Hoffa Bar still largely undiscovered
New venue has many faces: cocktail bar, night spot, tapas hangout and low-key lunch locale
Posted: August 28, 2013
Like its namesake, the controversial former American labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, there's more to newly opened Hoffa Bar than meets the eye.
When you first enter, high exposed concrete ceilings, large windows and sleek monochromatic decor give a fresh, airy feeling. From the stylish menu written in white chalk listing liquid temptations such as "chilli meloun" and "espresso Martini" you would probably automatically label Hoffa as a cocktail bar or perhaps just a great place for a date. Yet when you take a closer look, it turns out the kitchen also shines.
Senovážné nám. 22
601 359 659
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Sat.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
Tilapia with orange potatoes and rose sauce 110 Kč
Quiche Lorraine 110 Kč
Tyrolean dumplings with spinach and parmesan 90 Kč
Arugula salad with balsamic dressing 80 Kč
With a selection of small tapas-sized dishes, Hoffa is no place to have dinner if you want to end the meal with that rolling-out-the-door feeling. However, two or three dishes, at 50-100 Kč each, make for a filling light meal.
On a recent weeknight, we started by ordering a bottle of Navajas Rioja Reserva 2005 (490 Kč), a smooth, full-bodied Spanish red wine. The cheaper Navajas Rioja Crianza (360 Kč) is also a great option at a very fair price. Other international wines are available as well.
For food we tried the bel paese cheese with oranges (70 Kč), homemade tortilla chips and salsa (65 Kč), a cheese quiche with baked pepper (50 Kč) and a cucumber strawberry carpaccio (55 Kč). All of the dishes tasted fresh and were carefully prepared. The carpaccio was a particular highlight, with a unique balance of flavors created by arugula with honey dressing, artfully placed on a bed of finely sliced strawberries and cucumber, garnished lightly with chunky sea salt. This felt like a real gourmet steal at only 55 Kč. The evening menu, which is available till 2a.m., includes other out-of-the-ordinary dishes such as roast beef with celery remoulade.
Hoffa's kitchen also impresses at lunch. Each weekday there are four main course options, usually some kind of a vegetarian salad at 80 Kč, a warm vegetable dish at 110 Kč and two meat dishes at 130 Kč each. For an extra 10-20 Kč you can also add one of two soup options, again usually a vegetable and a meat option. The dishes are light, fresh interpretations of various types of cuisine. On one visit I tried the salmon with corncakes. The fish fillet, aside from being cooked to crispy yet moist perfection, was jazzed up with a liberal sprinkling of sea salt and dill, as well as decorative drizzles of pesto sauce. While the corn cakes were a bit dry and perhaps in need of another ingredient to spice them up, some may have appreciated their neutrality.
The vegetarian option of spinach quiche was also well received. The quiche was succulent and flavorful and served with a sizable garden salad lightly dressed with a honey-mustard style vinaigrette.
For dessert we tried the chocolate cake with blueberries (50 Kč), which was moist and not too sweet, with surprising hidden chunks of chocolate. Together with a perfect Vescovi cappuccino (55 Kč), this all went down very well.
On all visits, regardless of the time of day, Hoffa's staff has been attentive and friendly, regularly checking on tables to top up carafes of water or take additional orders. Despite the fairly casual atmosphere, the level of service is professional, which is always appreciated in this town.
Also appreciated are the free WiFi and the regular DJ nights held throughout the week, evidence that the managers are attentive to detail and eager to please.
Despite their attractive offerings, Hoffa has yet to attract large crowds. Yet if you hit the right night or come for a private party, there's great potential for buzzing energy. On such nights, tables quickly became piled with cocktails, glasses of beer and wine, and appetizing plates of food. Upbeat tunes from the DJ stand get heads bobbing and people overflow onto the sidewalk, perching themselves on the benches along the windows for a smoke or a breath of fresh air. Meanwhile you can sit in the nonsmoking interior with a crisp glass of Ryzlink, dipping your chicken quesadilla into some homemade salsa, thinking that perhaps you have found the perfect new hangout.
Jennifer Day can be reached at