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GUIDE TO VALENTINE’S DAY TAKE-OUT MEALS IN PRAGUE

St Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and what better way to show your love and appreciation for your better half than not kill them and yourself after a year of being stuck in quarantine together? Oh yeah, a Valentine’s Day dinner. Sure, forgot about that one.But unless a miracle happens in the next few days, Prague will still be spending Valentine’s Day in a shutdown, so a romantic dinner will have to be a home affair. Again. But you can still win at life and become the hero your loved one deserves by getting a great take-out dinner for that special occasion and that special lady or man and finishing it at home in style.

This is where we come in with this overview of what’s available.Now, before you proceed, you might want to check out our guidelines to enjoying a take-out meal at home. It covers things like properly ordering, timing your meal, finishing dishes and plating. In addition, we have prepared a very special Valentine’s Day playlist for you, you romantic you. Click here to set the mood right. (Try if it works beforehand. There is nothing less sexy than someone „figuring out how this damn thing works“ when you should be at your romantic best.)

VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD BOXES IN PRAGUE

The Eatery

The Eatery, Chef Býček’s lean, mean, modern Czech restaurant in Holešovice, offers a nice romantic box for two, includes a „selection of starters“, duck breast with sweet potatoes, and chocolate tart, for CZK 1500. You can add two sparklings as a pairing if you wish. It can be delivered on Friday, which is great if you’d like to spend your Valentine’s on a chata or chalupa.

Výčep

Výčep, a Prague favorite for anyone who likes strong, delicious flavours, is coming up with a Valentine’s box for two, with foie gras paté and brioche bread, a steak to be finished at home with potato gratin, vegetables and truffle sauce, and a chocolate tart with black currant jam and more chocolate. The box includes a small flower and a link to a romantic playlist. CZK 1450 for two, CZK 1880 with wine pairings and digestifs. Available the entire weekend and the price includes delivery.

U Mateje

Chef Puncochar’s U Mateje offers two menus for Valentine’s Day, ready for delivery since Friday. One seems to be designed as „lighter“ and one as „meat-forward“ (our description, not theirs), and each goes for CZK 690 for three courses. U Matěje’s cooking has always been solid and this might be a great choice if the design fits your needs. BYOB.

Café Imperial

Speaking of famous chefs, Mr Pohlreich (who skipped the line and somehow got his hands on a vaccine early, boo) does not offer a set menu, instead letting you choose from a few dishes they have prepared for the occasion under the Café Imperial brand. This is some standards affair like hanger steak or teriyaki salmon or his signature beef cheeks, plus a Valentine’s-inspired chocolate cake and some pralines. A good choice if you don’t want to commit to a whole menu.

Sansho

Sansho, Paul Day’s casual fine asian dining restaurant, has a Chinese New Year-inspired Valentine’s box, available from Friday. As someone who has dined at Sansho for Chinese New Year’s, we know this can be really fun. Seven courses with dumplings, pork belly or kung pho chicken, and mandarin margaritas for two go for CZK 2500. Sansho’s sister, Maso a kobliha, also has a Valentine’s box for the same price, which includes a bottle of organic red wine, their famous Scotch eggs, 600g of their organic dry-aged Czech sirloin with truffle mash and greens with peppercorn sauce, and strawberry donuts. Yum!

Salabka

Now if you want to deliver a romantic one-two punch, look no further than the fancy shmancy (and we mean that as a compliment) box from the Salabka restaurant and winery. Just the box itself is a winner: it’s beautifully packed and instantly says „I did good this Valentine’s Day“. What’s included? A bottle of Salabka’s sparkling wine, poached oysters, scallop gravlax, 200-day aged beef confit, chocolate dessert and petit four. All of that comes at a price of CZK 3000, but what wouldn’t you do for love, right?

Mlýnec

Mlýnec, the modern Czech restaurant with a view of the Charles Bridge (remember views?) sells a great box for two with some finishing at home, too. We’re talking foie gras torchon, Vichyssoise soup, veal steak with sweet potato puree  and glazed carrots, and chocolate truffle cake with raspberries. Also included: an Aperol spritz mix, a bottle of Prosecco and orange juice, and a candle. All that for CZK 1390? Pretty nice.

Vinograf

Vinograf can’t stay back when it comes to Valentine’s Day: the popular wine bar and offers a three-course menu „for him“ (meat) and „for her“ (seafood and fish). Whether that’s cute or sexist, we’ll leave that to you, but they managed to squeeze in a bottle of Gala’s 2017 Pinot Noir – Merlot rosé sparkling, which is something that is dear to our heart (we visit the Galas on our Moravian wine tours whenever we can) and still keep the price at CZK 1390, so good job, Vinograf!

Pasta Fresca

Now, if you’re more Italian-cuisine inclined, Pasta Fresca has a Valentine’s box, and it’s the cheapest here: CZK 790 for two buys you a bottle of Prosecco, spaghetti pasticiana for two, and their delicious raspberry mascarpone for two. It’s strange that their Valentine’s box is the cheapest of the four boxes they offer, but you can always add on to the special from their regular menu. (Their truffle oil ragout cannelloni are da bomb.)

Vallmo

Vallmo over at Plavecká has a simple but intriguing box of their own: cocque au vin with grenailled confit in duck fat, along with a bottle of wine and their famous poppy seed strudel for CZK 1290, or CZK 790 without the wine. Just like most of these, this dish needs to be finished at home, but we like the simplicity of this, and Vallmo can deliver.

Nejen bistro and Dockhouse

Karlín’s Nejen bistro and Nusle’s Dockhouse, both from the Kolektiv group, have prepared a joint menu that includes a steak, a fancy dessert, smoked steak tartare, fish, loads of sides, ands their g&t, all for CZK 1080. Not to be finished at home – this will arrive hot and done and is meant to be shared, so it’s a great option if you do not have the resources or the confidence to finish your own food at home.

Bruxx

Bruxx, the Belgian restaurant on Náměstí míru, has a nice Valentine’s box, and it fits smaller budgets, too 2x coque au vin with potato mash, steak tartare with French fries, 2x onion soup, 2x ginger cake, and two Belgian beers to wash it all down with. At CZK 790, this looks like a steal.

Food Lab

Food Lab (whose kitchen, if you didn’t know, is headed by a chef who spent three years in Copenhagen’s 3-Michelin star Geranium) offers a Valentine’s box with foie gras paté (as a side note, many Prague restaurants are convinced nothing says romance as a piece of delicious cruelty towards animals), gnocchi in truffle sauce with Brie, sea bass on white wine, and chocolate praline. To be finished at home, CZK 1200, which seems great.

U Kurelů

U Kurelů offers the Smokin’ Hot Love Box – I would love to write what’s in it, but the lingo is too complicated. Let’s just say you have to like your food smoked and very sinful. But this is a fantastic choice if you’re into that stuff. A lot of items for CZK 800, and a vegan version is available too!

Kro Kitchen

Kro Kitchen does not have a box, but they will have a Valentine’s special this weekend, their Valentine’s ribs, along with the “Kroffle” from Kro Coffe next door.

Hey, who said you need to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner? Vinohrady’s popular Mezi srnky bistro offers a Valentine’s Day breakfast box, available on Sat and Sun, which includes a bottle of Prosecco for breakfast (heck yeah), their truffled scrambled egg croissants, raspberry panna cotta, and so much more.

YOU’RE THE SWEETEST THING

Some Prague establishments have opted out of the savoury game and decided to do sweet stuff only.

Café Jen in Vršovice is offering a box of cookies. Myšák has a box of different meringues and cookies, all or most in the shade of pink. You can add bubbles to that. Eska offers two small cakes – Paris and Florida. Votre Plaisir has a beautiful chocolate raspberry cake with a striking heart image in the middle. Wowza. And finally Café Savoy offers pink-hued macarons and větrník pastries, with or without bubbles.

Enjoy and spread love, not germs!