LIKE at your granny's, huh?
photo: Eric Smillie
Where: Kasalova 8, Nitra
When: Monday-Friday 10:00-24:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-24:00
English menu: No
Rating: 7 out of 10
IT IS wet. Moisture hangs in the air and gusts of wind occasionally blow it, cold and prickly, into our faces. It is a perfect day to stop by St Hubert's.
At St Hubert's, as U Sv Huberta translates, is a hideaway restaurant a few bus stops from the centre of Nitra and a few blocks under the Calvary.
It is also a bit of a stronghold of opulence, finding its only rival in fanciness at the Zlatý Kľúčik, the Little Golden Key, on the opposite Zobor Mountain.
Inside, Hubert's looks like your grandmother's fancy dining room used a few times a year for special occasions, gone wild. The heavy wooden chairs are upholstered with embroidered fabric and the tables dressed in multiple embroidered tablecloths. It is dim and greens and tans colour the shadows drapping over the tables and into the corners. Stuffed game and portraits of animals and landscapes litter the wall space.
Personally, stuffed animals do not pique my appetite, though the unusual opportunity of seeing deer, birds, and boar up close and in detail is fascinating in its own way. However, there is something warm about them. Perhaps they act as natural insulators or maybe their stuffing soaks up the heat of the room and keeps the air still and restful.
Our service was attentive, possibly because we were the only guests in the dining room, which is outfitted with straightforward bar tables. Orders were no sooner taken than a couvert appeared on the table. A pleasant broccoli cream soup in a bread-roll (Sk90) followed, setting the meal on the right course. The next dish, however, was a little off. Proposed as a Secret in a Clay Pot (Sk160), the result was actually no surprise - broccoli and potatoes buried in a swamp of heavy cheese and cream and then baked. It was heavy.
My companion, however, praised the chicken breast cooked bandit style (Sk180). Fried in a light batter with herbs, the meat was tender and juicy. The rice ordered as a side dish, however, was too dry.
When the meal finished there was no compulsion to leave. Perhaps it was the idea of the bus trip back to the centre, short as it was. Perhaps it was the wet billows of fog outside, full of foreboding. Or perhaps it was the warm, heavy atmosphere. Settled in our chairs it was easy to find excuses to stick around and order coffee, if only to help recover from the secret in the Clay Pot.
To reach U Sv Huberta, take bus 25 or 7 from near the downtown Tesco supermarket to the Špitálska or Ulica 8 mája bus stops, respectively. The restaurant faces the small square by the bus stops.
31. Jan 2005 at 0:00 | Eric Smillie