Hospoda the new Czech restaurant in the National Bohemian Hall provides an afterwork kickback joint for working ambassadors, in addition to an authentic foray into the Eastern European culinary world. The beer-centric Hospoda's claim to fame is their exclusively served imported Pilsner Urquell and scientific foamy head-tap ratios. Check out what people are already saying about the place.
The Mostly Good News: This Yelper likes mostly everything: "I started off with a small tulip glass of the berechkova, the traditional Czech apertif. Although not as complex as many Italian amari, it had a lovely honey and cardamom taste redolent of Atomic Fireballs that stimulated my appetite. Following this was a slab of rye bread slathered with cottage cheese and garnished with julienned radishes. As another complementary amuse-bouche was a steak tartare between two circular rye crisps. Almost like a meaty Oreo, this was solid food pairing with the crisp and hoppy Pilsner. Lastly, I had the pork belly with grated horseradish and mustard. All in all, this dish was a disappointment, as the pork belly tasted like fatty roast beef and the the dijon mustard overpowered the belly and even the horseradish. Hospoda is one the rare places that I would go out of my way to check out in the Upper East Side. Don't take my word for it; Czech it out yourself." [Yelp]
More Pretty Good News: Reviewer Jessie from EatBigApple heaped praise on Hospoda's artful alteration of traditional veggies: "My brother had a chilled duck breast, stuffed with celery hairs and topped asparagus foam. The celery foam goes down with a fascinating sensation. Somehow, greens you tried to avoid in your childhood, in foam-form, become a much more delightful way to go down." [Eat Big Apple]
The Great News: A Menupages user is very happy to have something like this in the neighborhood: "a great addition to the neighborhood. a gorgeous room with a tripped-out mural in walnut. the theme is beer and high-end austrain-czech style new cuisine. the portions are a a tad small, but with a big glass of beer the 32 dollar 2 - course prix fixe will definitely satisfy. the veal schnitzel with cucumber gelee was tender and an improvement on the normal slab of pork schnitzel that you get at places like blauganze down in tribeca. the barley/farro vegetarian dish was good comfort food. (though i might have enjoyed a twist on it...i leave it to the chef). the duck breast app was light, cold and tasty with beer." [Menupages]
The Okay News: NY Journal is especially pleased that the place isn't trendy. And the affordable prices don't hurt either. He's not blown away by the food: "On the main menu, there are seven appetizers and seven entrées, each consisting of a list of three to five ingredients, with no indication of what is done with them. Fortunately, the servers know the menu well and answer questions patiently. An example is: “duck breast, celery, pear, sour cream” (above left): a thin, and somewhat bland, slice of breast, served cold, wrapped around a pear salad and topped with a celery foam. Our other appetizer, “white asparagus, warm mayo, quail egg, bacon,” was breakfast topped with asparagus—fine for what it is, but unremarkable. Lamb leg (above left) was the evening’s best dish, a tender (although small) piece of lamb in a carrot purée with thyme sauce and a bit of spinach. Beef oyster blade (above right) tasted like the inexpensive cut of meat that it is, but the creamy dill sauce was very good, as were the barley dumplings." [NY Journal]
The Great News: Another Yelper chimes in, won over by some early day generosity: "Go here now. That's all I can say. My friends and I stopped in late on a Thursday night just for a few beers, and were met with amazing generosity. First they brought us a free round of small sweet/mliko beers (all foam and amazing). We then ordered a round - I had the traditional Creme Urquell on the server's recommendation and it was fabulous. They proceeded to bring us a complimentary round of their rye bread/cheese/radish concoction, then a round of some sort of beef tartare. Keep in mind - we'd only ordered one round of 6 beers at this point. Even so the brought us all macarons. The total at this point was about $50 - a steal for the amazing beer, delicate cuisine and overall experience (though we did order a few more after this - their charm worked!)."[Yelp]