Thursday, 11 March 2021

PCR and Antigen Tests at Esplanade: COVID-19 Testing Now Available for Guests of Zagreb Hotel

March 11, 2021 - PCR and antigen tests at Esplanade are now a reality for guests of the famous Zagreb hotel!

HRTurizam reports that from now on, the Zagreb Esplanade hotel offers a unique service: conducting COVID-19 testing at the hotel at an agreed time, with the special benefit of free medical staff and a free English translation.

The procedure is effortless. Before arriving at the hotel or during the stay, the guest can contact the Booking Department or the reception, at least 24 hours in advance, to arrange a test date. Testing is conducted Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to noon. Other dates are available on request.

Today, most countries in the world ask travelers and their own citizens to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test when entering the country, said Ivica Max Krizmanić, General Manager of the Esplanade Hotel, adding that it can be complicated and often it is not just one test but several during the trip.

"Also, time is wasted exploring the locations that offer this service, and the waiting can be prolonged, which leads to additional nervousness. Guests of the Esplanade Hotel are accustomed to the highest standard of service. We are known for being able to provide them with what is not in the regular offer, so there is a need to offer what they need most on the trip, and that is the possibility of testing in the comfort of the hotel - fast, easy and personalized, at the highest level and a fair price. We considered the options and decided to carry out this service in cooperation with the LabPlus polyclinic, whose staff is extremely professional. The testing is carried out following strict epidemiological measures, discreetly and accurately at the agreed time. We’ve been testing the service for a while now, and it has proven to be a complete hit. Also, we offer our guests another great advantage: free arrival of the medical staff at the location, as well as a free test translation into English," said Max Krizmanić.

The professional medical staff of LabPlus arrives at the hotel at the agreed time and conducts testing following strict epidemiological measures. The results are delivered to the desired e-mail address, in Croatian or English, within 3 hours for the antigen and antibody test. The PCR test is ready within 24 hours after the sample arrives at the laboratory. The service is paid according to a clear price list of HRK 250 for the antigen test (nose sample), HRK 300 for the antibody test (blood sample), and HRK 750 for the PCR test (nose sample).

"We are aware that every moment of the trip is precious, so we will try to meet all guests who need the test as much as possible. I think that this service will greatly facilitate the arrival in Zagreb, reduce stress and enable our guests to enjoy their stay without worries," concluded Max Krizmanić.

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Thursday, 3 December 2020

Esplanade Hotel Launches Gourmet Holiday Meal-Service

December 3, 2020 - Adapting to the new normal, Esplanade Hotel launches a glamorous pick-up and delivery meal service for the holiday season. 

“Forget about cooking and chaos this Advent. Indulge in true Christmas values and spend magical moments with your loved ones,” - is the message of the Esplanade hotel, which is promoting pick-up and delivery holiday meals in an offer called Glamor Esplanade.

HRTurizam reports that after the well-known Esplanade Christmas turkey and cakes, which have had excellent sales results in recent years, Esplanade's team of top chefs significantly expanded the range of orders for meals during the Advent season.

"We have created an offer where everyone can find something, an offer that is available to guests every day," said Miroslav Juric, sous chef of Esplanade and added that they made sure that in these new conditions, where people cannot go to restaurants and it is recommended to avoid going shopping, they offer a very simple service and just about everything for a sumptuous holiday table at home.

"We see that there is an increased need for orders, and our offer certainly stands out with packaging, quantity, and a good ratio of price and quality of food that we choose carefully. The duck, for example, is free-range and comes from the family farm Orehovec from Međimurje on the Drava. Our turkeys are of proven quality, also from free-range farming, and come from a nearby family farm, while we procure domestic veal in Zagorje, and sea bass from the Adriatic Sea. We are very careful to prepare meals only from top-quality ingredients, and our guests recognize that. For example, we have been preparing consommé for decades according to a traditional recipe: we add cognac and meat to the soup and cook for hours to get the finest concentration of flavor. Baked Esplanade štruklji have been prepared in our confectionery since the 1950s according to the same tried and tested recipe, and in this offer, we also have a variant of štruklji with gluten-free flour. I believe that we have put together a really tempting collection," added Jurić.

The process of ordering an Esplanade Gourmet collection is very simple. Guests contact the hotel directly by phone, WhatsApp, Viber, or email, place an order and pay by bank transfer or Keks Pay application. When the guest arrives in their vehicle at the back entrance of the hotel, the hotel staff delivers them the freshly prepared food, packed in stylized boxes, in a short time. And for those that want to go the extra mile, Esplanade also offers special home delivery by limousine.

The Glamor Esplanade offer consists of Esplanade's signature homemade cod pate, octopus salad, salad with rice noodles and prawns, cream of chicory soup, quiche lorraine with smoked salmon and horseradish, cod pie, homemade cod in white or red sauce, homemade perfectly roasted duck with mlinci and red cabbage, or whole turkey with mlinci and fine dauphinoise potatoes with herb sauce, rolled veal shoulder, Esplanade štrukli baked in fine cream, traditional Esplanade Christmas kuglof with spices, dried fruit, and chocolate, poppy seeds, walnuts or a selection of holiday cookies.

"There is a great demand for our offer, and when it is packaged like this and easy to consume, I believe that it will delight many who are otherwise regular guests of our restaurants. The holiday collection is just the beginning and we will certainly not stop there. We adapt to the situation every day and try to be available to guests in these new times," said Ivica Max Krizmanić, General Manager of the Esplanade Hotel.

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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Korlat Presented its Newest Wine Gems in Zagreb

October 18, 2020 - In a terrific atmosphere of the one of the best, and most certainly most beautiful fine dining restaurants in Zagreb, Zinfandel’s at hotel Esplanade - Badel organized a very exclusive event, even more exclusive due to the pandemic regulations.

The theme of the event was the presentation of its premium line of wines under the famous Korlat label. Many exclusively picked eminent guests and respected wine connoiseurs gathered there to taste and enjoy the wines. The prominent guests included very well known chefs Marin Medak and Bruno Vokal; restaurant owner Danijela Gajski; journalists and wine experts Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish, Rene Bakalović, and numerous experienced sommeliers. The new ambassadors of Korlat 2016 were also present: Mirela Kardašević, chef David Skoko and famous Croatian musician Ivan Dečak.

The vintages that were tasted were Korlat Merlot 2016,  Korlat Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Korlat Syrah 2016, and a new wine from the Superior selection - Korlat Supreme Cuvee 2013 (made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot). After few opening words from the marketing director of Badel 1862 Vanja Bartolec, Vezak Sauvignon 2019 was served, a wine that everybody involved is very proud of, just as the wine serverd at the very end of the evening: dessert wine Korlat Merlot Boutique 2017.

In more senses than one, it was truly a night to remember, not only beacause of the wines, but just as much due to the food served - that was imaginative, fresh and super tasty. It was to be expected from the great chef Ana Grgić of Espanade, who simpy - never disapointes.

Ana Grić was helped by Badel chief enologist Dubravko Ćuk in order to perfectly pair each wine with the dishes served. Ćuk personally presented every wine, while young Croatian singer Lu Jakelić was in charge of the musical background, and an exciting performance appriciated by the audience.

It is also important to take a lok back and mention that top quality red wines by Korlat have been presented for the first time with the 2007 vintage, and ever since then - have beeen evolving as an unavoidable presence among the very best premium Croatian wines. They have been awarded numerous Croatian and international awards, among which Red Dot Award is one of the more important ones. It is also  important to say that Koralt labeled wines come from within the best places inside the vineyards situated on the best possible positions. The newest gem, Korlat Supreme Cuvee 2013 is the best proof that the whole concept and the strategy actually work. 

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Monday, 21 September 2020

Zinfandel Wine Harvest Held on Terrace of Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb

September 21, 2020 - Do you know any city center hotel in the world that have their own vineyard right on their own terrace? I don't. But I might be mistaken. Anyway, the terrace of the legendary Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, however, holds a minuscule vineyard and they have proudly presented the first (limited, of course) edition of the 2019 vintage of their very own Zinfandel.

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In fact, they initiated this project a few years ago with the legendary Croatian winemaker Vlado Krauthaker who gave his vines to the hotel as a gift. Last week, a small group of journalists and friends of Esplanade, had the honour and great pleasure to taste the bottles of this precious wine, and to help pick the grapes of this year's vintage.

"I remember the beginning of the collaboration with Esplanade...it started 20 years ago," said Vlado Krauthaker while reminiscing about how it all began when he started selling his highly esteemed wines to the hotel. It is not by chance that Zinfandel is also the name of the hotel's restaurant, one of the best fine dining restaurants in Zagreb, with chef Ana Grgić at its head.

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"It is obvious now that the idea of synergy between the hotel, fine dining, and winemaking was a good idea indeed," said Krauthaker, proudly presenting the bottles.

The 2019 vintage is characterized by deep red colour and great taste of raspberry, ginger, rosemary, and a hint of garlic with the smokey tobacco-like finish. I am convinced that true wine lovers will recognize the quality of this wine. Limited edition of Esplanade's own Zinfandel 2019,  with a specially designed label, will be listed on Esplande's wine list and will be available to the restaurant guests for 430 kuna a bottle.

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"It took years of scientific research and to prove that Zinfandel actually comes from these parts," said prof. dr. sc. Edi Maletić from the Agricultural Faculty, University of Zagreb.

Esplanade's restaurant is called Zinfandel after the varietal that was taken from Dalmatia to the USA a long time ago.

"It is exactly why it represents the interconnectedness of the cultures that meet in this hotel, in this restaurant and in our country, Croatia," said Max Krizmanić, the hotel's general manager, and one of the people most „responsible“ for this project.

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He also said: "We are all extremely happy that it actually turned out to be top-quality wine. There are not many bottles available, but the ones that are, should be tasted and drank as soon as possible. This was also a perfect occasion for the media representatives to taste the new autumn menu created by the Zinfandel's chef Ana Grgić, and it is safe to say that they were more than delighted by the dishes served. They will be on the menu from the 29th of September, and they are nothing but delicious.

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"The autumn menu is inspired by the season – and all the excellent ingredients that it offers – like corn, truffles, chestnuts, mushrooms...but I am also very proud of our own pickled vegetables because we have done it all by ourselves," said chef Ana Grgić.

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All the vegetables come from small farms, but so does the meat like for example duck that comes from the famed Varaždin OPG Orehovec and goat cheese from OPG Moravec. For all who prefer steaks, there will be Kagoshima Wagyu steak on the menu, too. Desserts are numerous and tasty, main ingredients being orange, rhubarb, tangerine, chocolate and exquisite corn ice cream. 

Last but not least, welcome sparkling wine that was served at the very beginning was also Krauthaker's sparkling wine Julia. Official mineral waters for the occasion were Acqua Panna & S. Pellegrino. 

Photos: Esplanade Hotel Archives

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Zagreb Esplanade Hotel Offers Guests Ability to Download Menu and News

The popular Esplanade Hotel in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb is experiencing a massive drop in bookings, but has taken it upon itself to offer its guests the ability to download its menus and newspapers via their smartphones, safely and in a contactless way.

Croatian tourism has taken a very heavy blow thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has reared its ugly head once again following a couple of weeks of peace after the questionable holding of a tennis event in Zadar. As such, Croatian hotels have little choice but to try to ride the storm during which the waves keep getting higher.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of June, 2020, Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel currently has an occupancy rate of just 20 percent, which, although low, is much better than it was back in May, but the situation is unpredictable because reservations are being made from today to tomorrow.

The above was revealed by the hotel's director, Ivica Max Krizmanic, on the occasion of the presentation of the hotel's new promotional film.

''Last year, we had more than 3000 overnight stays in this period, and this year we've only a little more than 400 of them. In the last month, most of our guests came from Croatia (28%) and neighbouring countries, Serbia (12%), Germany (10%), the US (5%) and the UK (4%), and those who came were here mainly for business.

The rest of them are tourists, individuals, and there are currently no groups, there probably won’t even be any soon, either,'' Krizmanic pointed out.

The Esplanade Hotel has offered guests the contactless ability to download the hotel's menus and daily newspapers via their smartphones, and the hotel’s own mobile app allows for possible room service orders.

The Health Club and limousine service are running but continue to take very strict precautions in their operations, and the rooms are thoroughly cleaned, ventilated and placed in 48-hour isolation.

"In these uncertain times, we shot a promotional video in which we're trying to bring potential guests closer to what we offer, and that's a combination of a sense of security, luxury and the Esplanade Hotel's special charm," said Krizmanic.

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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel Damaged in Earthquake

ZAGREB, March 31, 2020 - Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Zagreb, is closed due to extensive damage caused by the March 22 earthquake, exacerbating the difficult situation concerning the coronavirus, which has been adversely affecting business since January, the hotel's managing director has told Hina.

"In the earthquake, the hotel suffered extensive damage, on the facade, on the floors, in public spaces, and in many rooms. Therefore, it's with a heavy heart that I decided to close Esplanade for the foreseeable future, as a precaution," revealed Ivica Max Krizmanić. He added that the last few guests had been evacuated and put up in other hotels in Zagreb, and that the staff, apart from a few who are taking care of the hotel, had been sent home.

Krizmanić added that a detailed inspection conducted by structural engineers established that the building was structurally sound due to the fact that the hotel was built as an exceptionally stabled, high-quality, and massive luxury building back in 1925.

However, Krizmanić noted that it would take a lot of time and money to repair the damage. The managing director remarked that the last large renovation took place 16 years ago, and that the biggest challenge in the renovation after the earthquake would be finding wallpaper, tiles, lamps, and decorations identical to the unique ones that were damaged in the earthquake.

When asked about the way they were coping with the coronavirus crisis, Krizmanić stated that they had closely followed developments since the epidemic broke out in China, the rest of the world, and in the region. Since the epidemic reached Croatia, they kept implementing stricter measures, from cleaning and disinfecting the hotel's public spaces and areas and implementing obligatory hand disinfection for guests and staff, to procuring masks, thermometers, disinfectants, and increasing caution in preparing and serving food, complying with mandatory distance, allowing work from home, etc.

"Esplanade is famous for its high standards and first-rate service in every segment of its business, which is confirmed by numerous certificates and strict standards for staff, and our guests felt safe the whole time. However, due to the earthquake, we had to close," Krizmanić said.

He emphasised that the hotel registered business disruptions as early as January, when the epidemic broke out in China, and that it was obvious even then that 2020 would be a very hard year for tourism.

More news about hotels can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Luka Modric Presents Autobiography in Zagreb: "I've Achieved More than I Have Ever Dreamed"

November 18, 2019 - A formal presentation of Luka Modric's autobiography, titled My Game, drew a crowd at the Emerald Room of the Esplanade Hotel on Sunday night. In fact, the majority of those present make up the strongest forces of Croatian football in the last quarter of a century. 

Novi List reports that Real Madrid's Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueno and Brazilian footballer Marcelo even came from Madrid. Of course, Modric's family took center stage, without whose support his career might not have had such success.

Modric's autobiography was presented by the Croatian hero himself and Robert Matteoni, an outspoken sports journalist who recorded everything in the book. With them was Tarik Filipovic, who played another leadership role. Slaven Bilic arrived from England for this occasion, who led Modric for eight years in Croatia, under the auspices of the U-21 and A national teams.

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“Like all other children, I had my dreams, desires and hopes, but all that I have accomplished is more, much more than anything I dreamed of. When I look back, I can only be proud and happy,” said Modric, who was greeted with a great round of applause by the entire Emerald Hall.

On Saturday night at Rujevica, Croatia's secured their spot at the Euros. Since Modric will lead the national team at the tournament next year, it could easily happen that in the next twelve months, another expanded edition of his autobiography will be published. Namely, as he pointed out, the result from the World Cup in Russia was crucial for his cooperation with Matteoni.

“The idea of writing a book has been on my mind for a long time, and it has always been a great wish for me. However, I was missing more success in the national team jersey. That came true in Russia, and then we started writing. Robert and I have had an excellent relationship for many years and he pushed me towards it. When I decided that the time was right for an autobiography, I called him, and that's how things went,” explained Modric.

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The intense collaboration lasted for over a year and the end result is My Game, which will be translated into twelve languages.

“For me, it was a great pleasure and privilege. In my humble opinion, Luka’s autobiography is one of the most important things to happen after the World Cup in Russia. He simply had to explain his life to people. We all know his football journey, and now we have a peek behind the scenes and are told the story of his family, which is immensely beautiful. I couldn't wait to write it and I hope we were successful,” Matteoni pointed out.

Judging by the reactions of those who have already read the autobiography, the work has been done at the highest level. It should be noted that Modric was also a guest of Interliber, a book fair in Zagreb before the Esplanade ceremony, where he aroused the interest of many. A multitude of young children came to greet their idol and obtain a signed copy of the book. According to Bilic, all of them will hardly find a better role model than Modric.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of the whole story about Luka. A man is the wisest when he grows old, but if he waited a few more years, volumes of books should be written about him. So much has happened in Luka’s life in very little time and he had to share it with the whole world. It is the duty of all the greats, and Luka certainly is one of them,” concluded Bilic.

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Friday, 2 August 2019

WWF and Hotel Esplanade in Zagreb Join Forces to Reduce Food Waste

WWF and Hotel Esplanade in Zagreb have joined forces through an initiative that aims at sustainability, zero food waste, and reducing environmental impact.

Esplanade Hotel is committed to implementing good practices with this strategy, with the support of WWF, to reduce the amount of organic waste it generates through its operations, reports HRTurizam on August 1, 2019.

It is estimated that around 88 million tons of food is dumped in Europe, while 1/5 of the population is at risk of poverty. The amount of food thrown away globally is more than enough to feed every hungry person on the planet. In the last 40 years, the amount of food thrown out has doubled. More than 50 million tons of fruit and vegetables grown in Europe are discarded each year just because it is distorted or the wrong size. These are just some of the worrying facts that prompted Zagreb's Esplanade to join the WWF (World Nature Organization) Global Food Waste project as the first hotel in Croatia and the region, seeking to contribute to reducing food waste and thus reducing its adverse impact on the environment and planet Earth.

"Through its responsible business and waste management program, Hotel Esplanade has for many years sought to properly and efficiently manage food by procuring, preparing, and recycling food waste, but through this initiative, the intention is to further maximize the use of food in the kitchen and restaurants. Through informative and educational messages directed at guests, we will strive to highlight this global problem. Of course, we also want to encourage other individuals and institutions to move in this direction,” said Esplanade's general director Ivica Max Krizmanić, adding that Esplanade Hotel strives for a 'zero food waste' strategy. 

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"This project is challenging, certain changes in the behavior of employees and guests in food management are necessary, but with the right tools and directional guidance, through proven methods and examples of good practice, we believe we will get measurable results," said Krizmanic.

Reducing the amount of food waste is a major challenge in the quality management of the hotel and food sector. Waste, with its vast amount and pollution in the world, is not only a severe environmental problem, but also a susceptible social factor.

“For years, we have been implementing a waste reduction strategy in the entire food and beverage business, and carefully design all our menus, but there are always situations where we can further reduce food waste. We have started this project in some segments, and the plan is to continue to spread the idea of reducing food waste throughout the business. Many of our guests and clients, especially foreign ones, are aware of this issue and welcome our initiative, but there are many who simply do not think this way, so there is the need for awareness. This is not about saving, but about reducing our environmental impact together,” said Esplanade chef Ana Grgić, adding that precise measurements of food waste have revealed that most waste is generated at places like a breakfast buffet and when organizing large events with buffet meals.

"It has been observed that guests often take in far more food than they can consume, and so they throw away dozens of kilos of food every day. Buffets offer a delicious range of enticing dishes, so, understandably, guests want to try as much as possible of what is on offer. However, the hotel regularly complements the food, so some meals will not run out during breakfast or events. In this case, the hotel will throw away the excess food. Thus, they must strive for tailored communication and encourage customers to choose the right food for their events, but also encourage guests to eat smaller portions and only consume what they can handle.

In the same way, the hotel will encourage staff to adjust their food consumption to their needs, to reduce food waste in this area as well. In addition, the hotel has a special approach to the organization of food preparation, taking into account the consumption forecast given the number of guests, their profile and, for example, their nationality, which is especially useful for dishes that take a long time to cook like štrukli, desserts, breads and the like. We believe that after informing guests and educating staff, the new measurements will produce surprisingly positive results. Through this initiative, we are thinking and explicitly working for a better future for all of us,” Grgić points out.

Throwing away food is a significant economic problem for both the economy and consumers. Encouraging hotels to make a change is not only a step to keeping guests informed, but also towards raising awareness of this problem, which should ultimately be made known by every individual. 

“Fighting food waste is very important to us at WWF, and we want to encourage a behavior change in our hotels. Our long-term partner, the Esplanade Hotel, has recognized this project and started implementing it to reduce food waste. According to the first data we received, we saw where significant changes were to be made, and the hotel staff was convinced not only of the environment but also of the economic benefit. We believe that with this example, we will inspire other hotels in the region to take the leap to combat excess food,” said Fabian Peronja of WWF Adria.

Esplanade has strived for many years - both through stand-alone initiatives and collaborations - to reduce waste and their environmental impact within its responsible business program. As a result, Esplanade's lights are shut off for an hour each year to support WWF's Earth Hour project for more rational use of energy. The hotel was the first in Croatia to introduce Tesla destination chargers, and more recently, Porsche destination chargers through which guests can charge the batteries of their vehicles for free.

Furthermore, the hotel has been working on digitizing promotional material for years, offering guests a choice of 7,000 newspapers and magazines in digital form for free. The hotel encourages guests to operate their environmentally responsible business through a program of more careful use of hotel linens and towels, and also encourages guests and staff to consume filtered tap water to reduce plastic waste.

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Thursday, 13 June 2019

First Porsche Destination Charging Station in Croatia in Esplanade Hotel

A couple of years ago, Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel was the first hotel in the region to install the destination chargers for Tesla electric cars.

Now, the hotel has made another step into exploring sustainable business models, and has come to an agreement with Porsche. The prestigious German car-maker has installed the Porsche Destination Charging station in the hotel as well. This newest addition to the Esplanade Hotel garage will allow all Porsche electric car owners to charge their cars there free of charge - but the same thing will be available to all-electric cars that have a standard European charging connector, hrturizam.hr writes.

Ivica Max Krizmanić, the director of the Esplanade Hotel said that this addition to the services offered by the hotel proves that they are still at the top of the market, following the newest trends in luxurious services provided to their guests, trying to best their expectations and offer a different experience of a hotel stay. He added that the hotel has decided to support those customers who have a Porsche vehicle or any other electric car with a European connector by providing the free charging.

Their experience has shown that the guests are delighted by such innovations, and introducing the newest trends in luxury services is their way of doing business, one they're particularly proud of. Since they've had Tesla Destination Chargers for a while now, they hope that with this addition their garage and parking spot will feature only the "green" cars.

Porsche destination charging station for the electric vehicles offers 11 kW of power, and it takes a few hours to fully charge the batteries of a car. The Type 2 Model of the charger is located in Esplanade hotel, and you can charge all European hybryd and electric cars there, which makes it even more important as it can be used on a large number of types of vehicles. Currently, there are 49 thousand such Porsche charging stations in Europe, in 12 different countries. The one in Esplanade hotel is the first one in Croatia, but people from Porsche Croatia believe that the network will soon expand, as the number of hybrid and electric vehicles is growing in Croatia rapidly.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

New Creative Menu of Le Bistro Features the Best from Local Producers

At the legendary Le Bistro of the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, accompanied by the scents of hyacinth and excellent DJ music, a new a la carte menu of Le Bistro was presented. It offers a range of quite seductive dishes. Chef Ana Grgić and her team of young and creative chefs keeps proving that she is a master and an artist of her craft.

 Le Bistro (4)

For this occasion, she prepared for the guests a series of tempting dishes and attractive bites at live cooking stations. Everyone gathered in the Le Bistro had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful spring day on this lovely picturesque terrace in the heart of Zagreb. The presentation of the spring concept of the menu was attended by numerous regular guests of the restaurant, such as Ivana Marić, Karmela Vukov-Colić, Ashley Colburn, Vladimir and Marija Kraljević, who were among the first ones to have the opportunity to taste delicious dishes and grilled meats that will be part of the new menu.

In addition to the delicious snacks, the charming and well-run team of Le Bistro, led by restaurant manager Ivan Trbušić, served great wines. For starters, the Motovun winery Tomaz surprised the guests with the Rosé sparkling wine and Malvasia, while the Korak winery from Plešivica offered its Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling and Pinot Noir. The Istrian winemaker Franković from Buje offered Sauvignon, Malvasia and excellent Muscatel which was served with a selection of sweets. The exquisite dishes by Ana Grgić are even better when paired with the award-winning collection of extra virgin olive oils Oleum Viride of the Belić family from Istria, which has been the official Le Bistro olive oil for many years.

Ana devotes special attention to each particular ingredient, and only the locally grown ones, natural and healthy, found their way to her kitchen and her guest's plates. The spring menu includes homemade asparagus, aromatic Istrian truffles, smoked ham of the indigenous Slavonian pigs, and the famous potatoes from Lika. Lamb for the tasty lamb burger came from the green pastures of Gorski Kotar region and from black Romanov lambs. "This meat is of great taste, juicy and with no strong scent characteristic of lamb meat. It is easily digestible, and I was impressed by the breeding story", explained Ana Grgić, adding: "The spring offer of ingredients is impossible to resist. I wanted the menu to offer the top products from local breeders and highly-nutritional ingredients, from which I tried to create delicious and unusual combinations of dishes with the touch of French cuisine."

While creating the menu, a particular emphasis was placed on the sustainability that Ana has been promoting over the last few years as a distinguished ambassador of WWF's global Fish Forward Initiative. Among the appetisers, Ana has thus included the Adriatic shrimp from the Podvelebitski Channel which are caught in a way which protects the micro-ecosystem, encouraging fishers to follow the practice. Representatives of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) took the opportunity of the presentation of the new menu to bring attention to the alarming state of the sea and the necessity for sustainable use of resources.

Jadranski škampi, kadaif, pečeni krastavci, juha od kopra i krastavaca

"WWF Adria has the honour to work with the Esplanade Hotel on promoting the protection and sustainable use of natural resources. Trap fishing of shrimp in the Podvelebitski Channel is an example of good practices whereby fishers can live of their work long-term without endangering the species they fish and their habitat. This fishing is one of the most sustainable ones in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Esplanade Hotel, with the promotion of Podvelebitski shrimp, not only assures itself a constant supply of sea products but it remains the sustainability leader of the entire Ho-Re-Ca sector in Croatia. The consumption of sustainable fisheries products is a key element in the protection of marine resources not only in the Adriatic but in all seas of the world. Responsible practices protect not just the fish but millions of people around the world who depend on fish as a source of food and income," said Danijel Kanski, Marine Program Manager at WWF Adria.

Dimljeni rižoto sa sušenim trubama i kremom od komorača

Guests also had the opportunity to taste a variety of beautiful and creative spring-inspired delicacies that will be available on the Le Bistro menu. On offer were burratina panna cotta, salsa and avocado gel, marinated mackerel with crispy vegetables and quinoa, spider crab with fresh zucchini and crunchy tapioca, celery rosti with roasted trout caviar, smoked trout and warm celery cream, as well as Ana’s award-winning smoked risotto, which this year comes with dried chanterelles and fennel cream. The spring menu expertly combines fresh local flavours: salad with pumpkin comes with fresh goat cheese, dressing of pumpkin oil and roasted hazelnuts, chia seeds; smoked duck breast garnished with caramelised parsnip, teriyaki and bok choy; and vitello tonnato with caper leaf, sugared lemon peel and baby salad.

Panna cotta od burratine, salsa i gel od avokada, maslinovo ulje, rikola, rajčice

The spring collection of hearty soups brings together healthy ingredients. Oyster mushroom soup is served with aronia gel and roasted oyster mushrooms, while parsley soup is garnished with cottage cheese pithivier and pancetta crumble. Homemade raviolo is stuffed with smoked prawns, crab velouté, tomato cream and basil. Homemade noodles with truffles, foie gras and orange juice are a real treat on the new menu.

Glazirani teleći ossobuco, svježi bosiljak, basmati riža sa sušenim rajčicama i pinjolima

Among the main dishes, there is glazed veal ossobuco, fresh basil, basmati rice with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Ana has decided to serve seldom used zander in brown butter, smoked sweet potatoes, kale with chilli pepper, and she was inspired by traditional “fiš-paprikaš”. Monkfish is served in paper, turmeric root, leek, sun-dried tomatoes, lardo and sage, while striped red mullet is prepared with fennel and saffron marmalade, roasted artichoke, citrus velouté. Cuttlefish confit is rounded with roasted white polenta with herbs, romanesco broccoli cream and lemon juice.

Confit od sipe, pečena bijela palenta sa začinskim biljem, šenon krema, limunov sok

The meat selection offers beef fillet, pistachio crust, truffle potatoes, figs in Prosecco. In her spring menu, Ana also included the unavoidable USA striploin steak with shallot cream, onion confit, roasted mushrooms with thyme. Gourmets can also choose among a varied selection of delicious desserts inspired by spring colours and scents which are a perfect end to a meal. Lemon meringue combined with lemon curd and flaky lemon grass pastry or caramelised mango with ricotta and white chocolate will impress everyone, while chocolate fans will be delighted with warm chocolate cake with strawberries, mint and vanilla cream. The French chic in this springtime dessert menu is represented by mille-feuille with strawberries, mint powder and cocoa crunch, offer a rhapsody of flavours. The exotic note is provided by rum baba, caramelised pineapple and coconut cream.

In addition to the a la carte offer, the menu includes meals prepared according to the strict BOSK gluten-free standard.

The wine list offers a rich selection of exceptional Croatian and international wines and sparkling wines, which will complement the dining experience, while the staff will propose to the guests those which best suit the selected dishes.

Ana’s perfectionist approach to gastronomy, the young and charming team of chefs and waiters, and the cosy, relaxed ambience of Le Bistro, are an excellent reason to spend time enjoying Ana's delicious meals. Bravo.

More news about Ana Grgić can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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