Farm To Table

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Trattoria Vodnjanka

Istria
Dinka Vitezića 4
Pula
+385 52 210 655
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Farm To Table
Although there are plenty of good restaurants and taverns in south Istria, like Konoba Batelina, Alla Beccaccia, Konoba Vodnjanka, Restaurant Milan and Restaurant Bodulka, the sad fact is that the center of Pula, with its tourist trap and fast food eateries, is a gourmet’s nightmare. Fortunately, a short walk from the fish and farmers market will take you to Buffet Vodnjanka, a family-run tavern offering a truly local experience and the flavors of good old times. The best time to eat there is between 11 am and 1 pm when the clientele is very mixed and atmosphere very relaxed, so don't be surprised to see businessmen in tie and suit and construction workers wearing blue coveralls occupying neighboring tables. It's the charm of "marenda", local name for a quick lunch/brunch, a respectable tradition that still thrives here despite the threats of unification of flavors and dietary habits. Gina Civitico, the cook, explains the winning formula of Vodnjanka: "We serve only traditional dishes, in a sense very modest and accessible to everyone but always prepared with great care." Her tripes in tomato sauce are literally melting in the mouth, leaving a delicious flavor. Then, her gnocchi with žgvacet or mouth-watering game stew, fuži and inevitable polpette in the most delicious sauce prepared following Gina's secret recipe... A must is also Gina's sardines in savor that can be served as a cold starter or with warm palenta. A few years ago, Moris, Gina's grandson and former roller skate champion, took the role of innkeeper. Although he is currently more involved in taking orders and serving guests (very efficiently and always with a smile!), there is no fear, Gina assures us, the secret recipes she inherited from her mother will be forgotten. No doubt, there is another generation who will passionately carry on the tradition of family Civitico. The full story of Buffet Vodnjanka.
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Agroturizam Vinerino

Istria
Druškovićeva 8
Brtonigla
+385 52 774 417
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Farm To Table
Visintin family runs this modestly looking farm-to-table konoba even outside the summer season, which is always a good sign. While we soak homemade bread enriched with pumpkin in Nerino Visintin’s delicious extra virgin olive oil, his wife Giuliana comes and takes the order. Italian roars in the background since the majority of inhabitants in Brtonigla are of Italian origin. It’s like being in a forgotten trattoria from a Fellini’s film. I am not a sophisticated cook, I’m just lucky we have all these wonderful ingredients from our family farm, Guliana says and brings us a big bowl of maneštra. She grills fresh pork sausages and ombolo (cured pork tenderloin) on wood fired barbecue, just for us. Few jugs of hearty homemade wine break all the barriers. We talk and talk, like we are old friends. Her treat is Adriatic squids with potatoes under čripnja (peka). She hates frozen food in restaurants – this you can also eat at home! We nod our heads while we savour her ricotta cake and warm our backs by the fireplace. A glass or two of grappa (there’s a myriad of flavors to choose from) and we are ready to go out. We step outside on the nice terrace shaded by old vines. Now in January there were no leaves, of course. Although hurricane-speed bura wind was cutting our faces we looked at each other and said: We have to come back here in the summer!
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Farm To Table
This is yet another cozy family-run Istrian tavern, nothing unusual, but in Konoba Bare everything just falls into place perfectly. First you’ll probably be greeted by Vesna, who manages the place and likes to talk to her guests. Makes you feel at home right away. The menu is, of course, typical Istrian cuisine, but not in the predictably rural kind of way, which has become a cliche nowadays. The cooking is very precise and delicate and in Bare they’re not afraid to mix and match various traditional ingredients. They dare to offer things like sea bass fillet in sauteed wild asparagus. If you want the classics, they have excellent “fuži” pasta with grated truffles, juicy steaks prepared on wood fired barbecue and all sorts of yummy dishes grilled under “peka” (dentex under peka was a revelation). Desserts are also unforgettably good, even though they are the basics (pancakes, fritule…).
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Agroturizam Stari Kostanj

Istria
Gržići 134
Gračišće
+385 52 687 037
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Farm To Table
No road sign will help you to find Stari Kostanj. This simple farm-to-table tavern located in Gržići, a hamlet inhabited by just three families, doesn’t need to invest a single cent in marketing. By word-of-mouth the people in Istria (and beyond!) know that here the food, coming from vegetables and animals grown on 35 hectares of the land surrounding the tavern, is genuine, good and has a certain flavor of the old times. The innkeeper is a tall and corpulent fellow known under the nickname Il Dottore (the Doctor), since he always wears a white coat. His suspicious eyes and a reserved attitude might make you uncomfortable at first. Definitely, he is not one of those who love telling you touching stories about the food they serve. Instead, his food speaks all the languages you can imagine. His bread, made in traditional way by putting the dough in a steel box (kalup), tastes like a finest cake. Istrian pršut caresses your palate, fragrant, with a soft and humid texture. Homemade ravioli filled with fresh cow’s cheese, simple pljukanci or gnocchi soaked in wild boar goulash spread happiness all around. Il Dottore is especially proud of his skills in preparing lamb and veal under čripnja (or peka, the iron baking bell). But what distinguishes Stari Kostanj from other agritourisms and konobas is their maneštra (thick bean soup). It is a dish whose unique taste comes from “stupana trukinja”, an old Istrian corn variety prepared in the traditional way. “Stupana trukinja” literally means “crushed corn”, and it is obtained by drying the corn after the harvest and then crushing the beans. This Istrian corn has almost become an endangered species since its yield simply cannot compete with modern hybrid varieties. Maybe il Dottore, a real food hero, who firmly believes its flavor is far superior, will manage to save it from extinction?
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Konoba Buščina

Istria
Last impressions Unpretentious quality
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Farm To Table
A little off the beaten track in the countryside East of Umag, this pretty restaurant, with its outside terraces, will delight you. We started with two different home made breads and a selection of dipping olive oils (Bursic Lecchino, Ipsa Frantoio and a Vekic blend) followed by a bonne bouche of Skuta on Polenta and a carafe of Cuj's excellent Malvasija, while we perused the menu. We passed on the Donkey Stew, although friends have since said that we should definitely have tried this traditional dish. We settled on the Skampi Busara with Polenta and thoroughly enjoyed it. We followed it with the Semi-freddo and a coffee. All in all, a delightful way to spend a summer's evening with good service and at a reasonable price. .