Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Last night I left Will and Caroline eating ham and eggs (or “hemnekks” on the local pub menu) and headed out to dinner. Ladies night, supper club, girls on the town, call it as you wish - we were seven women leaving the kids and husbands at home for a night out. One of my guy friends asked me if we were going to go get wild - head to a bar or a dance club, stay up all night and party till dawn, or at least midnight - but we were really only looking for somewhere we could revel in nice table linen, prosecco and chocolate desserts, and of course, the chance to actually complete a sentence or two.

We met in Aromi, a new restaurant in Prague 2 with an open airy atmosphere that reminds me so much of Charleston, I expected to see shrimp and grits on the menu. The owners renovated an old bar and turned a tiny, cave-dark space into one of the most refreshingly well designed and decorated spaces I’ve seen in Prague. On hot days, they open their double windows wide and let the light and air pour in and that sunshine is a fantastic contrast with the stucco walls and exposed brick doorways, the wide board floors and dark grained tables.

There was no sunlight last night, we’re in the middle of our usual June ice age (50 degrees F and rainy) and Aromi didn’t have grits on the menu, but they did have the best seafood I’ve eaten in the landlocked middle of this continent. Mussels in broth, sardine, scampi, and tuna carpaccio kept me licking my fingers and glorying in the messy juicy experience of eating fresh seafood, untamed by a frying pan. Their salads are good too, and everyone enjoyed the chocolate tarts we divided and passed around, and the biscotti dipped in a honey sweet wine.

Service was slow, and we had to attach one of our bravest members to the elbow of a passing wine steward to get our orders placed. We decided to always ask prices for the specials – they can be surprisingly high – and double checked our bill. The staff had no problem removing the extra bottle of prosecco from our total, once we pointed it out. Ah Prague ;-).

But if you are used to servers who ignore you without the use of strategic foot trippings, and you don’t mind glancing through your bill, we, all seven of us, can heartily recommend it. And the table linen? It was beautiful too.

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