June 2, 2012
I’ve been living in Poprad, Slovakia for about 3 years now. I knew the place well since I used to visit throughout my childhood with my parents, but I’ve only ever been here while in holiday mode which is not the same as living mode. One of my main gripes about the place is that it’s difficult to get good food and good ingredients. The supermarkets sell very standard stuff and I have to frequent all of them because they specialize in different categories (Billa has good ham, Kaufland good veggies, Tesco is better at cheese and alcohol, HyperNova does good wine and ground meat etc.). The local market is rather pathetic in terms of selection. The overwhelming majority of restaurants and diners in this country are dismal as well. You’re usually fine while ordering mashed potatoes and schnitzel, but anything involving spices or good meat will almost certainly be a disappointment.
Imagine my elation when we found a fantastic place at walking distance from our home, quite by accident about a year ago. The serving staff speak decent English, the restaurateur is passionate and the chef is a genius. He has the knack of creating a dish around a key ingredient without exaggerating the taste. I know that sounds easy, but I doubt it is.
Today we attended a special tasting menu based on Slovak traditional ingredients and wines, and I was surprised to learn how many good ones there are produced here. The following list is mostly for my own reference. The wines were all selected from two native wineries; Ostrožovič and Vino Nichta. There were a total of six courses, each accompanied by two selected wines.