November 18, 2010

Celeste Prague

by Sun

I've never been to a communist country before other than Berlin. I still remember how eerie I felt during my first visit about 12 years ago, thinking about all the horrible things that happened there. Since then, each time I visit Berlin, it's amazing how smoothly the transformation and integration of East and West have gone. It's quite impressive. At least so it seems from the outside.

Prague is another city that had always peaked my interest and since it was only an hour away from Berlin we decided to spend a few days there during our last visit to Berlin last May.


We checked into the hotel pretty late and we were hungry. So we stopped by a steak place called "La Casa Argentina" near the hotel which was rumored to be one of the best steak place in Prague. The food was good but I was shocked by how rude our waiter was. He wouldn't leave our table until we put the tip amount that he suggested and wanted. It's been a few months already and I don't remember the exact sequence of how we ended up at that point. Whatever it was, we left the restaurant with bad taste in our mouth.


Unfortunately bad service and rudeness are ubiquitous in Prague other than the hotel staff, and some of the high end restaurants we went to.
Which is quite surprising to me because their economy depends heavily on the tourism. Then again, Paris has been known for rudeness forever and people can't wait to go to Paris.

The highlight of our gastronomic experience was at Celeste which is situated on the top two floors of the "Dancing House" which you must visit. As most of Frank Gehry's uildings do, you can spot the building from far away even though the scale of the building is not as grande as his other work. Also, it's situated on the right bank of the Vltava river therefore it has a fantastic view from the restaurant.

The Dancing House is unique and rare modern treasure in Prague architecturally, since there aren't that many new modern buildings in Prague. You can't go to the top floor and see the view unless you dine at the restaurant, so make sure to have lunch or dinner at Celeste. Also, tell the waiter that you like to see the view from the top so he can show you the stairs to the top floor.

We had dinner at La Dagustation the day before where they have a tasting menu only and I was glad that Celeste offered both the tasting menu and A La Carte. So we didn't have to have another 3 hours long dinner. The food is modern French. Everything was well prepared, presented and tasty. I see Celeste as one of the most
romantic and exciting restaurants I've been to. Because everything about it is unique, special, and yet cozy. The location, the outrageous design of the building, the view, the food...... everything was just fabulous!




Thanks Celeste for making our Prague experience memorable one!

p.s. An unrelated (to food) tip - When I go overseas, I usually stop at several money exchange places to see which place would give me the best rate. There is one place in Prague that you will get the best rate. The place is called eXchange at Kaprova 15 near Old Town Square. I get so excited when I find places like this and can't wait to share it.

Buen Viaje!

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