Address:Baštova 3, Bratislava
Hours: Every day, 11:00-23:00.
English menu: No
Credit Cards: No
Recommended: Yes, with a smile.
A wine cellar, or the Slovak word vináreň, is a novel concept for many expats. It's fun to go down a long stairway into a dark basement room, lit with candles furnished with wooden tables, and replete with wine.
Pod Baštou has all this ambience plus some of the best Slovak food in Bratislava, and another real treat - great service. After every one of our dining experiences, we left more than satisfied and always look forward to returning again and again.
The menu includes many dishes found in every Slovak restaurant, but it added some delightful variations. For starters a shrimp cocktail (SHRIMP!) is offered.
The soups are excellent especially the ever popular Halaszle (fish soup with paprika) and the garlic soup has lots of crushed garlic swimming in a clear broth.
When it came time for entrees we went with the curry turkey which was filling and sweet, not over spiced in such a way as to make it impossible to tell what has been curried. If you feel compelled to eat fire, there is a bottle of good Malaysian hot sauce on the table!
Other good choices on the menu include the beef stroganoff, carp on butter with nuts, mixed filet, and venison goulash.
The vegetarian dish, vegetable croquettes, sounded interesting but a big warning siren went off next to the word - fried. Don't be dismayed. Our waiter assured us that there was only a light coating with a tiny amount of oil and that it was quite a delicious dish. He was right.
The vegetables were plump, not over-cooked, and were covered with a light potato shell. The mushrooms with garlic are always good here: tender, fresh fungi atop a silky sauce is perfect with rice. Just add a fresh salad from the salad bar and you have a nice meal.
What really makes Pod Baštou special beyond a doubt is its service. With kind and attentive waiters a rarity in Slovakia, this is clearly an exception.
It's nice to have a waiter who offers dessert and coffee, and who really seems to enjoy his work. Dinner for two, including a bottle of wine was 467 Sk before tip. The cover charge is 15 Sk each, but does not provide anything.
24. Apr 1997 at 0:00 | Michel Litt and Graham Wood