Date Night is Back: Signature Restaurant
By Bruno Zalubil
When my wife and I first started seeing each other we had a Date Night every week. The first year it was every Thursday, then we changed to every Wednesday. Sometimes we went to the hot new restaurant that everyone was talking about. Other times we tried to find an interesting place hidden in a small neighborhood. It was something we looked forward to.
Then came kids.
Changing diapers. Sleepless nights. Snotty noses. Suffice it say, Date Night was over.
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Now, a few years later, the kids are a bit older and easier for grandma to watch — Date Night has returned. To celebrate, my wife and I tried Signature Restaurant & Lounge in Popůvky last month.
The restaurant is across the lobby from Casino Victory just west of Brno. If you have ever driven to Prague on D1, the building has a distinctive red roof with windows poking through; it is to the right as you start up the hill out of the Brno flatlands. Signature is clearly not in the center of the city, but the food and experience will pay off. It was worth the trip. I highly recommend it.
Everything is a bit off center Signature. The décor has a section that feels like a cozy wood-paneled den (complete with tall wine refrigerators) and another part that has the room-transformation and functionalist elements of Vila Tugendhat. It makes sense, because the clientele is diverse, including a full table of businessmen after a long day in the office, couples celebrating an anniversary in their cocktail-party best, gamblers taking a break from the roulette table, and long-distance travelers who want to relax over a cup of coffee and a warm meal.
The appetizer plates are artistic. The water glasses are goblets. The colors of the bowls are bright and rotate randomly throughout the meal. Every aspect of the restaurant has been considered down to the smallest details. It all adds to the atmosphere.
The food is a bit off center, too. Look through the menu. It’s not your normal fare. There are experiments and interesting combinations throughout. If you have a multiple-course meal, you will be taken through many different sensory experiences that will make a relaxing evening interesting through the adventurous presentation and mix of tastes.
Our appetizer was a ceviche with coconut milk and a few pieces of popcorn thrown in. Definitely an interesting mix, and a well-thought out start to the meal.
Then, a lobster bisque added a new angle and a nice touch on a snowy night in a landlocked country.
Duck foie gras brought the meal back to a more Central European sensibility, with fava beans, protobello mushrooms and a bit of foundation with baked slices of potatoes.
The beef brisket was tender and juicy, but was a bit of a miss because it was served on an Asian lentil salad.
The wait staff is especially accommodating. If you realize that your meal includes something that would induce an allergy, a new dish appears minutes later, freshly prepared and an adequate replacement.
The wine selections at Signature are interesting complements to the different courses, although my personal preference would be to skip the sweet Pálava style of wine.
The topper to the meal is dessert. Try the chocolate brownie. It is excellent, particularly with the excellent port-style wine from the Moravian winery of Jan Stávek in Němčičky. The combination was a fantastic choice to bring out the richness of the chocolate.
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Location is not ideal for Signature Restaurant & Lounge. A car is, basically, required. There is plenty of convenient parking. Approach from Popůvky; if you go from D1, the exit is hidden behind a gas station.
If you are looking for a new restaurant for your own regular Date Night, then check out Signature Restaurant & Lounge. Click here for more information.
Signature also has a special for Valentine’s Day. Prepared by chef Pavel Veltruský, it will include oysters, crab, garlic, seafood, baked pheasant and nougat — and there will be surprises thrown in. The cost is 1,290,-.
And, quite nicely, should you not be able to get a babysitter, Signature also has a Family Brunch. Click here for more information.
Click here for the Facebook page.