Monday, May 19, 2014

Terra at Villa Richter

Terra at Villa Richter offers Italian food in Prague with wine from the St. Wenceslas' Vineyard, which dates back to the 10 century A.D.  In the central part of the complex and on the southern slope between the support wall of the Old Castle Stairs and the upper scenic overlook ledge path lies the renovated vineyard.  According to the legend this is one of the oldest vineyards in Bohemia, where the "Lord’s vineyard" were cared for by Wenceslas, the patron of the Bohemian Lands himself.

The renovated vineyard has grape varieties Pinot Noir and Rhine Riesling planted on it in a total volume of 2500 heads. (Image via hrad.cz)
Keith wanted a break from all the heavy Czech food, so he searched and found Villa Richter.  The main restaurant itself is a little more fancy, so we decided to dine on the less formal terrace instead, called Terra.  Intrigued by the onsite vineyard, we opted to share a bottle of the Riesling.  The wine was more dry than other sweet Rieslings, and not as complex.  It was not my favorite, a little watery, and not one I would order again.


As an appetizer, I was craving something with vegetables and chose the Bruschette Al Pomodoro.  Crispy baked homemade bread was topped with fresh tomatoes mixed with onions and garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.  The portion was large enough to share, but I ate it all by myself.


Keith ordered his own starter of Carpaccio con Parmigiano.  Extremely flavorful thin slices of beef tenderloin were topped with thick Parmesan shavings.  He really enjoyed this appetizer, which again was plenty enough for many to share.


For my main course, I was tempted by the Strozzapretti Gamberi e Zucchine.  Twisted spirals of pasta, almost like a spaetzle, were tossed with zucchini and shrimp.  The pasta was a bit undercooked, but the zucchini and shrimp were incredibly tender and lightly coated with simple olive oil and Parmesan. 


Keith ordered the Lasagna Bolognese with minced meat, bechamel and tomato sauce.  The piece looked a little dry, so he asked for extra tomato sauce on the side.  It was not the best lasagna he's had, and frankly, a little disappointing compared to the generous appetizers.


I had seen Apple Struedel on almost every restaurant's menu or chalkboard in the city.  We hadn't tried it yet, so when I saw that Terra had it, I knew I wanted it for dessert.  Their variation was different than I expected, with super thin slices of apples wrapped in layers of thin pastry.  Topped with lots of powdered sugar and served with vanilla ice cream and a large mound of whipped cream, this dessert was filling but did not live up to the excitement I had built in my head.


Our dinner at Terra was not the best meal we'd had in Prague, but a nice departure from the heavier fried Czech meals.  Also, the location perched on the hillside with the vineyard was unique and we had a cool scenic view of the city at night.  We snapped the above picture as we left the restaurant.  I was not impressed by the wine, but since we only had the white, perhaps the red variety is better.

Total Rating: 3.73
Food: 3.5, Price: 4, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 4.5, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
Bruschette Al Pomodoro
crispy baked homemade bread with fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil

Strozzapretti Gamberi e Zucchine
pasta with zucchini and shrimps

Apple Struedel
with vanilla ice cream

Plus Keith ate:
Carpaccio con Parmigiano
thin slices of beef tenderloin with parmesan shavings

Lasagna Bolognese
with minced meat, bechamel and tomato sauce

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