La Rocca

In search of pizza, Brewsta instead finds disappointing seafood dishes at this Vinohrady trattoria

"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."
Jonathan Swift
V wanted to take me to La Rocca, an Italian restaurant in Vinohrady.

She really enjoyed a pizza from there a few months earlier and wanted me to try it.

We walked in past the bar area. There is seating upstairs, but we decided to go down another set of stairs.

The restaurant was relatively empty on a Friday night, with only a few other tables occupied.

V noticed there were no pizzas on the menu. She asked the waiter about it. He told us La Rocca has stopped making pizzas.

He pointed to the empty space where the pizza maker used to work. In the same area, there was a flat-screen television blasting out music videos.

V was very disappointed about the pizza.

We tried to assuage the disappointment with a couple of half-liters of Czech Budweiser (45 CZK) each. This usually helps many problems.

On our table, there was a hand-written special menu listing fresh seafood that was available.

I noticed when we came in that there was a small refrigerator table with a modest selection of fish, calamari, and such.

I briefly considered the calamari, which I believe was 399 CZK for 200 grams, but I decided it was too expensive.

V said she had tried the fresh Orata (Sea Bream) on another visit, which was nicely priced and she said tasted very good.

Instead, stuck to the regular menu, which also has a number of seafood items.

For a starter, we split a Caprese salad (85 CZK). It was made with sliced mozzarella that was creamy and had a little tang to it.

They also offer a Caprese di bufala, but you pay a premium (159 CZK).

The tomatoes were ordinary and I did wish we were given more than one leaf of basil. I had to cut it into small pieces to make it last while we ate the rest of the dish.

We were given balsamic vinegar and olive oil to apply ourselves.

I had the spaghetti scoglio (299 CZK) which came with one good-sized, shelled prawn, a few very tiny ones, and calamari.

I believe there was some other seafood in there, but it was very dark.

It was a generous portion. The big prawn tasted great. I appreciated the added flavor of the parsley.

The skins of cherry tomatoes also added to the flavor when they got on the fork, but there wasn't enough tomato flavor for my tastes. The calamari were rubbery. We thought the dish was only OK.

V got the seafood risotto (249 CZK). It also had one good shrimp. It was made with a tomato sauce that was salty and one-dimensional.

The calamari was just as rubbery as in the other dish. And the mussels, which came without shells, tasted... a bit off. I chewed on one that was just fishy badness.

Not pleasant.

Our total bill was 768 CZK. It was not the most expensive dinner for two we've had recently in these days of skyrocketing prices. But we didn't enjoy it so much.

We expected better. Thus, we were disappointed.

La Rocca
Vinohradská 32
Prague 2-Vinohrady
Tel.: (+420) 222 520 060

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