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.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel Named 'Historic Hotel of the Year'

In Switzerland, at the Grand Hotel Kempinski along Lake Geneva, the European Hotel Awards 2019 ceremony was held, where awards were given in ten categories. Among the laureates is the luxury Zagreb Esplanade hotel which was recognized as the ‘Historic Hotel of 2019’, reports HRTurizam on March 25, 2019. 

Hotel Esplanade has stunned since 1925 with its luxurious interior, impressive architecture and contemporary amenities, even attracting travelers of the famous Orient Express. Today, on the foundations of top service, timeless charm and decoration, and cultural and historical importance, the Esplanade continues to enchant guests in Zagreb every day, said Ivica Max Krizmanić, general manager of the hotel Esplanade, adding: 

"This award once again proves that we are at the very top of the European, but also the international scene of the selected hotels, widely known for its rich history which makes the Esplanade so unique. What I especially appreciate, as a person who spent almost three decades in this hotel, is that the Esplanade has long been a temple of superb gastronomy and a hotel with a touch of taste, sophistication, outstanding service and special, sincere connections with Zagreb, its fellow citizens and every guest. The Historic Hotel of the Year award is a great honor. I congratulate the entire hotel team on the valuable years behind us,” says Krizmanić.

The Esplanade manager was previously awarded the World Star Award for his personal contribution to the Esplanade hotel's business, the Five Star Diamond Award for outstanding hotel management, while the oldest gourmet association in the world, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, named him an honorary member in Croatia at their recent inauguration ceremony. 

The European Hotel Awards by Références 2019 award winners are selected by experts from all over Europe and hotel guests.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 22 November 2018

VINOcom Festival Comes to Zagreb for Thirteenth Time!

November 22, 2018 - As announced on their official website, the 13th annual Zagreb VINOcom festival of wine and culinary arts is about to take place this Friday and Saturday, November 23rd and 24th, at the Esplanade hotel.
Zagreb's most popular international wine festival opens tomorrow at 11:00 AM and the number of visitors is expected to exceed last year's attendance. Entrance tickets ranging from 150 to 200 kuna can be pre-booked via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or purchased on-site.
You can find the list of all confirmed exhibitors here, and the showcasing will be organized as follows:
Emerald ballroom - domestic wines
Venice hall - domestic wines
Zinfandel's restaurant - champions
Paris suite - foreign exhibitors
Istanbul suite - merchants, importers, distributors
Oleander Terrace - presentations, food, other alcoholic beverages, etc.
With the event growing in size each year, the 13th VINOcom edition will feature more than 300 winemakers, olive growers, prosciutto producers, and cheesemakers, but also a number of various other foods and beverages vendors, said professor Ivan Dropuljić, the festival's founder and director.
Apart from an amazing selection of finest Croatian and international wines, Zagreb VINOcom festival boasts many interesting wine-themed workshops that are perfect for any level of wine lover, but because of limited seating capacity, make sure you book your tickets on time.
Also, we are proud to mention that Zagreb VINOcom festival has a humanitarian character. If you are interested in making a contribution, look for the P.I.N.K. Life Association at the Oleander terrace where this charitable organization will be collecting donations, and all proceeds will go to oncology patients and the socially vulnerable.
Stay tuned for more related updates and festival highlights by following our designated gourmet page. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, make sure to follow Total Zagreb for everything you need to know about what's going on in Croatia's capital.
Monday, 29 October 2018

Zagreb’s Esplanade Hotel Named Best Hotel in Croatia

The most important award in Croatia’s tourism industry has been presented – and the winners are known. At the annual tourism event – the Days of Croatian Tourism held on 24 and 25 October in Hvar, organized by the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Tourism – prizes and awards were given for the best in several categories. Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb has received awards in two categories – the best city hotel and the hotel of the year. The awards were presented to general manager Ivica Max Krizmanić, who has been leading the hotel for nearly seven years and who has worked at Esplanade for a quarter of a century.

“Esplanade is truly an exceptional hotel and my whole team and I are particularly happy and proud to be part of its spectacular and lavish history. Esplanade is an institution and an icon of the Croatian hotel industry, gastronomy and design, which has attracted guests with its irresistible charm and personality for almost 95 years. The hotel has always been known for its top-class service, and we strive to continue this tradition by following the needs of modern guests, new trends and the development of new technologies to provide the best possible level of service to our guests,” said Krizmanić.

There is no doubt that Esplanade Hotel was and is the centre of Zagreb’s social life, a favourite gathering place for many generations of residents, and the first choice for statesmen, royal families and showbiz stars who come to Zagreb. From its beginnings, Esplanade has had great significance not just for the city of Zagreb but also for Croatia.

esplanade best hotel croatia.jpeg

Andrea Ozegovic

"I am proud of these great accomplishments and acknowledgments and of my whole team, which helps guests create wonderful memories thanks to their positive energy, an individual and personalised attitude, and the love for the hotel. Our prestigious hotel is the pride of Zagreb and these awards are just a confirmation of our efforts, dedication and successful business results. I would like to thank the tourism experts who have recognized this and once again I congratulate everyone,” added Krizmanić.

Since the beginning of this year, Esplanade Hotel has received many prestigious awards and international prizes and has been included in globally-renowned hotel guides. The Oscars of the hotel industry – World Luxury Travel Awards – have been awarded to the hotel in three categories – Luxury Architecture Design Hotel, Luxury Historical Hotel for Croatia, and Luxury Heritage Hotel for Southeast Europe.

The TripAdvisor Hall of Fame certificates have been awarded to the Zinfandel's restaurant, Le Bistro and the Esplanade Hotel due to many years of excellent guest reviews. For two years in a row, both hotel restaurants have been included in the Michelin guide, while chef Ana Grgić was named the “Great Chef of Tomorrow” according to the Gault&Milau gourmet guide for Croatia for 2018.

If you would like to read more about Croatia's hotels, click here.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Hotel Esplanade Zagreb Ready for World Cup Final

The famous hotel joins the football craze.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Demand for Luxury Hotels in Zagreb On the Rise

One of the most luxurious Zagreb hotels, Esplanade Hotel Zagreb, has had a 40% increase in demand over the past six months, reports

Sunday, 4 June 2017

More Awards for Zagreb's Most Luxurious Hotel

“I have been in the hotel business for over 5 years and I have never found such an elegant hotel as the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel"

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Manchester United Coach Jose Mourinho in Zagreb After Croatian Footballer

Jose Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United, arrived in Zagreb yesterday and is said to be staying at the Esplanade hotel.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Famous French Michelin Star Chef Comes to Zagreb Next Month

An exquisite addition to the already rich Zagreb gastro scene is the Champagne Gala Dinner, who this year is hosted by French Michelin star chef, Lionel Levy. The event will take place on November 3 at Zinfandel in the Esplanade Hotel.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

19 Croatian Hotels Won the Gold Award for "Loved by Guests" Awards

We all know that good, bad or terrible reviews can be crucial in choosing where you’ll pick for your next stay. After analyzing 20 million authentic reviews from guests who have stayed in hotels around the world, the company announced the winners of its program "Loved by Guests Awards 2016". Nineteen hotels from Croatia were included.

Page 2 of 2

Zagreb: An Insider's Guide