Those who read my reviews know that I rarely give out five stars. In my view too many reviewers hand out five stars for what are, in my view, three- or four-star experiences. The Hotel Promenada Restaurant, however, deserves every one of its five stars. First, the setting is small and intimate. The room is charming, traditional, and not overdone or kitschy. Second, the service is superlative -- given with a broad smile and great cheer. There is no whiff of the Soviet era here -- the staff aims to please! The headwaiter in particular deserves kudos for his good humor, knowledge and kineticism.
Most importantly, the food is excellent. Our dinner here was our first in the Czech Republic and remained our favorite regardless of where we traveled. In my view, you will have trouble finding a better restaurant in the country to combine traditional Czech cuisine with excellent ingredients and superior execution.
The best choices are those prepared tableside. The goose liver really benefitted from the flambee -- it was slightly crisp on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside. The duck was also winner, its skin crispy and the meat suffused with deep fowl flavor. The duck gravy was superbly rich and savory -- you wanted to splash it on everything. Only the dumplings were a little dry and under-flavored. The wines by the glass were excellent accompaniments to the meal. Finally, the crepe suzette prepared tableside was far better than the average dessert crepe. it was not too sweet and had excellent notes of bitter orange and dark caramel.
All in all, this was a memorable meal and a great choice when you're in Karlovy Vary
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