Michelin delivers again! Today we went to Čestr- a modern restaurant focused on quality ingredients, especially heritage Czech-raised beef. Our meal was amazing from beginning to end. The atmosphere and service were very comfortable. We each had the three course tasting menu.
Before we ordered the chef sent an amuse-bouche. A lovely custom in better restaurants. It is a single bite appetizer sent as a gift from the chef to “amuse the mouth”, to get you excited to eat and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s style. We had a small piece of Czech bread (similar to light rye) with a light egg salad spread topped with chives. Yum- I was amused!
We started with tawny port- sweet, fruity, great pallet wetter. For our first course we opted for raw. Adam had the house tartar and I had the “sashimi”. Wow! Adam’s tartar was buttery and flavorful with just a hint of minerality from the steak. It was served with house-made chips and an ever-so-slightly poached quail egg on top. Superb! My “sashimi” was thin slices of tenderloin with mirin, Apple purée, and ginger micro greens. I could eat this dish every day- clean, deceitfully simple, satisfying to every taste bud.
Adam had the unfiltered cask-conditioned Pilsner Urquell. I had the Cuvée Čestr 2011- a spicy, fruity red perfect for steak and roasted meats. For our second course Adam had the Golden Muscle and Shank slow cooked in goose fat served with a delicious gravy and onion potato dumplings. It was deeply, satisfyingly homey. I had the roast chicken with truffle stuffing and country potatoes with homemade cream cheese and parsley. Heaven. We had thoroughly tucked into our meals when I exclaimed, “oh my goodness! It’s Thanksgiving!”. Seriously. Everything was so delicious. There was so much of it and it was only the second course! Did I mention heaven?
We were worried the third course would push us over the edge. We were so full and so happy already. The kind waitress asked if we would like her to wait to bring the steak course, perhaps have some brandy? She read our minds. “Yes, please”!
After a short intermission, the steaks arrived. Adam had the Hanging Tender – wet aged for 28 days- with French fries and the mushroom sauce. Again. Amazing. The fries were so good. The steak was perfectly cooked medium rare with a smoky char on the outside. I had the Flap. Again, perfect. With the perigord sauce (truffle, butter, port) and the mixed vegetable salad. Wow!
We were so full, but the food was way too good to miss dessert… We just had to… I had a scoop of the fresh house-made orange sorbet and the apricot brandy. Adam had scoops of house-made vanilla and dark beer ice cream. Both were excellent. The beer ice cream was unique and delicious.