Where: Bernolákova 1, Zlaté Moravce,
Open: Mon-Thu 10:30-22:00, Fri-Sun 10:30-3:00,
English menu: Yes,
Rating: 9 out of 10
A WALK down the high street on a Sunday afternoon in Zlaté Moravce shows that this small western Slovak town is far from the hustle and bustle of Bratislava. One almost expects tumbleweed to drift across the deserted streets.
Only a close inspection of the town map gave us a clue that there could be somewhere actually open; it showed a hotel on what appeared to be a cobbled residential street just outside the town centre. Turning the corner we found cars parked along both sides of the street. At last, signs of life.
Even then, it was not easy to find the place. The outside of Restaurant Eminent, which is attached to an eponymous hotel, is very unassuming with just a single sign announcing its location. Walking through the gateway to the right of the hotel's entrance, it is hard to believe that this is a provincial town, and not the capital.
The airy, shaded courtyard is filled with tables. Balconies hung with flower boxes and a gentle fountain placed in the middle are some of the intimate touches that help create the perfect ambience for a leisurely Sunday lunch or romantic evening.
The menu is the size of a small novel and almost as enjoyable to read - with mouth-watering descriptions of intriguing dishes. Even the English version of the menu made the selections sound attractive - which is unusual in Slovakia!
The waiters were extremely patient as we struggled to choose, and were extremely pleasant and attentive throughout the meal.
I had the fried asparagus in cheese, one of the ten or so vegetarian dishes on the menu. Having no idea what this would be like, I asked the waiter's advice on the choice of dressing. Not only did he indulge my ignorance, he even suggested that I wait to see the dish before choosing. A small detail, but much appreciated.
The roast potatoes were crisp and seasoned with just a hint of paprika. The side salad was the standard mix of cabbage, tomato, and cucumber.
My partner had chicken breast in a rich cherry sauce. The sauce contained a considerable helping of fresh cherries, which "complimented the chicken perfectly".
Both of the main courses were quite large and made us too full to continue with another course. The dessert portion of the menu provides several pages of the usual ice-cream and crepes, along with more exotic combinations for which I will have to return one day to try. Having spied on neighbouring tables I can say that the dessert portions also looked quite generous.
When it came to paying the bill we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had received the 25 percent discount given to people dining on Saturdays and Sundays. The two meals came to Sk270, including drinks. That possibly explains why the place was busy while the rest of the town was not.
It seems as though I have no complaints about the Restaurant Eminent other than the fact that it is in Zlaté Moravce, a place I rarely have cause to visit.
4. Aug 2003 at 0:00 | Conrad Toft