Restaurants

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La Štruk

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions Rediscovering štrukli
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Restaurants
Štrukli is the no. 1 traditional dish in Zagreb and north-western Croatia, we all know that already. A couple of yeas ago, you could try decent štrukli only in upscale national restaurants or in scarce good-quality farm restaurants in the countryside around Zagreb. La štruk turned everything upside down. They opened what's basically a cozy and modern fast food place in the very centre of Zagreb, specialized in štrukli and offering nothing but štrukli. The filo dough is hand-made, done traditionally, and the recipe is true to tradition. Regular štrukli are really very good here, as good as a granny in Zagorje would make them. But they also decided to upgrade the tradition, and add a creative touch to this sacred old dish. So you have štrukli with blueberries, walnuts, nettle, paprika, depending on the season. While fundamentalists may be shocked, it's quite refreshing to see many faces of štrukli, as long as the basic ingredients and preparation are authentic.
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Restaurants
Ribice i tri točkice in downtown Zagreb had its ups and downs, but it's still popular and reliable for affordable and fresh seafood prepared in a way that's somewhere in between fast food and fancy restaurant style. Let's call this genre a fish bistro. All classic Croatian seafood dishes are covered, from fried calamari or sardines to black risotto and grilled tuna or white fish. If the fish is fresh, they can't really mess it up. The service can be somewhat slow, depending on the traffic, but the staff is friendly and helpful. The biggest plus is the interior, with bright coloured walls covered with wooden fishes and sea-themed paintings by well-known Croatian artist Vojo Radoičić. Ribice is not your typical old-school seafood restaurant and it's opening brought a breath of fresh air to downtown Zagreb.
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Gabreku 1929.

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions Meat, mushrooms and pancakes ga...
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Restaurants
As the name suggests, Gabreku has been standing here since 1929. It's always been regarded as a reliable family-style restaurant where you go to eat hearty meat-based dishes and classics from local tradition which haven't changed much over the years. The setting is nothing romantic or fancy, but pleasant and simple, at least a level up from the average rural restaurant. The present-day owner is a passionate mushroom picker and you can see that on the menu. Seasonal dishes, daily soups and Sunday roasts are your best bet. Last time we skipped the starters and enjoyed some roast veal with potatoes, along with baby boar steak with homemade gnocchi and cranberry sauce, as suggested by a very cooperative but discrete waiter. Everything was prepared properly and finger lickin' good. And there was no more room for one of Gabreku's legendary big fat pancakes, which they prepare in 40 different ways. Don't come here expecting culinary creativity or modern flair. And don't pay too much attention to ambience (usually nobody does, they're too focused on their plates and the place is bustling with people). But you won't ever leave Gabreku hungry and you'll probably be pretty satisfied.
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Restoran bar Atrij

Dalmatia Zadar
Last impressions Malo igranja i mašte, a puno ig...
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Restaurants
Imajući na umu da je domaći celebrity chef (vjerovatno neprikladan naziv, ali prisutvo na nekom od medija te obilježi) Mate Janković svojedobno dirigirao ovom kuhinjom, odlučili smo jedne ljetne večeri ovjeriti što se dogodilo nakon njegova odlaska. Odličan ambijent i lokacija na samom ulasku u stari grad na zadarskom poluotoku savršena je kombinacija za uspjeh. Nakon kratkih komplikacija s rezervacijom, osoblje nam je uspjelo pronaći mjesto. Započeli smo s likerom od borovnice i voćnim koktelom dok smo čekali predjela - riblju juhu u kombinaciji s dagnjama i kozicama, a pileću s tortellinima. Vrlo pristojno, ali se čini da im je pobjgao višak soli. Smatram da je na ribi poput brancina vrlo teško pogriješiti, pogotovo na žaru, ali u ovom slučaju brancin je ostao prosječan, čak i ispodprosječan ako uzmemo u obzir da je bio loše očišćen (iznutra i izvana), a kombinacija krumpir-blitva je svima poznata i jasna. Steak je bio pristojan, medium prema well done (po našem naputku), ali i dalje sočan. Pire od celera je fino zaokružio priču dok je umak od gljiva mogao biti kompaktniji i homogeniji. Vinska lista je zanimljiva, s naglaskom na domaća vina iz Istre i Dalmacije. Mi smo se odlučili za Malvaziju Cossetto koja nije ponudila veliko iznenađenje, ali je jedno cvjetno mirisno ljetno vino. Vrlo zanimljivim se pokazao kraj večere. Torta od bijelog grožđa bila je lagana i svježa, a uz jedan standard, panna cottu, bila je savršen poticaj za prošetati do zadarske rive i uživati u punom misecu. Sveukupan dojam je solidan, s obzirom na poprilično lošu prezentaciju jela na tanjuru, premalo mašte i igranja. Možda imaju siguran prolaz kod turista, ali mi smo otišli pod sjenkom sumnje da se Atrij ipak loše snalazi bez Jankovića.
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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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Pece

Dalmatia Zadar
Last impressions Seafood with a twist
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Restaurants
At first glance, this looks like just another typical Dalmatian seafood tavern, although with a bigger and nicer garden and terrace. But the owner's gourmet philosophy and great passion push this place a little bit further. Take the usual ingredients, but give them that extra touch. We tried two of the best risottos ever: one with zucchini and mussels, the other with shrimps and porcini mushrooms. Here they stuff the usual grilled octopus or calamari with Pag cheese and pršut (smoked ham) from Posedarje. So simple yet so brilliant. But don't think that the setting is classy or uptight - on the contrary. Nice and easy does it!
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Konoba Vinko

Dalmatia Šibenik
Last impressions As good as it gets
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Restaurants
Konoba Vinko is as unexpected as it gets. If you're roaming around the area of Knin-Šibenik-Skradin this is the safest bet you'll get around, even if you have to take off of the highway. It's charming, offers great food and service for a very fair price. Located on the road taking you to inland Dalmatinska Zagora where you expect nothing but a classical lamb on a spit or some ancient version of a restaurant. BUT, Vinko offers more. Yes, their specialty are suckling pig on a spit, but it's not just a pile of meat on a plate. Carefully served with the best homemade salad - it's a comfort food you crave. Lamb livers or tripes, various meats under the lid, skradin risotto. Small, but mouth watering and carefully prepared menu. Even the desserts were a surprise, even though they are not really "traditional". Another plus is they offer local (high quality) wines by the glass which is something we especially appreciate. Our sincere recommendations go to Vinko crew.