By now you probably know all about theme restaurants in Lviv as well as all the special places to go. Well, here is a new one for you: Pretty High Kitchen. This place just opened in Lviv a couple months ago and Cody and I were finally able to go. This is another restaurant within the iFest group so you know the place is going to be well appointed. What is extremely unique about this place is that they do not have a menu.
Okay, they do have a drinks menu, so you can easily get a wonderful cocktail or wine. But the fact that there is no food menu at first makes no sense. How can a restaurant be a restaurant with no menu? Well, that’s all because of the talented chefs.
Let’s start with the basics. The atmosphere of the restaurant is eclectic, and reminds me a bit of the back room of a concert hall. There are random instruments along the walls and some of the tables are set atop old speakers. However the rich leather chairs and wood burl table tops, along with the perfect mood lighting lend quite a bit of elegance to the space. The focal point is of course the open kitchen, but right in front of that is a pair of huge white horns. I believe these are connected with a vinyl record player so the entire time your evening soundtrack is 20’s-40’s swing jazz. We heard quite a bit of Billie Holliday.
After taking your seat the waitress will pour complimentary water, give you the drinks menu and call over the chef. It is at this point where the creativity happens. You basically just tell the chef what you are in the mood for and they will make it. You can be as specific as you like, but I think the best way to do it is to be very general and hope for a good surprise.
On this trip we went with one of our expat to Lviv friends, Scott, so here are how all three of us ordered.
Cody: I’d like a fish. Chef: Do you know what type you like? Cody: Grilled maybe. You choose. Chef: Okay, and maybe something on the side? Cody: Something with potatoes.
Scott: Do you have steak? Chef: Yes, we have rib-eye, flank, and NY. Scott: I’ll have the rib eye, with some mashed potatoes and cream spinach. Chef: I think that is maybe too much food, what about either potatoes, or some roasted vegetables. Scott: Hmmm, ok then just vegetables. Also can I have a steak sauce? Maybe a reduction or something? Chef: I’ll just bring you three different sauces for you to have.
Alona: (I ordered in Ukrainian, of course) Grilled pork with potatoes. Chef: Ok
At this point we were told how much everything would cost around, and Scott changed from the beautiful looking perfectly marbled dry aged rib-eye to the flank. That was it, overall a pretty immersive experience, and one that I quite enjoyed.
After the chef went back to the kitchen the waitress brought us our drinks. We all decided to go for classic cocktails and they came out looking beautifully.
The thing we were most excited about was seeing what we got for our actual meals!
However before that we were given a complimentary appetizer from the kitchen (no wonder the chef knew that Scott was ordering too much). We received beautifully presented mille-feuille with a sun dried tomato pate, paprika olive oil, and sprouts and seed chips.
Cody got a whole grilled trout (a Carpathian specialty) stuffed with herbs with a side of roasted baby potatoes with a rough pesto. The fish was exceptional, and what was even more impressive was how they removed the bones without ruining the flesh.
Scott got a medium rare grilled flank steak that was cooked perfectly with a side of mixed vegetables, and three sauces. The requested reduction sauce along with a garlic sauce and something pretty spicy.
And as for me, well I got a grilled pork chop with potatoes in what reminded me of a bravas sauce from my time in Spain.
Overall I would say that Pretty High Kitchen by far exceeded our expectations and I will definitely be going back soon. It probably is not a place for the super indecisive since you should have a general idea of what you want before going, but the talented chef is more than happy to walk you through designing your own dish. Or just ask to be surprised.
Cocktails: 125 UAH ($5)
Beer & Wine: 70-100 UAH (about $3-4)
Appetizers: No Idea. Ours were complimentary.
Main Dish: All three of our dishes were between 250-300 UAH ($10-$12) and all three came with a side. If you order something super simple I’m sure the price is much lower, and if you order something luxurious of course it will be more expensive. However the chef will let you know about how much everything will be while you are discussing your meal with him.
Dessert: No Idea. We decided to go for a liquid dessert at 4 Friends Whisky Pub after dinner.
Pretty High Kitchen Lviv is located right in the center of the old city. If you are visiting Lviv chances are it is within walking distance. One thing to note is that you do have to walk up four flights of stairs before you reach the restaurant and there is no elevator.
Jet Set Together was not paid by Pretty High Kitchen which was featured in this article, nor were we compensated with free food for a good review. This is just a restaurant I happen to like and think you will too.