Friday, September 16, 2016

La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise in Prague

A shrine to Czech cuisine, La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise is one of only two Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague and serves the best contemporary cuisine in the city. Located in a quiet square on the edge of the Jewish Quarter, the restaurant was a revelation for Czechs and visitors to the city when it opened in 2007. Inspired by the 19th-century culinary school of Marie B. Svobodová, the menu at La Dégustation is seasonal and sensational. Before opening, executive chef and co-owner Oldrich Sahajdák personally assembled a team of Prague’s top internationally trained talent, poaching some from the city’s best restaurants and luring home others from abroad, such as sommelier Kristýna Janicková who worked at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester in London. Their mandate: Revive and add a contemporary twist to the haute cuisine traditions of late-19th-century well-to-do Bohemia.

"Czech cuisine is made up of bits of Hungarian, German and Polish cuisine" explains chef Sahajdák. "What we're trying to do is introduce classic Czech cuisine to the world. We find all of our recipes in Svobodová's book, how to treat ingredients, how to use every single part of the animal. We're trying to cook the old way, as they used to in the book". In doing so, Sahajdák has reconnected with a style of cooking and culture that was lost during the repressive years of communism. Specializing in 6 or 11-course tasting menus inspired by traditional Czech recipes and prepared using modern gastronomic procedures, the first menu Dégustation du Chef is a gourmet ensemble carefully prepared with the freshest seasonal produce from Chef Sahajdák and his team; the second menu, the Menu Dégustation Bohème Bourgeoise, is a Bohemian tasting selection that adds a creative twist to traditional 19th and 20th century Czech cuisine. Wine pairings are optional, and like the food, all the wines are Czech. La Dégustation's team of three sommeliers, five waiters and an experienced restaurant manager ensure an impeccable dining experience, making it a top destination for any culinary pilgrimage to Prague.

The new interior of La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise by designer designed Olgoj Chorchoj

Chef Oldřich Sahajdák


Second Amuse-Bouche with Foie Gras Fritter, Duck Confit Wonton and Truffle Tortilla

Third Amuse-Bouche of wafer thin melba toasts with succulent beef tartar

Fourth Amuse-Bouche: Pickled Quail's Eggs

The first wine pairing with our testing menu, a 2015 Czech Créme de Rosé from Dobra Vinice

An opaque unfiltered Rosé, the wine was light, delicate and delicious

The first course of the Bohême Bourgeoise Tasting Menu: Roasted and Marinated Bell Pepper filled with curd and and dusted with defrutum

A small loaf of squishy warm homemade bread arrived in a hot ceramic bowl, 
which was addictive and absolutely delicious

House churned butter with creme fraiche served on a cold silver platter

The open kitchen gives diners an exceptional view of the chef at work

With a table next to the kitchen, we were thrilled to be able to watch each dish being prepared

The second wine pairing: 2015 Czech Sauvignon Blanc by Roman Fabig

We became great fans of the fabulous Czech wines

Raw and roasted tomatoes with tomato foam, mustard and thyme

Exquisite to the last spoonful...

The third wine pairing: a 2014 Hibernal by Petr Koccarik

Wild Czech Trout with almonds, asparagus and edible flowers

The fourth wine pairing: a Czeck Pialek & Jager Chardonnay Grand Reserva

Chef Sahajdák arriving with one of our dinner courses

Chicken with corn purée, corn foam and shaved truffles

The fifth wine pairing: a 2008 Cuvée Skale by Pavel Springer

Beef Heart with Prague Ham with a cucumber sauce and mustard seeds 

Sheep Cheese Arnika with potatoes and rowan berries

The Sommelier arriving with the Dessert beer and wine pairings

Matuska Beer pairing with the cheese course

Yogurt, Blueberries and Juniper

Dessert wine pairing of 2012 Lokus Cerveny by Jan Stavek

Glass of the the Dessert wine

Housemade Marshmallow called 'Googoo'

A portion of the marshmallow is snipped off and served as a sweet finish to the meal

Tea served in a French silver teapot made in Paris

A hot cup of tea

The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town on our way back to the hotel after a wonderful dinner at Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise

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