Food News: In season
Fresh produce, pubs and promotions
Posted: February 27, 2013
Pivovar Marina in Holešovice takes over a repurposed industrial space and is now open for dining, but its beers aren't quite ready yet.
At long last, we're on the cusp of getting out of winter - out of February at least, and into the more optimistic month of March. We can start thinking about the bright fresh vegetables in the near future and cast aside winter produce in favor of the flavors of the upcoming spring. And there's no better place to take advantage of the most seasonal products straight from the local producers than at the farmers' markets.
Some of the city's markets, such as those on Jiřího z Poděbrad in Prague 3 or Náplavka in Prague 2, have been operating throughout the winter, of course, with stall-owners braving the chill to hand out fresh bread and other baked goods, homemade sausages and dried meats, organic coffee and much more. The beginning of March, however, marks the reopening of one of Prague's biggest and best farmers' markets, Kulaťák, located in the grassy open area next to Vitězné náměstí, just by the Dejvická metro station in Prague 6. The market starts up Saturday, March 9, running each week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and boasts not only fresh produce, meat and bakery items, but also milk and cheese (Czech, French, Italian and Dutch) as well as steaming vats of goulash and racks of grilled sausages.
Last year, the restaurant Občanská plovárna also had a stand serving pad Thai and various curries, and Únětický pivovar was usually on hand selling pints and 1.5-liter bottles of its golden lager. The organizers say that for this, the fourth season, they plan to have even more options of ready-to-eat items, making the market not only a destination for a weekly feel-good shop but also a social lunch on the go and out in the open. Kulaťák's Facebook page has regular updates of specials and new vendors, as does the market's website, Farmarske-trhy.cz.
Several locations around town are also unveiling new establishments, such as the Pivovar Marina restaurant and brewery close to the river in Holešovice. The industrial space has seen a tasteful reconstruction of a former factory into a sprawling hall with wooden beams crisscrossing the ceiling, exposed brick walls and, of course, glistening copper beer tanks. The Prague Post's beer blogger Max Bahnson, aka Pivní Filosof, says the brewery's own pours won't be ready for another month or so, but the restaurant so far is up and running, with a solid-looking menu of lunch and dinner options. For more info, check Pivovarmarina.cz.
Another talked-about restaurant has been Peter's Burger Pub, in Karlín, which opened its doors last week. It follows in the tradition of burger-centric joints and has trendy brioche buns and interesting takes on the classic. Time will tell if it will rival the likes of The Tavern or Dish Fine Burger Bistro, or if there really is that much demand for gourmet patties. It purportedly has Kocour beers on tap, though, which is a cheer-worthy move.
In New Town, fittingly on Washingtonova street, the new expat dive hangout Washington's has been open since the beginning of the year. There are six different types of beer on tap, and half of those change weekly; additionally, there are three 50-inch big-screen televisions in the bar, which will show big sports events. Weekly events are in the works, too, like a quiz night and other specials. The website, Washingtons.cz, is still under construction but leads to the bar's Facebook page.
On Tuesday, March 5, at 7 p.m., the Italian restaurant La Finestra in Old Town will host the Michelin-winning chef Riccardo Agostini, who hails from Italy and the Il Piastrino restaurant in Puglia. Agostini will prepare a special seven-course menu based around Marchigiana beef that costs 1,650 Kč per person. For tickets, call 222 325 325 or write to email@example.com.
For those in Brno, La Finestra's sister restaurant Il Mercato will host and the same menu Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m., for the same price. Call 542 212 156 for more info.
Zdenek's Oyster Bar has a new Four Weeks Menu, which is put together by the chef every month. The latest includes langoustine tartare with pomegranate, wild oyster sauce and lychee coulis; red mullet with cocoa beans, jamón gnocchi, saffron glaze and dehydrated wakame seaweed; Wagyu beef neck with smoked leek, kohlrabi and gel-dried mushrooms; and coconut mousse with cherry sorbet and chocolate crumbs. For prices and more info, call 725 946 250.
Fiona Gaze can be reached at