"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." Mother TheresaEver since my trip to Barcelona last year, I've been dreaming about the tapas.
I had joyful, unforgettable meals at places like Tapas24, Bar Mut, and La Cova Fumada. I've tried tapas in Prague over the years, but I never found anything that kept me coming back for more.
When I got the tip that a real Spanish tapas place had opened, I got there as quick as I could. La Terrassa has a great location on the Vlatava, straddling the pointy end of Dětský ostrov (Children's Island).
I took the tram 10 to Zborovska and walked about 10 minutes to get there. One could also take a tram to Arbesovo náměstí, which is about the same distance away.
There are several options on where to sit. One is an attractive indoor space with blond wood floors, rough stone walls and hanging hams that convey both a modern and rustic feeling.
David Diaz at work.
We ate here on the first visit and enjoyed watching the cooking show.
First off, we received bread (35 CZK).
One of our favorite bites in Barcelona was also one of the most simple: the pan con tomate -- bread with tomato. We ordered that, hoping to be carried back to Catalonia (45 CZK).
I much prefer the version we had many times in Barcelona. It was made on a special bread that looks like this. Pieces of tomato and garlic are lightly rubbed into the rough texture of one side and it was drizzled with olive oil. I had pan con tomate recently at Jaleo in Washington DC and they actually imported this bread from Barcelona. I wish they could do that here.
To drink, we ordered glasses N.V. Paul Cheneau Cava Rosé (95 CZK).
We got a plate of mussels (125 CZK).
We tried the Galician octopus (235 CZK). With this preparation, the octopus is boiled and then seasoned with paprika, salt and olive oil.
On the other hand, we both greatly enjoyed the Jamon Iberico de bellota (145 CZK).
My Italian companion eats grilled vegetables any chance she gets. We ordered two plates (65 CZK each).
We decided to sample the larger meat and fish dishes. I had the Galician beef (450 CZK).
My date got the sea bass with fennel sauce (390 CZK).
I noticed the sea bass was not on the Internet menu as I was writing this and some of the prices have changed. They did tell me on one visit that the restaurant is new and the menu is still evolving.
For dessert, I was in the mood for chocolate, but there was no chocolate on the menu. I mentioned this to the server and was told they did have chocolate cake (75 CZK).
Our server was really nice and always smiling, though sometimes confused by the many different plates coming and going. We did see our veggies under the heat lamp for much too long. Also, it's normal to see chefs sample their work, but we were a little surprised to see several chefs eating what looked like full meals as they cooked.
The tab for this outing, which included a bottle of cava, came to 2185 CZK before tip. While there were some misfires, we liked enough of what we tried, plus the vibrant atmosphere, to look forward to a second visit.
We returned a few days later and sat in the second dining area, which looks and feels like the inside of a wooden ship.
The two dining rooms are non-smoking, but smoking is allowed on the outside terrace that covers the end of the island.
Then came another tapas classic, the tortilla de patatas (65 CZK). This was perfectly executed.
We had to taste the baked tiger prawns with garlic and chili (145 CZK). Delicately delicious.
For a main course, I had the lamb chops (295 CZK).
That said, I enjoyed them. There wasn't a large amount of meat, but it was very lamby and tasty. As I consumed it, fat and all, I thought of it as something akin to lamb bacon. The aubergine puree, made with apples and wine grapes was a complement deserving of the highest compliments. It raised the plate to a higher level.
To go with it, I had the baked potatoes (45 CZK).
My date had the dorade or sea bream (360 CZK).
She had the Mediterranean salad on the side (90 CZK).
For dessert, I went for the Crema Catalana Cremada (85 CZK).
The bill for this meal was 1950 CZK before tip.
Would I go back to La Terrassa. Yes. There a number of dishes I'd have again. And again.
The style, look, and location also left us with a good feeling. The service, though not flawless, was friendly and accommodating.
I didn't consider all things great, but enough of the small plates were done with great love.
Janáčkovo nábřeží - Dětský ostrov
Prague 5 - Smíchov
Tel: (+420) 604 300 300