In late August, four months after shutting the doors of The Prague on Queen West, new owner Dejan Lazic (Jump, Czehoski) lifted the curtain to reveal the new Prague European Kitchen. The renovated four-decade-old deli is now brighter, featuring cleaner lines, abundant blond hardwood and white laminate tables stamped with Czech nostalgia. Rookie chef Jake Paradis (Jump), of Slovenian extraction, has expanded on the Prague’s Czech fare, drawing on the cuisine of the Balkans, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia to round out the menu with house-smoked ham hock and “buck-a-shuck” pierogies, among other dishes. The bar is stocked with increasingly familiar Eastern European beers and an idiosyncratic—and cheap!—wine list, with bottles from Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and the bartenders also mix a short list of house cocktails (the Balkan, for example, is a shot of slivovitz served with a side of fried pig ear). Fans of the deli’s retail operation need not fret: the new Prague has picked up where the old Prague left off, even adding its own line of canned goods, although the takeout counter and the restaurant proper are now a little more separated. The Prague European Kitchen is open seven days a week at 10 a.m.
Prague European Kitchen, 638 Queen St. W., 416-504-5787, pragueto.wordpress.com, @PragueT_O