The year was 2012. I just finished my dietetic internship at Beth Israel Medical Center, which has now transitioned to Mount Sinai, and I felt a sense of freedom. Where better to reap the benefits of this long-lost feeling than to wander around Eastern Europe, specifically Bohemia, more specifically, Prague?
While visiting the family I Au Paired for in small-town Germany I make it a point to “country hop.” This time I hopped on an ICE fast train from Leipzig to Prague, solo. Back then I had no smartphone, and I used a paper map to guide my way through the small European streets. I still got around all right, except for that one time I was lost in the rain at 2 am, however, I did eventually find my way back to the Hotel Sunflower.
One thing I pack with me while traveling is a notebook and pen to write down thoughts, ideas, things I would like to do/see, and places to eat and drink. My weekend in Bohemia included the not-surprising visit to Prague Castle and Staropramen Brewery, and it also included some not-for-tourist places such as Bar & Books, and this other place I had read about that was known for its vegetarian food in the land of pork knuckle and dumplings. The Czech name of the restaurant was Lehka Hlava, which translated to Clear Head. Perfect, I thought. The name was called to me after my long-lost night. I needed to clear my head.
I remember there was a table of four women nearby me, my table of one. They were laughing, enjoying their food and wine. It made me miss my friends. I remember I had a starter, a main meal, and a dessert with one glass of wine. I remember it being the best meal I had in Prague, and I remember the bill was equivalent to about 12 US dollars. A score for a near graduate from NYU. I do not remember if I sat inside or outside. I think it was inside. Although I cannot recall exactly what I chose on the menu nor did I take any photos of it, I do know that my solo dining experience was welcomed, and the food was honestly delicious.
Eleven years later I glance at the menu on my computer. It includes items such as pumpkin and ginger soup with orange juice, vegetable consommé with yeast dumplings, spaghetti with tempeh bacon and sauce of baked garlic, gértaix – cheese balls with cumin sticks, wasabi dressing, and balsamic reduction, Kimchi-potato pancake – traditional Czech potato pancake with kimchi and spring onion, and hot raspberry crumble with mascarpone-ricotta cream.
The menu reflects the diversity of their chefs and each dish has a goal to both electrify and soothe the senses. I still think about this restaurant now and then. It pops into my mind as “those carefree days.” It was such a relaxing atmosphere and left me with a sense of, well, clarity. I left Prague happy and with lucidity. I did not get lost that night with my paper map.
Mon-Fri: 11:30 to 22:30
Sat & Sun: 12:00 to 22:30
Praha 1 – Staré Město
+420 222 220 665