The area around Jastrebarsko and Plešivica is known for great winemakers, but not so good restaurants. They are scarce, boring and mostly very traditional. Karlo stands out. It’s run by a local couple with international experience in restaurant business, who immediately set high standards.
The setting is amazing – a lovely traditional wooden house in the middle of Plešivica hills, surrounded with vineyards and sleepy villages. The view from the terrace is amazing, refills your batteries immediately. The hosts are not only knowledgeable and professional, but also friendly and relaxed at the same time.
It was hot and we walked to the restaurant from the nearby winery, so the only starter we ordered was local sparkling wine. Our hostess Marijana also brought their own cherry tomatoes with garlic to cool us down. For the main and only dish we chose veal liver with homemade pasta and duck breast with miniature štrukli, with mixed vegetable salads on the side. Both was skillfully paired with local wines. The food was really tasty and well prepared. Little details like presentation and creativity reveal that Navoj family knows what they are doing and they follow culinary trends. Even though the ingredients are local and seasonal, and most of the basic recipes simple and traditional, some international flair is present. Food is full of taste, familiar but not boring at all. Unfortunately, there was no time for dessert (strawberry dumplings!), but we did have some very interesting local aromatized wine to wash this filling lunch down. Prices are very reasonable, mind you.
There’s a story behind each dish or wine in Karlo, and I can’t wait to hear and taste more of them.