Restaurants

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La Grisa

Istria
Last impressions Dynamic Duo for Perfect Food&Wi...
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Restaurants
On a quiet summer evening, while we were enchanted by the mysterious medieval atmosphere of Bale town walls, the sounds of cutlery attracted our attention and made us turn in a narrow passage. There we have found a small yard, surrounded by cleverly renovated stone houses, turned into an intimately lit terrace of a restaurant. Last spring this complex of historic buildings was turned into a boutique hotel and restaurant La Grisa. And what is the food like? La Grisa is a textbook example of how chef and sommelier can work together and build the concept of a restaurant that, due to its affordable prices, high-quality service and food, remains open even out of the summer season. Chef Nikola Vuković made traditional konoba dishes much lighter by stripping them down to one clearly defined flavor (usually a delicate and refined one) that he puts in the foreground. That way he has significantly made life easier for the sommelier Karin Rupena, so that she can have more wines to play with. Trust us, Nikola and Karina are dynamic duo for food & wine pairings that will enchant you!
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Marina

Istria
Last impressions Marina Gaši's Playful and Intui...
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Restaurants
Marina and her partner Davor are the soul of this pleasant restaurant located on the first floor of a typical family house in Istria. From the outside it might seem this is just another tourist eatery serving miješano meso and fish platter, but this is very far from the truth. The cozy décor is a successful combination of the charm of old-school Adriatic fish restaurants and contemporary trends in interior design. Davor focused the wine list on the winemakers from the immediate surroundings of Novigrad. Due to its distinctive style, we warmly recommend Leonardo Palčić’s Malvazija and Merlot, his winery is located just a few kilometers north, in the small coastal village of Dajla. If you get deeply bored by monotonous menus of Croatian restaurants, you will be delighted to taste Marina’s playful, yet highly thought-out dishes. She uses a collection of flavors most Croatians know very well, originating either from old tradition or socialist times, and humorously mashes them up in a new dish, that instantly becomes a crowd-pleaser. Her cooking is not obsessed with expensive and rare ingredients and complicated cooking techniques which require a lot of experience and knowledge. But, her dishes tell you a story, they are full of emotions and – most importantly – of taste.
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San Benedetto

Istria
Last impressions Fresh seafood in North Western ...
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Restaurants
San Benedetto is one of the restaurants currently participating in a local promotion making the most of the seafood that is now in season. It offers special inexpensive menus featuring mussels, clams and scallops served in imaginative ways until March 23rd 2013. On the night we went there was an excellent guitarist playing to a largely full room. After an initial aperitif, my companions started with a seafood salad, whilst I started with the grilled shellfish, an ample plate of different types of mussels, clams and scallops. This was washed down with the excellent house malvazija. This was followed, in their case, by a risotto of fresh shellfish and in mine with more of the same in a savoury fish sauce over bavette, a type of pasta. The quality and freshness were excellent. When I’d booked, the owner had been worried that some recent stormy weather might have meant he wouldn’t have any mussels. We finished with a lemon and lavender kolač followed by coffee. A very enjoyable evening on a Saturday in February. Recommended!
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Wine Vault

Istria
Last impressions French gourmet embassy à la Tom...
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Restaurants
Now famous from his appearance on Croatian MasterChef, Tom Gretić and his stellar cuisine have flourished for three years in this prestigious restaurant, where his own standards are seamlessly paired with those of the exclusive hotel Monte Mulini in which Wine Vault is located. A small terrace leading to the hotel pool boasts a marvelous view of the heavenly Lone Bay, while stone arches in the elegant interior recall a rustic wine cellar. The menu comprises mostly French haute cuisine because Gretić maintains it is easiest to match perfectly with wine. A point of special honor is the considerable effort and detail given to the broths and demi-glaces that serve as the foundations for every plate. But wine is definitely the focus of Wine Vault, so it’s no surprise that the cellar stocks over 500 labels (with nearly 200 domestic vintages) through which sommelier Emil Perdec expertly guides patrons.
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Giannino

Istria
Last impressions Seafood restaurant with a long ...
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Restaurants
This seafood restaurant with a long family tradition has been owned by the Pelizzaro family for as long as anyone can remember. Situated on a small square away from the bustle of tourism on the main streets, Giannino’s comfortable terrace is an ideal place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Rovinj as it once was. Don’t miss the chilled mixed seafood appetizer, made from the freshest ingredients and presented with creative flair. The Pelizzaro family is Istrian-Italian, so rest assured that the variety of seafood pastas and risottos will be excellent. Of course, you can also have top quality fish grilled or roasted under čripnja, and the masterfully prepared desserts will provide a sweet finale to your meal. The wine list is relatively short, but features a serviceable selection of Istrian favorites and a few Italian vintages.
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Konoba Morgan

Istria
Last impressions Not Your Average Istrian Tavern
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Restaurants
The refined atmosphere of Morgan is a few notches above that of a classic Istrian konoba, but the restraint shown in the kitchen by chef and owner Ana Morgan lets the simple elegance of regional dishes shine as they would in an unassuming local tavern. Wild game and domestic fowl bred by the family take center stage in the menu’s theme, with the robust hunter’s soup setting an understated example of humble respect paid to locally sourced ingredients. There are also ravioli stuffed with cockerel, an assortment of vegetables pickled in house, seasonal delicacies and an extensive wine list that keep Morgan the happy, bustling establishment that it is, and the spectacular view from the terrace of hills blanketed with vineyards probably helps too. The carefully chosen wine list offers vintages from not only Istria, but also neighboring Slovenia and Italy.
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Zigante

Istria
Last impressions The Cult of Istrian Truffles
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Restaurants
The village of Livade is the capital of the famous Istrian white truffle, so it’s entirely natural that the area’s largest purveyor, Giancarlo Zigante, would open a fine dining establishment dedicated to the precious subterranean fungi. The decor of Zigante suggests a Spanish hacienda aesthetic, providing a comfortably rustic atmosphere that immediately erases any stress you may have brought along from the city. Enjoy the truffles theme park ride! Chefs Denis Benković and Sanela Haračić maintain a simple concept of seasonal haute cuisine in which every dish – even an ice cream – features the discreet inclusion of truffle among its elements. The wine cellar is a rich treasury of labels from well beyond Istria, presided over by sommeliers Željko Mazalović and Žarko Mitrović. Definitely not an everyday snack but for special occasions when you want to be pampered.