Restaurant Vila Primavesi
The Restaurant Vila Primavesi is Olomouc's best restaurant. and not only because of its location in one of Moravia's most impressive Art Nouveau buildings.
Art nouveau villa
The art nouveau villa housing the restaurant was built around the beginning of the 20th century by the wealthy Primavesi family. Seen from the street, the villa seems relatively plain but just inside the entrance gates intricate mosaics, wrought iron work and garden sculptures hint at the heyday of the Viennese art nouveau movement.
Hanak, Hoffman and Klimt
Otto and Eugenia Primavesi were active patrons of the arts and architect and designer Josef Hoffman, sculptor Anton Hanak and painter Gustav Klimt contributed to the construction and decoration of heir new home. Gustav Klimt is particularly associated with the Primavesi family for his well-known 1912 portrait of Otto and Eugenia's nine year old daughter Mada, a copy of which hangs in the entrance of the restaurant.
The entrance to the restaurant is from the viewing terrace at the rear of the villa, and an abundance of bright yellow pointer signs direct new customers along garden paths from the street entrance. In warm weather restaurant tables colonise the entire terrace and garden, including the upper floor of the adjacent medieval watch tower.
Elegant, understated and attentive
The restaurant proper has two large rooms and a small bar area. The large front room has nine tables with space for around fifty diners, and the rear room looked slightly smaller. The elegantly muted olive, cream and mustard-coloured walls are given an understated dash of colour with a series of reproduction Klimt portraits.
Attentive waiters glide around in spotless black and white uniforms, gentle jazz plays in the background and an upright piano nestles in a corner beside the long, low tank of gemlike ornamental fish. The young lady who brought my drink and meal made a point of walking around behind me and placing the dishes from my right hand side and I felt almost fraudulent to be partaking of such a high calibre of service because I was only there for the special lunch deal, which would have been plonked down unceremoniously in any Czech beer hall for around the same price (just under 100Kč/4Euros).
On offer each weekday are two 99Kč lunch specials, consisting of a small bowl of soup and a choice of two main dishes, one of which usually involves fish. If neither of the lunch deals is suitable, there are also good budget options on the a-la-carte menu. I especially liked the look of the Chicken risotto for 125Kč and the Salmon in a sesame crust with mashed potatoes for 149Kč.
From the more substantial end of the menu I was most tempted by the Roasted tiger prawns in garlic sauce with dried tomatoes for 299Kč, South American sirloin beef fillet with stuffed roast potato for 359Kč and Grilled duck breast fillets with chanterelle sauce and mashed potatoes for 289Kč.
Vila Primavesi, for all the above reasons, is the best place in Olomouc for dedicated foodies and anyone else with occasion for a dinner that needs to be just that little bit special.
Restaurant Vila Primavesi
Univerzitní 7, Olomouc
Reservations on (+420) 777 749288 or (+420) 585 204852