Returning to this Vinohrady restaurant, Brewsta gives the Italian seafood specialists a second chance and is delighted by the results
"The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you're hungry again."
We first went to Aromi years ago, not long after it opened. For some reason, we didn't go again. I don't remember exactly why, but it just didn't give us the wows we are always searching for.
In the years that followed, either Aromi changed or we have. I'm willing to concede that either is eminently possible. I'd heard many positive reports. We went back recently and enjoyed it very much.
By recently, I mean four weeks ago. I've had something of a blog backlog buildup. Unfortunately, memory has become an issue again, so I can't provide the most detailed descriptions of the food.
What I can tell you for sure is that we got some wows this time.
Aromi is located on one of the most fashionable residential streets in the Vinohrady neighborhood. It is a 10-minute, uphill walk from the top of Wenceslas Square.
The dining room has an airy, wide-open feeling, with high ceilings and hardwood floors. It is divided into two sections that meet at the front door. Wine bottles fill shelves along some walls.
Aromi specializes in seafood, and they say they get regular shipments of fresh fish. The waiter will offer to bring out the tray and show you the daily catch. It is usually priced by weight. I am a little wary of ordering this way, especially since our unpleasant 900-crown grilled octopus episode. We told him not to bother with the show-and-tell routine.
We checked the menu, but a lot of the specials, written on chalkboards on the dining room wall, sounded too good to resist. They also have some written on paper in front of the restaurant.
For a starter, we decided to split the seafood antipasto for 395 CZK. Loved it.
Clearly, there were sardines, crayfish, grilled squid, snails, and cuttlefish under their own black ink.
But here's where I'm having the most trouble remembering. On the left, there appears to be a scallop under breadcrumbs, based on the shell. But I'm not sure. I have to admit, I do not know, nor did I ever know what those long, thin shellfish are called. Perhaps someone can educate me.
The antipasto special didn't stop there. It also came with a bowl of mussels and clams.
The mussels were surprisingly fresh and delicious, considering it is the summer months. The clams were very small and not too special. They was chopped parsley and plenty of lemon, which contributed to the lemony broth underneath.
For a main course, V got the pasta and prawn special for 365 CZK. The prawns were freshly cooked and retained the great flavor that frozen, packaged prawns often lack.
The pasta was perfectly cooked, and filled with fresh tomatoes in the sauce. There was plenty of garlic in there and it was topped with fresh, chopped parsley.
I had gnocchi with beef tenderloin and tomato sauce for 285 CZK. This dish also had the nice chunks of tomato in the sauce. It was topped with a few sprigs of rosemary, which actually added a lot to the flavor. The beef was excellent, very tender.
The gnocchi were very light and came with shaved Parmesan cheese on top. Intitially, I found it all a little bland, so I added extra powdered Parmesan, along with several shots of salt. That really improved things, and I liked it very much. I would get this again, even if I have to put in some work seasoning it to my own taste.
For drinks, I had two 0.3-liter glasses of Stella Artois at 35 CZK each. V had two 0.15 glasses of a dry Soave, label unknown, at 120 CZK each. Not cheap, but she liked it. Mattoni sparkling mineral water was 45 CZK for a 0.3-liter bottle.
Service was good. Friendly, efficient, and relatively unobtrusive. The final bill came to 1,445 CZK. Not cheap, but it was a quality Italian meal. If the fresh seafood lures you in, or you order a whole bottle of good wine, the bill would climb well past that number.
I have a big sweet tooth and really would have loved to try a dessert, but pasta can be quite filling. There was no room. I couldn't wait 5 or 6 days until I was hungry again.
Tel.: (+420) 222 713 222
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