GO for the garden, if you can.
photo: Saša Petrášová
Where: Palisády 40 / Tel: 02/5443-4618 or 0903/425-697 /
Open: Mon-Sun 11:00-23:00
English menu: Yes
Rating: 7 out of 10
SITTING outside Bratislava's cafes and restaurants these days puts you in a spring mood, even though the weather might not be quite what it is supposed to be at this time of year.
If you want to avoid sitting in the korzo, the capital's pedestrian zone, and would prefer something more discrete, U mamičky is the perfect place for a nice meal. It is one of the few restaurants in the centre to have a small terrace and a garden in a courtyard. And if it is a little cold outside, just order food that will keep you warm. The garlic soup, a cream-based and mildly pungent dish, is a good way to ward off a lingering chill.
The restaurant, which has been around for 11 years now, was originally known for its Balkan cuisine, but today it presents a wider Mediterranean selection.
The main attraction is the grill. Lamb chops, tender and infused with smoke and rosemary, come atop a creamy lemon-tinged sauce. This superb combination was my colleague's choice, helping me learn a lesson about ordering pasta in a place that specialises in meat and fish. My farfalle with salmon sauce tasted sweet, and the salmon did not resemble real fish. I now know what I am not having next time.
The Caesar and the arrugula salads with tomatoes and Parmesan were both fresh and full of flavour. A compliment U mamičky should not be denied is their use of original ingredients - such as avocado and prosciutto - which many other restaurants in the city have not discovered yet. They make wonderful starters.
An unusual but very customer-friendly feature of U mamičky is its two menus: one for lunch, with smaller dishes and lower prices, and the other for dinner, more heavily weighted in the direction of meat and seafood - offering chateaubriand, tournedos rossini, calamari, and spiny lobster - and much more expensive.
Another reason you might like to sit outside is that the interior is both gloomy and garish. Dim lighting, perhaps intended to give the room an air of intimacy, just makes it desolate, like a house with the blinds shut at noon. Astonishing swaths of pink fabric drape over the chairs, each festooned with a droopy bow. The place has the feel of a wedding reception, as conceived by an enthusiastic amateur designer from the American Midwest.
- with Tom Philpott
28. Apr 2003 at 0:00 | Saša Petrášová