Osteria Da Clara: A restaurant worth (re)visiting

Today I’m going to deviate from my usual talk of sewing, cooking and traveling to write about a restaurant.  Not just any restaurant but one of my favorites here in Prague.  It’s called “Osteria Da Clara.”

It all started with Jennifer, an Italian-American girl I once worked with who told me she absolutely loved this place.   I’ve come to a conclusion, after eating all the to die for dishes in Italy, that if you could impress an Italian at the table, you must be really awesome in the kitchen.   So when Jennifer recommended me this restaurant, it already had me before hello.

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Lunchtime at Osteria Da Clara on 12.12.12, my birthday. Yes, we eat here on special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.

My husband and I often come here for dinner.  Though we try different dishes, we mostly zero in their seafood specialties.  In a landlocked country, getting sea foods is not impossible but I’m paranoid about their quality or freshness.   Such isn’t the case in Da Clara because everything smells and tastes fresh.

These are the usual suspects, er, dishes we order:

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Mussels overload.  You can order this soup as a starter or as a main course. This one in the photo was my main course last time I ate there. I’m good at how it’s not so massive or overwhelming  like the usual portions in Europe, but just right for me.

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Spaghetti galore.  It tastes even better than it looks.  I have to say that so far, I only know three people who can cook this spaghetti right:  my Auntie Tita in Italy,  the chef at Da Clara, and me.  Yes, me!  Because Auntie Tita taught me how.  Haha.

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Baked fish.  They have either sea  bream or sea bass.  The husband and I usually order just one side dish if both of us are having fish.  Once we ordered one for each and I stuffed myself silly because I abhor wasting food.  I could barely breathe after.

Just a reminder:  You need to book a table preferably one week in advance. The restaurant is small, unassuming, and is not really in an ideal location but it’s quite popular among Italian cuisine lovers.  All tables are always occupied especially at dinnertime.

Another thing to consider is you mostly have to wait about an hour for your main course to be served.  Rest assured, it’s worth the wait, so just get a starter if you come with a growling stomach.  Also, give at least two hours of your time when you eat here.  The mood is like in an Italian backyard where you while away the time between wine, laughter, stories, reminiscences and good food.

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For a starter, we tried their bruschetta before and it was delicious.  It was surprising that I liked it considering I’m not big on tomatoes.  I only eat them when they are fresh from my mother in law’s garden.  It seems Da Clara really gets things right.

I don’t know about you but I can’t finish any meal without eating something sweet.  I always have a dessert or a chocolate or a cookie, otherwise my soul will be restless and will forever haunt the kitchen.  My favorite dessert in this restaurant is tiramisu.

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Try their tiramisu and you wont be sorry.  Just remember to share it with someone because the slice is quite big.  I ordered one for myself the last time which earned me an approval from the server.  I think she said something like it’s good to see someone so slim eating so much.  Haha!  You have no idea, lady, how I can devour the entire fridge all by myself.

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The only thing I didn’t like much was their cheesecake.  I mean, it was good.  In fact the picky husband really liked it.  It’s just that my kind of cheesecake is the one loaded with cream cheese and sour cream, and so fluffy it sort of melts in my mouth.  To each his own, as we say.

Eating here is not just great for your palate, it’s also easy on your pocket — so true to being an osteria.   We were a party of four the last time and we only paid about 1900 kč which already included a 10% tip.  Check out their website for the menu and price list.  I noticed that the seafood dishes are not written there but they are roughly between 250-380 kč per serving.  They are also served only from Wednesdays to Saturdays.

This is one restaurant we can see ourselves coming back over and over again.  Aside from the food, the service is also worth mentioning.  Customer service are two words that the Czechs seem to have a hard time understanding, let alone giving.  I’ve heard and experienced several horror stories from horrible or nonexistent customer service here in Prague that would make Sidney scream, mind you.  I’m just happy to note Da Clara has it thriving.  I hope it stays as it is, otherwise it would be such a shame.

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Interior of the restaurant. Photo credit: as watermarked.

Osteria Da Clara is at Mexicka 7. Prague 10 – Vršovice .  Please call 271726548 for reservation.  For more of their contact details, visit their website at http://www.daclara.com.

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