During one of my visits to Prague more than ten years ago, I had by chance wondered into a small, inconspicuously looking bistro in the Old Town - a bistro then owned by one of the local artistic personalities. The food was outstanding - and I sought the then unknown Chef of the place, Mr Mirek Kalina. After then, I kept returning to the bistro almost daily - until the bistro was closed and Mr Kalina disappeared into the fast-evolving restaurant scene of Prague. On my subsequent visits, I often enquired about this highly talented Chef - but never came across him again.
It has been a common occurrence in post-velvet revolution Prague, that people who come to some money, hurry to open a restaurant - without even the slightest understanding of food or the many aspects of restaurant business.
The result? Failure after failure - to the point that it is virtually impossible to rely on past experience when choosing a place to eat after being some time out of Prague. How many times have I been embarrassed after recommending one or the other restaurants to my friends - only to find out that, since my last visit, the Chef of the place was fired, the staff left because the owner failed to pay their wages - etc. etc.
Well - I was very pleasantly surprised when I returned to Prague about a month ago - and found out that Mirek Kalina opened his own restaurant - and also entered into a association with one of the best sommeliers the country produced over the past two decades, since vine became increasingly important to the palates of local diners.
Needless to say, my wife and I have been frequent visitors to Restaurant Kalina almost on a daily basis. I will not bore the reader with long descriptions of the Chef's philosophy of culinary applications - the best description of all would be to visit Restaurant Kalina and try his various creations on the theme of Czech-French dishes in person. You will love it - and you will return again and again.
jdsepes - Switzerland