Dynamo

This international restaurant in the New Town generates some hits and some misses

dy•na•mo
/ˈdaɪnəˌmoʊ/ [dahy-nuh-moh]
–noun, plural -mos.
1. an electric generator, esp. for direct current.
2. an energetic, hardworking, industrious person.


Blogging aside, I actually do hold down a "proper" corporate job as well, and that both I and all the other members of my zany, eclectic, international team of office-based superheroes fall under the latter dynamic definition obviously goes without saying here. (Especially, boss, if you're reading...)


Still, "work hard play hard" they say -- hence last week's collective decision on the part of we female dynamos of team to ditch the menfolk and organise a long overdue girls' night out the other week.


After much discussion, location of choice was finally agreed upon as Dynamo, a stylish international restaurant on Pštrossova. This was going on my recommendation, as I vaguely remembered having gone in for a drink once there and finding the menu pretty varied and reasonably priced.


Dynamo, Prague


Already in the know as to my secret "Miss Knedlíkova" identity, the -- far more creatively gifted than I -- Miss C and Miss T (initials assigned according to nationality on this occasion!) both volunteered to do the photos for this review, which explains why the actual food photos are infinitely better than my standard blurry "point-and-shoot" shots. Thanks, ladies!


Kicking off with drinks, Miss U went for a Bloody Mary, Miss C for an iced ginger tea, Miss R for an American lemonade, while the rest of us just plumped for wine red or white -- as I recall, a glass of Chilean Chardonnay for me, Rulandské bílé for Miss C, and a carafe of Vavřinecké for Miss T.


Dynamo, Prague


Dynamo, Prague


I didn't include the prices because half the drinks listed on the Dynamo website don't seem to tally with the menu in actuality, and, well, I couldn't be bothered to brave the current miserable climes to go back and personally check. Expect pretty standard price range anyway.


Miss C commented that the ginger tea was very refreshing and not too sweet, while Miss R also really liked the generous chunks of fresh fruit in her American lemonade. Miss U, on the other hand, would like to go on record as saying that her Bloody Mary was far too peppery, to the point of being undrinkable. I had a sip and unfortunately have to agree with her on this one.


Anyway, moving on from drinks and on to the actual food.


Miss R and one of our Miss C's went for the Tuscan chicken on a bed of roasted vegetables and olives (155 CZK).


Dynamo, Prague


This went down very well with both ladies. The chicken was reported to be very moist and well-seasoned, and it certainly looked very aesthetically arranged on the plate.


Less good was the side of vegetables (50 CZK) Miss R ordered along with it, which looked and tasted like it had come direct out of a freezer bag.


Dynamo, Prague


Miss U opted for the grilled duck breast with cream spinach and mushrooms (185 CZK).


Dynamo, Prague


This also came well presented, with the duck nicely tender on the inside and crispy on the out, while the spinach was also seasoned nicely with large chunks of garlic and plentiful butter. Miss U pronounced herself pleased with the dish, and -- having had a bite or two myself -- I also thought it a good choice.


Miss T went for the medallions of lamb served with rosemary and cranberry sauce (195 CZK).


Dynamo, Prague


These came served with a side of roasted pepper, eggplant, zucchini and onion, which Miss T loved. The lamb, on the other hand, she said was complimented very well by the sauce, but slightly underdone for her taste -- another 10 minutes apparently and all would have been perfect with the dish.


Miss T also ordered a side dish of potato gratin at 45 CZK.


Dynamo, Prague


I am a sucker for carbs and cream at the best of times, but these two wedges were simply pure unadulterated stodge (in the best possible sense of the word!), and I couldn't resist stealing a rather sizeable bite... Next time I come I am definitely ordering this.


As for me, I was torn between so many things on the menu... The eggplant chutney with red pepper, served on fresh toasts with rocket salad, basil pesto and cherry tomatoes? The mixed salad with mozzarella, cashews, pear and sundried tomatoes? The goat's cheese served on sautéed spinach, walnuts, and potato dauphinoise? All sounded so good...


In the end I opted for the spaghetti with artichoke hearts, shallots, garlic and smoked bacon (139 CZK), while our other Miss C also went for the pasta option in the penne Padova with bacon, oyster mushrooms, sage sauce and parmesan (same price).


Dynamo, Prague


Dynamo, Prague


Both of these were a disappointment in comparison to the other meat dishes so far.


Miss C and I both felt that the gargantuan quantities (too much for either of us to finish) didn't make up for some of the collective failings here, namely the excess of pasta over sauce ingredients (bacon in particular being notably sparse here) and over-oiliness in both cases. Miss C was annoyed that that the oyster mushrooms as advertised on the menu turned out to be just normal bog-standard žampiony, while the artichokes in mine had obviously come straight from a jar, being inevitably oily and greasy as a result.


Neither dish was terrible, by any means, but in comparison to the other three superior meals, Miss C and I definitely felt somewhat short-changed. I'll have to come back at some point to redress the balance -- I have a feeling that, if I just avoid the pasta next time, I won't be disappointed.


A word on service and that word is "surly".


Which pretty much rounds it up for our girlie dinner at Dynamo -- the idea of further after-dinner drinks was temporarily floated, but of course we all had to maintain our own dynamic demeanour the next working day... I would also like to go on record at this point here in stating that, contrary to current male misconception among the remaining XY members of the team, we did not in fact spend the whole entire night talking about them. Sorry to disappoint, guys.


Overall verdict on Dynamo itself was that it was a little more AC than DC, with several highs in terms of food and drinks produced, but equally as many lows -- particularly with the frozen vegetables and two below-bar pasta dishes.


Back in my secondary school Physics class, I vaguely recall being taught that the classic example of a dynamo is that of the pedal-powered bicycle light, whereby the cyclist's physical energy is turned into electrical energy. If Dynamo could only put a little more energy into some of its dishes and service overall, then the place could really go from one that generates a decent but not particularly electrifying output to one that really has spark!


Dynamo
Pštrossova 29
Praha 1
Phone: (+420) 224 932 020


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