went for it because he described it very well and seemed like the more interesting choices off the dessert menu. When the dish was brought, I realized that it was pretty much vanilla ice cream and chocolate sprinkles. Don’t get me wrong though, it was some very high quality ice cream, but I’m not much of a vanilla kind of guy. Luckily, the chocolate sauce and raspberries brought so much more to the dish. The zabaglione was poured on the dish at our table and was a little warm. So if you try to put a little bit of everything on the spoon, you actually get a great combination of sweet and sour, creamy and crunchy (from the chocolate stick), and warm and cold.

Here are some of the decorations in the restaurant. I love how a lot of the pieces are very modern in a city that looks very traditional on the outside. I think the restaurant has a really classy vibe, but is not in anyway stuffy and uptight. I really enjoyed that the large party next to our table were having a great time and there was a lot of positive energy in the room. If we were to have a coveted table by the window, we would be able to look out and stare at Charles Bridge.

Overall, our first dinner in Prague was amazing. Andre was a fantastic waiter and everyone else who assisted us was fantastic. Many of the waiters worked together and always came to check on us. They were always making sure everything tasted wonderful, had our glasses filled, and cleared our dishes quickly, all with a smile on their face. I also noticed that everyone one who worked at the restaurant were all men except for the hostess. It was just an observation. For the most part, everyone spoke English well, which made everything very easy for us. What was funny was that I thought Andre’s English was so good that I wondered if he was even Czech. I was amazed by the way he was able to describe everything on the menu so fluently. It turns out that he’s originally from New Zealand! His wife is Czech so he moved to Prague. I really think he is a huge asset to Bellevue because of his ability to speak well to international visitors and really knows how to connect with his customers. He is very friendly and professional and is always doing his best for his customers. I talked a little bit about where we came from and how living in Prague is a lot different than in New Zealand. As I was taking a picture of the vase and was going through the pictures, I realized that he is in the shot. He is the one speaking to the guy at the on of the table. So now you can kind of make out who he is and can have him as a waiter when you go and eat at Bellevue.

My ratings:

Food: 4.67 / 5

Service: 6 / 5

Atmosphere: 4.7 / 5

P.S. The bathroom was pretty awesome! After you wash your hands, you can dry them using some fluffy face towels. Also, they provide customers with Q-tips (random, I know!) and hand lotion. I don’t remember the name of the lotion, but it smelled like springtime!

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About ajsrichantra

Simple things make me happy.
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