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6 items every #foodlover should bring with them on a trip

You’re a traveller. You like your food, like your wine (and beer) and like to taste the world around you. You’re probably bringing your foodlovin' personality on vacation with you. And your personality knows exactly which items it cannot lower it’s criteria on.

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Food & Wine Venues

Main_chiavalon-tasting-room

Chiavalon

Istria
Last impressions Well designed liquid gold
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Olive Oil
Sandi Chiavalon, one of the youngest and, we can freely say, most progressive and energetic Istrian olive makers, started following his dreams while he was practically in high school. His vision was to use the latest technology in order to get the best from olive trees his family traditionally grew. Since then, he planted numerous trees, and has been recognized as one of the best Croatian olive oil producers. His olive oils were among the first Croatian ones to enter the prestigious Flos Olei world olive oil guide, and also, the first one available worldwide. As for us, we feel there isn't a meal or an ingredient that won't taste better with Ex Albis Chiavalon olive oil! For realz! If you're around Vodnjan, be sure not to miss Sandi Chiavalon's wonderfully designed tasting room, where he'll be happy to tell you all you need to know about olives, production process and finally, the oil he is very proud of.
Main_smokvenjaci_ostoji__eco_fig

Eco Fig’o Ostojić

Dalmatia Dubrovnik
Last impressions Two faces of the traditional fi...
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Family Farms
Smokvenjak (or hib, locally) is an ancient Mediterranean cake dating back from the old days when there was no sugar or chocolate, and you had to look in nature around you when you had a sweet tooth attack. Basically, it’s minced dried figs formed in the shape of a sausage or a round cake, with only a bit of brandy, spices or ground almonds. It could last for weeks and weeks and usually it was enjoyed with a shot of home-made brandy. Family farm Ostojić wanted to add their own special touch to the traditional smokvenjak. Their brand based on organic figs is called Eco Fig’o and they produce two kinds: the exciting and spicy smokvenjak with a bit of pepper, and the deliciously sweet smokvenjak with orange and lemon. Find their products at numerous deli and souvenir shops around Croatia.
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Wineries
Here is a story we got from Ian Robertson, our devoted reader, who writes how he spent an incredible Sunday afternoon spent with Ivo and Martina Grgić after last year’s Graševina Festival in Kutjevo. We had always wanted to visit Vinarija Krauthaker after tasting their wonderful 2009 Graševina TBA (Trockenbeerenauslese wine) at Decanter’s Fine Wine encounter in London and we finally made it last summer after a few days travelling. Although we knew they were normally closed on a Sunday, Jasmina rang and asked if we could visit anyway and they said, ‘Of course, just call us first and we can meet you and show you around’. We arrived at about three in the afternoon, met up with Ivo and he began to show us around the cellars straight away. Martina joined as a bit later as we were shown around. At this point I thought that was fantastic and soon we would buy some wine and be on our way. Boy, was I wrong! After being shown around we went upstairs to find some freshly opened Rosé for us to try which was utterly delightful. We sat down to chat a bit and then Ivo began to bring out more wines for us to try along with some pršut, olives, cheeses and crackers. Bottle after bottle arrived for us to try. The stand out for me was the MaDaMe. It is Martina’s own wine named after her, her daughter and her Professor who taught her. It has Muscat up front, a little sweetness and perfect acidity, complex and will definitely age for a couple of years. The 2011 Pinot Sivi (Pinot Gris) was a winner with tropical fruits on the nose and off dry residual sweetness which won Jasmina over. 2010 Graševina Pomale and Mitrovac were also wonderfully quaffable and the Merlot was equally surprising. More acidity than I expected and much more appealing than a Californian equivalent. It was a wonderful and completely unexpected afternoon. We truly thought that we’d be there for no more than 30 mins but ended up staying for 3 hours. All the more remarkable considering that we arrived the day after the Kutjevo Graševina Festival and they must have been incredibly tired. They still looked after us as if we were the only visitors they’d ever had. I can’t begin to thank Ivo and Martina enough for their wonderful hospitality, patience and obvious enthusiasm for their wonderful wines. Živjeli!
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Restaurants
Svi koji gravitiraju istočnom dijelu grada (širem Maksimiru) znaju da je kvartovski društveni epicentar jedna, ni po čemu posebna, skupina zgrada na Bukovačkoj, odmah do kružnog toka prije Rebra. To je ustvari prva „civilizacija“ gdje možete sjesti na piće nakon što ste „zdravi“ dio odradili u Maksimirskoj šumi ili parku. Godinama se tamo nalazio samo veliki broj kafića, no s vremenom je ponuda procvala, pa se u taj dio grada dolazi i na dobru pizzu u Duksu, na kolače u Amelie, a sada i na ručak/večeru u bistro Ab Ovo. Već izdaleka privlači vas pomalo eklektično uređenje naglašenih boja. I neka, nek' se netko konačno ne boji baciti malo boje u naše zagrebačko sivilo. Ulja na platnu velikih dimenzija jednako su šarena kao stolovi, stolci, čaše i namještaj ovog ugodnog prostora koji najbolje izgleda kada su otvorena vrata koja vode na dvije prostrane terase. Tada je u potpunosti postignut izlazak na ulicu i srdačna dobrodošlica svim prolaznicima. A s obzirom da su, osim na uređenje, uložili u kuhara, tamo se ne bi trebalo dolaziti samo slučajno. I prije nego sam shvatila da je mladi kuhar radio u nekim ozbiljnijim zagrebačkim restoranima, tanjuri su govorili sami za sebe. Ab Obo bistro nudi 4 ili 5 dnevnih jela s jednim ili dva deserta. Više nego dovoljno za svačiji ukus. Jela se mijenjaju dnevno, neke uspješnice ostaju, zamjenjuju ih nove, kako se mijenja i sezona. No, čim na tanjuru dobijete nešto što se skromno zove „proljetna salata“, jasno vam je da kuhar vlada i tehnikama i maštom i namirnicom. Skladno posloženi okusi poširanog jajeta, sezonskih šparoga, kozjeg sira, ukrašeni jestivim cvijećem i divljim biljem govore: ovdje se ozbiljno kuha. Ta ozbiljnost ne reflektira se na cijene, one su sasvim pristojne. Da se radi o nekom „ozbiljnom“ restoranu na „ozbiljnoj“ lokaciji, mirne duše mogli bi ih prodavati po duplo većima cijenama. No, samo neka je nama „sporo pečenog lungića na tortici od krumpira i špeka sa sotiranim mahunama“ po 65kn, pa da otkrivamo neke nove okuse i kombinacije kojima se ne bismo nadali u „kvartovskom“ bistrou. Usto, vinsku listu radio je netko zanimljivog i ne sasvim ukalupljenog vinskog ukusa, stoga i vina uglavnom nisu sa mainstream popisa. Tim više nas veseli da je ovakvo mjesto otvoreno na manje frekventnoj lokaciji. Upravo ovakav bistro bi svaki kvart u Zagrebu trebao imati. Držimo fige da održe letvicu visoko, kao što su je i postavili. Pa još nismo stigli ni do koktela, fine kave… Tekst objavljen na http://old.gastro.hr/gustionica/ab-ovo-9355

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