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e.g. restaurant, winery, štrukli, Malvazija...
e.g. Zagreb, Dalmatia, Istria

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Follow the Steps of Anthony Bourdain in Croatia

It took Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and world traveler, quite a while to discover Croatia and its bounties, he admitted. But then it blew his mind and palate! When you see it all in the Croatian episode of his TV show "No Reservations"

Staff's voice

Velikanović i Kosovec: Kontinentalna naklapanja

Čašne sestre neformalna su skupina iskrenih vinskih kušačica koje svoja nepca stavljaju u službu čitatelja neopterećenog stručnim terminima. Kušanja se odvijaju u ležernoj, ali posvećenoj atmosferi, u želji da se vino dočara kao prijatelj, pratitelj u svakodnevnom životu.

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Food & Wine Venues

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Vintesa

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions Wine Stop Next Door
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Wineries
Located in one of the courtyards of the busy Vlaška Street in downtown Zagreb, small and friendly wine shop called Vintesa is virtually just one room, not too big, with shelves full of a very intriguing selection of bottles. Vintesa does not offer hundreds and hundreds of labels, but their specialty is high-quality bottles from all Croatian regions (and neighbouring countries) which you won’t find so easily anywhere else, and the prices are quite fair. Store manager Ivanka will gladly and knowingly guide you through their selection and offer a sip. Although it’s not a wine bar, they regularly do tastings and workshops, and won’t mind if you wish to open a purchased bottle on their terrace and just chillax there for a while.
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Masèra

Istria
Last impressions If you have champagne tastes an...
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Restaurants
Something quite different from the usual konobas, Masèra offers the style of Rovinj’s top 5 restaurants but at an affordable price. The restaurant is set back from the road and is more like the club house for the tennis courts. Décor is smart modern, enhanced with some pieces of antique furniture. The menu is tasteful, with a modest selection of dishes suited to preparation from fresh ingredients. Presentation here is wonderful. The chef was previously at Restaurant Blu, where you pay a lot more for this sort of style. The other day I went looking for a girl. She’d been a waitress at a restaurant in Rovinj and had told me she was now at another restaurant called Masèra, on the outskirts of town, down near some tennis courts. Wow ! Was I glad I went. Firstly, I hardly recognised her. The jeans had gone in favour of a smart formal uniform, worn by all the staff. Clearly, if I hadn’t already realised from the décor, this was an upmarket restaurant. I ordered a coffee and gingerly perused the menu, expecting unaffordable wonders. I was impressed by the dishes on offer, but even more impressed by the prices. I ordered the turbot in leek cream. This arrived on a long rectangular plate, beautifully presented, with the turbot in the centre, garnished with a sprig of rosemary. At one end were artistically arranged grilled Mediterranean vegetables and at the other, fried sliced potatoes, again artistically arranged. It was a feast for the eyes and could stand comparison with dishes from the smartest restaurants anywhere in the world. It was quite delicious. There is no shortage of upmarket restaurants in Rovinj these days, for those prepared to pay the price. The difference here is the price. The turbot, complete with the vegatables, was just 50 kn ! After a short break, I followed it with the white chocolate souffle, generously covered with white truffle shavings and which looked equally amazing. The taste was all I could have wished for. The price? A mere 25 kn! I pay that for pancakes with jam anywhere else. The wine list was equally impressive, albeit that for decent wines, the buying in price means they are going to cost more than open wine, which is also available. The restaurant has apparently been here for some time, but had received a complete makeover during the winter and had only reopened in its present form at the beginning of April. If you’ve champagne tastes and a beer budget, this is a place not to be missed. To find it, head off down the road running south east from Rovinj towards Villas Rubin. Look out for the red shale tennis courts on the right.
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Bire

Dalmatia Dubrovnik
Last impressions Reneissance of Grk on Korčula
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Wineries
Frano Milina Bire has a beautiful family farm on a peaceful, isolated location near Lumbarda on the island of Korčula. He started with organized tours and dinners for tourists, offering them a taste of local produce like goat cheese, dry-cured ham, organic vegetables, sugared almonds, olive oil, brandies and wine. Then he realized that in the long run it is much better to turn to production and not just rely on tourism, so he focused on producing excellent white wine from the indigenous Korčula grape Grk, as well as a very good red Plavac mali. Bire is one of the few enthusiasts who has recently put a lot of energy and passion into transforming the ancient Grk into a modern wine of high quality. With big plans to revitalize old vineyards high on the southern slopes above Lumbarda, recognized and funded by the UN, the future of Grk seems quite bright. And Frano is very proud of it.
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Crvik

Dalmatia Dubrovnik
Last impressions Renaissance of Dubrovačka Malvasia
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Wineries
Crvik winery is family owned, settled in Konavle plateau, just few kilometers south of Dubrovnik. Their main wine is made from Malvasia Dubrovačka, old grape variety that unites Mediterranean - it can also be found on Aeolian Islands (Malvasia di Lipari) and Sitges in Catalonia (Malvasia de Sitges). We tasted 2009 Crvik "Marin Držić" made from Malvasia Dubrovačka. Mature yellow fruits, green grass, peppermint in the nose, very fresh, warm and with nice oily texture under the tongue, closes elegantly due to tasty minerals, no bitterness at all. We tried to convince Petar Crvik (on the pic), an enthusiastic and young winemaker, to produce also a sweet kind of Malvasia made from dried grapes (vino passito). We expect a lot from the young Petar Crvik, the winery successor.
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Grbac

Istria
Last impressions Sexy bubbles and vertiginous roads
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Wineries
Nowhere else in Istria is it possible to find a better terroir for producing these precious bubbles than in the area around Vrh. Why? Here grapes are grown on the steep slopes north of Butoniga Lake where plenty of sun, warm days and chilly nights and white clay/limestone soil are responsible for outstanding aromatics and minerality. Made by old-school winemaker Anton Grbac in a traditional way that is a variant of the classical (champenoise) method. There is a white sparkling wine made from Istrian Malvasia and a rose one made from Teran. Anton's bubbles en rose is surely the sexiest wine in Istria! Try it with strawberries (when they are in season) with the right person :) and you'll be in paradise. Really sexy stuff but the production is so low you have to come to Vrh to taste it. Caution! To arrive in Vrh you need to take a vertiginous road that can be very scary for inexperienced (or slightly stoned) driver. Stunning view of Motovun and Butoniga lake.
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Piquentum

Istria
Last impressions Istrian indigenous grapes with ...
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Wineries
Dimitri Brecevic (Piquentum wines) is young winemaker born in France who 10 years ago decided to start his own wine production in Istria. He studied in Bordeaux and has international winemaking carrier, but do not even bother asking him about Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. He believes only in grape varieties indigenous to Istria - Istrian Malvasia, Teran and Refošk - and produces wines that receive a lot of buzz lately. Dimitri does not use selected yeasts and he ferments his Malvasia at a bit higher temperatures (19-20 C) than in most Istrian wineries. Result? Aroma of his Malvasia is less intense and fruity, but more subtle and earthy in the mouth. His Teran is a cultivated beast while there are plenty of juicy red fruits in Refošk. If you pass near Buzet don't miss visiting his wine cellar. The entrance looks mysterious, like access to a top-secret underground military facility - it's an old water cistern made in the 30s when Italian administration ruled he
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Split Circus

Dalmatia Split
Last impressions Rakija by Crazy People
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Traditional Produce
Located in the ghetto neighborhood of Diocletian palace, this may be the smallest but craziest joint in town with a tempting selection of rakija (local grappa) offered in more than 25 smashing flavours at 9-15 kn a pop! Join the circus and grab a shot over the counter and mingle with locals in this charming party alleyway and jot down your notes on the wall to immortalize your insane night. Their newly opened Split Circus II on Jadranska 2 is a larger underground with a similar quirky vibe. (Mila Hvilshoj)

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