Borgo Agnese – Brno, Czech Republic

Borgo Agnese is probably considered the best high end restaurant in Brno. It is located fairly close to the Spilberk Castle grounds.

We were in the neighborhood and dropped in to see if they could seat us. There was some hesitation on the part of the staff, but we were eventually seated to an empty restaurant. As our meal progressed, the restaurant did fill up quite a bit, thanks in large part to a large party with a celebratory event.

We decided to go with the Degustation Menu (<$50), which included 10 courses and an intermezzo.

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Place Setting

I must say that the table setting is quite impressive and very forboding.

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Tomato Sorbet

The meal started off with a tomato sorbet with basil. This was a refreshing way to start of the meal, as the acidity of the tomato made your taste buds dance.

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Duck Breast

Next was Salted Duck Breast with sea buckthorn gel, cantaloupe and balsamic vinegar. The duck was cooked to a nice medium rare, but the dish was served on the colder side so the full flavor of the duck was somewhat muted.

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Prosciutto & Melon

Next was the classic combination of Prosciutto and Melon. The prosciutto appeared to be a little dried out, but still had that salty, fatty goodness that was mellowed out by the melon which was just slightly under ripe.

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Corn Soup

Creamy corn soup with crayfish, lemongrass and quinoa was next. The addition of lemongrass added a Southeast Asian twist. It added a nice citrus accent to the soup and mellowed out the crayfish.

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Black Tortellini

Up next was a Black Tortellini with seafood and saffron cream. The tortellini was way too thick, and made it very dense and chewy. It unfortunately had a rather unpleasant texture.

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Foie Gras

Grilled Foie Gras with miso, orange and sweet potatoes was the next course. The foie gras was grilled nicely to render out some of the fat and provide a textural contrast to the buttery inside. The miso provided a salty, umami punch while the orange and sweet potato helped to control the richness of the dish.

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Sweetbreads

Veal Sweetbreads with white carrot puree, blood sausage, nuts and Shimeji mushrooms was served next. The sweetbreads were overcooked and a little tough, while the carrots added a touch of sweetness. The blood sausage was a little dry but overall good. The Shimeji mushrooms added another layer of earthiness to the dish.

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Intermezzo

The intermezzo was calamansi and lime. While providing a nice citrus punch to reawaken the taste buds, it was a little too sweet overall for an intermezzo.

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Halibut

Halibut was next which was served with chickpeas, barley, chives, tomato and garlic chips. The halibut remained moist and meaty, while the chickpeas and barley provided some earthiness to the dish. The garlic chips were very pronounced, and seemed to overpower the dish.

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Wild Boar

Next was Wild Board Osso Bucco with Jerusalem artichoke puree. The wild boar had a nice gaminess to it, while the Jerusalem artichoke several ways provided earthiness and a little sweetness to the dish.

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Blackberry Cheesecake

Finally, dessert consisted of Blackberry Cheesecake, which was semi-deconstructed as the crust was crumbled onto the top of the dessert. The cheesecake was on the lighter side. The blackberries were sharply tangy which help offset the sweetness from the cheesecake.

The restaurant is perhaps the nicest restaurant in all of Brno, both in design and ambition. Service was somewhat rushed and uncaring.  It appeared that since we did not have a reservation that they wanted us out of there as quickly as possible.  The menu serves some risky dishes such as sweetbreads and foie gras, which are things many people shy away from. The overall meal was pretty good, but there were too many missteps in preparation and cooking that prevented this meal from being great to excellent.

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