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Ice Wine Adventure in Zagorje

We had the honor of being invited to such an adventurous event at Bodren Winery in Zagorje. Mr. Boris Drenški is the pioneer of ice wine production in this area of Croatia

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Prigora - Putting Prigorje on Wine Map

Unveiling the tiny region of Prigorje as a hot new wine destination in Zagreb surroundings, with some ambitious labels and pleasant surprises...

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Food & Wine Venues

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Wineries
In 2010 Marko Krstačić and Ivana Perišić were appointed in the winery, now branded under name Medea, in their hands. These two young enologists recognized the value of 37-years-old Malvazija vineyard located on the Montiron locale where red soil is heavily interlaced with limestone structures. The results was Malvazija Montiron, a serious white wine that was immediately praised both by experts, restaurants owners and wine enthusiasts. It's my favorite wine to pair with baked dentex, "hobotnica ispod peke" (octopus baking bell) or crab risotto.
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Wineries
At first, everybody told him he was crazy. He might have thought so himself sometimes, deciding to make sweet wine in Hrvatsko Zagorje, area known for its’ highly accidic wines that give you a decent headache the morning after. When he sent his wines to Decanter and received a few golden medals, no one was laughing any more. Except him, of course. Mr. Boris Drenški continues to produce late harvest and ice wines near small village of Hum na Sutli. His wines really are a special experience. But good luck with the price!
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Fast Good
Osijek je trebao American bar Dollar. Otvorenje je to i pokazalo. Bar je bio pun i tražila se stolica viška što pokazuje da osječani ipak imaju sluha za nešto novo i nešto iznad prosječnih pizzeria koje su okupirale grad. Usluga je bila brza i naša narudžba našla se ubrzo na stolu. Drvene daske s ugraviranim logotipom umjesto tanjura odličan su dodatak ambijentu koji ima taj Texas kinda steakhouse style, iako se na interijeru moglo još malo poradititi. No, ono na dasci se broji. Burger kuće (ili ti American Dollar Burger), u mom slučaju veliki primjerak, sve je što čovjek može poželjeti - sočan, mirisan i ukusan. Izražene su arome korijandera i đumbira, a povrh svega sloj domaće kobasice. Kod mene meso malo jače pečeno, ali vjerujem da je navala na kuhinju bila povod tome, no očekujem upit osoblja ubuduće. Uz burger dolazi mini porcija krumpirića te neslavni kolutići luka, koji su izakazali - malo i neugledni. Chef bi trebao pregledati i odlučiti želi li tih poslužiti, jer ovako izgleda kao šala. Pecivo je svježe i uredno pečeno. Chicken wrap imao je na aftertaste divnu aromu kardamoma. No, piletina je bila pomalo suha, nedostajalo je sočnosti. Ali, plus ide na svježinu koje je unijelo povrće i umak usprkos piletini. Brownie Chocolate Cake kao desert je bio odličan, zasitan i ne presladak. Izbor piva je ono što će mamiti pivopije u ovaj bar. Impresivnoj listi od 75 vrsta piva pridružile su se i domaće snage - San Servolo, Pivnica Medvedgrad, Velebitski i ostali, a iz nekih izvora čujemo da se i Nova runda sprema za Osijek. Za one željne žestice, tu je i pozamašan izbor viskija. No, izbor vina je ograničen na strana vina nepoznata domaćima. Odlična crna vina Baranje, Feričanaca, Orahovice ili Iloka bi bila savršena uz neki od ponuđenih steakova. Ono što će mnoge odbiti jesu cijene. Prosječan stanovnik Osijeka morat će mrvu dublje zavući ruku u džep da bi izvukao koji dollar i uživao u burgerima i pivu. Iako se još mora podići razina da bi se opravdale postojeće cijene, potencijal za to postoji kao i želja.
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O'Hara

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions One of the best Fiorentina stea... Beers galore, excellent pizza a...
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Restaurants
Although I do not define myself as devoted carnivore and always prefer some hearty vegetable minestrone over ćevapčići or miješano meso, I admit I am weak on good Fiorentina steaks. Luckily I listened to advice of one gourmet friend from Zagreb who told me I should definitely give a call to O'hara's owner Marin and reserve one Fiorentina for the dinner for two that immediately became among top3 I have ever eaten (the other two I have eaten in Tuscany and Rome). The meat was so tender that no knife was needed and its savor was delicate yet very beefy. The steaks were obtained from the Čučković brothers who told me their Fiorentinas are sourced only from bulls born and raised on small family farms in continental part of Croatia. Be aware that only if you put yourself on Marin's waiting list you will be able to savor that divine piece of meat. I also have to praise their excellent service with kindest and funnies waiters you can imagine, great selection of craft beers and surprisingly innovative and alway homemade desserts. From my words it is easy to realize that O'hara is much more than already excellent pizzeria whose pizzas and pizzaiolo were proclaimed the best in Croatia in 2014.
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Mesnica Čučković

Kvarner
Last impressions The most famous Croatian craft ...
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Traditional Produce
This family owned butcher shop is in hands of brother Čučković who are today the most popular butchers in Croatia, mostly because they were one of the first to realize the importance of social media. These hospitable and talkative guys are not only excellent as producers of catchy Instagram pics and funny statuses but, what is more important to me, they offer top quality meat sourced from family owned farms in continental Croatia. Travelers through Croatia, who are for obvious reason maybe not interested in their fresh meat offer, can still find visit to Čučković shop on the outskirts of Rijeka well worth. They produce their very own charcuterie delicacies like pancetta, salami, bresaola, lard or buđola. Perfect for your travel sandwiches or to take back home as gourmet souvenir.
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Rougemarin

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions
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Restaurants
Starting out at the forefront of the currently burgeoning Zagreb burger scene a couple of years ago, Rougemarin, set in a former socialist light bulb factory, has become known as the definitive place to go to have a juicy slob of minced beef (with duck fat!). While I thought the burgers were good, I was generally not as impressed, mostly because I felt they lacked a bit of sweet lovin' juicy. The rest of the menu, however, completely made up for it: modern Croatian and/or exotic interpretations of traditional recipes such as roast chicken with soft "basa" cheese from rural Lika or butterscotch glazed pork loin with mushroom and truffle polenta and cardamom scented yoghurt. Mouthwatering. The dessert section of the menu is still a bit conservative, but it's getting there. The wine list is good; the place looks cool and industrial; their ingredients are locally sourced. They even have artisan mini-burger nights and guest starring chefs every once in a while. Meaning - go for the burgers, stay for the chestnut puree and rosemary-flavored pears.
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Ljubekov gaj

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions Ideal For Family Day Out
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Restaurants
A hearty meal in a warm setting, overlooking the Zagorje hills. Sounds good? Then ignore the bizarre stuffed fox pointing a shotgun at you at the entrance, come in and try the best cottage cheese and cream in your life, followed by tender game in juicy sauces and the unavoidable range of poultry with mlinci. They just wouldn't tell me where they get the cheese. Utter frustration.

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