Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Flavors of Croatia: From Local Specialties to Michelin-Starred Restaurants

November 24, 2021 - What can be said about Croatian cuisine? Are the old clichés still true? Are Croatians still carnivores who eat everything with bread? A look at the flavors of Croatia, from local specialties to Michelin-starred restaurants. 

As Croatia Luxury Rent reports, Croatia has a heterogeneous and regional cuisine in which each part of the country has its own culinary tradition. And given Croatian history, the regional cuisines often resemble the styles of other countries, some of which have long since ceased to exist.

The influence of antiquity, Illyrians, Mediterranean cuisine, and Italian, French, Viennese, and Hungarian can be felt on the Adriatic. Austro-Hungarian cuisine sends greetings from continental Croatia, as does Turkish.

While you'll find mostly fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil on the coast and islands, in continental Croatia, you'll find more meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products - and the preparation methods are more complex and dishes more nutritious. Both cases boast seasonal cuisine.

Croatian regional cuisines are divided into Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Lika, Zagorje, Međimurje, Podravina and Slavonia. Each region has its own specialties, which are not always so well known to everyone at the national level.

So, what is the DNA of a Croatian kitchen? What are Croatian specialties? What makes them unique? Who are the pioneers of Croatian gastronomy? What is the future of Croatian cuisine? Which restaurants are especially worth visiting?

To that end, Croatia Luxury Rent spoke with industry leaders and restaurants.

Despite all the influences, there are many Croatian specialties that you will not find anywhere else except in Croatian regions, and there are also dishes you may not have heard about!

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Sinj arambaši: Arambaši - a traditional dish from the Croatian town of Sinj - is an unusual variant of sarma and consists of a combination of minced beef, onion, garlic, pork belly, and parsley. The mix is usually seasoned with pepper, salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated lemon zest.

This mixture is then wrapped in sauerkraut leaves and placed in a pot. Before cooking, arambaši is covered with chopped sauerkraut, beef bones, tomato juice, water, and various dried meat products. The dish's name comes from the Turkish words 'harami', which means sinful or unacceptable, and 'başi,' which implies commander or chief. It is traditionally served at festivities such as Easter or Christmas, but arambaši are especially popular during the Feast of the Assumption and the popular Sinjska Alka.

Požeski pijanci: Pijanaci is a traditional cake originating from the town of Požega. The cake is made of flour, eggs, yolk, lard, and sugar. The dough is cut into pieces that are shaped into coils with a hole in the middle.

After baking, the tops are dipped in egg whites and sugar and then dry in the oven.

In the past, pijanci were traditionally consumed in the afternoon while drinking wine with friends and neighbors, and the cakes were soaked in wine, hence the name!

Šurlice sa škampima: This specialty originates from the Croatian island of Krk. It consists of a local variety of pasta known as šurlice, combined with onion, garlic, shrimp, tomato juice, white wine, and stock. The pasta is sometimes sautéed in butter before being combined with the other ingredients. It is recommended to supplement the dish with grated cheese before serving.

Learn more about how experts or the kings and queens of Croatian specialties see their products and work, and what makes Croatian cuisine so unique HERE

Croatian restaurants are impressive, as well. Not only did Croatia receive three new Michelin-starred restaurants last year, but the country also has several Bib Gourmand restaurants and one Michelin Green Star restaurant for exceptional sustainability.

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1 Michelin star:

  1. 360⁰, Dubrovnik
  2. Draga di Lovrana, Lovran
  3. Monte, Rovinj
  4. Pelegrini, Šibenik
  5. Noel, Zagreb
  6. Boškinac, Novalja
  7. LD Terrace, Korčula
  8. Agli Amici, Rovinj
  9. Alfred Keller, Mali Lošinj
  10. Nebo, Rijeka

Bib Gourmand:

  1. Batelina, Banjole
  2. Dunav, Ilok
  3. Konoba Mate, Korčula
  4. Vuglec Breg, Krapina
  5. Konoba Vinko, šibenik
  6. Konoba Fetivi, Split
  7. Agava, Zagreb
  8. TAČ, Zagreb
  9. Konoba škoj, šolta
  10. Zlatne Gorice, Varaždin Breg
  11. Izakaya by Time, Zagreb
  12. Konoba Malo Selo, Buje
  13. Alla Beccaccia, Valbandon

Michelin Green Star:

  1. Zinfandel's, Zagreb

    You can read more about Croatia's haute cuisine in an interview with LD Restaurant's Marko Gaski HERE.

    For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.
Friday, 1 October 2021

Michelin-Star Boškinac Visits Split for JRE Masterclass on Pag Lamb

October 1, 2021 - Chef Matija Kruhonja of Michelin-star restaurant Boškinac visited Split for a JRE masterclass on Pag lamb, accompanied by Korta Katarina wines. 

On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, the culinary team from the famous Boškinac restaurant, which confirmed its Michelin star earlier this month, visited the Miele experience center in Split for a masterclass with restaurant chefs who are part of the prestigious JRE association.

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The exclusive group of visitors had the chance to learn the secrets of preparing Pag lamb firsthand from experts for whom lamb is one of the most important foods in the award-winning restaurant. The chef of the restaurant, Matija Kruhonja, and his team revealed secrets and prepared one of Boškinac's most famous dishes.

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"Our topic was Pag lamb, the legendary terroir ingredient from the island of Pag. The masterclass went deep into the topic by showing various restaurant cuts. Why did we pick this subject? First of all, we wanted to educate the guests about the proper way of cutting the meat, then show them positions and explain which parts are good for certain dishes and last but not the least, prepare a dish - a current signature dish created by Boškinac chef Matija Kruhonja," Irina Ban of JRE. 

Chef Matija Kruhonja also showed the knives he used and explained the animal's anatomy, which has to be respected if one wants to make precise and correct cuts.

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"We also discussed that Pag lamb is much smaller than other European varieties due to the lack of food and hostile terrain, but its meat has a stronger flavor due to that same reason - animals are on pasture which is mostly consisted of aromatic herbs, covered with sea salt. Such conditions make an animal more muscular, less fat, and smaller," added Ban. 

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The lamb was paired with wines from Pelješac winery Korta Katarina: sparkling Sabion, Plavac Mali - Winemakers Selection 2011, before ending the evening with Boškinac red Cuvee as a gift of the house. All wines were presented by Boškinac sommelier Mladen Livaja, one of the best sommeliers in Croatia. 

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Jeunes Restaurateurs (JRE) Croatia is a prestigious association of the most creative gastronomes, and the Croatian branch has 16 restaurants. Founded in 1974, it has about 350 of the best young top chefs and restaurant owners in Europe. JRE chefs combine outstanding talent, a deep passion for cuisine, a love of local produce, and a strong sense of tradition. Their cooking expertise, paired with the outstanding atmosphere of their restaurants, offers a truly fantastic experience. JRE organizes masterclasses with chefs from the best Croatian restaurants who are also members of this prestigious association several times a year. Until now, they were completely closed to the public.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Three More Croatian Restaurants Awarded Michelin Star

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - Three more Croatian restaurants have been added to the prestigious Michelin restaurant guide, bringing the total number of Croatian restaurants with one star to ten, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) announced on Tuesday following notification from Michelin.

The three new restaurants that have been awarded a single Michelin star are Nebo in Rijeka (housed in the Costabella Hilton Hotel), Alfred Keller in Mali Lošinj and Agli Amici in Rovinj. They joined the seven restaurants that have retained their stars - Boškinac in Novalja, LD Terrace in Korčula, Pelegrini in Šibenik, 360º in Dubrovnik, Monte in Rovinj, Noel in Zagrebu and Draga di Lovrana in Lovran.

In addition, seven more restaurants have been awarded the special Bib Gourmand designation for their remarkable menus at affordable prices. There are now 13 restaurants in Croatia with this designation.

The new Bib Gourmand restaurants are Konoba Mate (Korčula), Dunav (Ilok), Konoba Fetivi (Split), Izakaya by Time (Zagreb), Vuglec Breg (Krapina), Konoba Malo Selo (Buje) and Alla Beccaccia (Valbandon).

All the restaurants are listed in the new edition of the Michelin guide for Croatia for 2021. Another novelty in the new edition is the Michelin Green Star designation, which has been awarded to the Zinfandel's restaurant, housed in the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, to acknowledge its commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly gastronomy.

Commenting on the news from Michelin, Tourism and Sport Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that enjoying food and drink is an important part of the tourist experience, adding that Croatia, as a country with a rich gastronomic tradition, should invest more in its promotion and development in the future. 

HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić said that the award of new Michelin designations is a huge success for the Croatian gastronomic scene and very important for the country's tourist industry, considering various restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Eat Your Way Through Croatia: The Croatia Michelin Guide for Foodies 2021

July 01, 2021 - Ranked as the 4th most underrated foodie destination in the world, Croatia now boasts 7 Michelin stars, 10 Bib Gourmands, and 51 Michelin Plates restaurants. This is your ultimate food guide for an unforgettable gourmet Croatia experience! The Croatia Michelin Guide for foodies this year. 

Originally a guide for French motorists started by brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin back in the early1900s, The Michelin Guide is now the Oscars of the culinary world and the holy creed for ardent food lovers. Although the star system is the most revered and famous among others, the Michelin stars are not the only way the Michelin Guide recognizes restaurants - they also give out the Michelin Bib Gourmand and The Plate Michelin awards to those deserving to be distinguished in the culinary world!

THE MICHELIN GUIDE CROATIA 2021

Find your way to the best restaurants and konobas in Croatia with just one click!

1 Michelin Star - "A very good restaurant; worth a stop!"

2 Michelin Stars - "Excellent cooking; worth a detour!"

3 Michelin Stars - "Exceptional cuisine; worth a special journey!"

Other Awards:

Michelin Bib Gourmand - "Good quality and good value cooking"

The Plate Michelin - "Good cooking: Fresh ingredients and carefully prepared"

SPLIT-DALMATIA 

The Plate Michelin 

Zoi - Split, Mediterranean Cuisine

Zrno Soli - Split, Seafood / Mediterranean Cuisine

Dvor - Split, Mediterranean Cuisine 

Kadena - Split, International Cuisine

Konoba TRS - Trogir, Meditteranean Cuisine

Jeny - Tucepi, Modern Cuisine

Michelin Bib Gourmand 

Konoba Škoj - Isola di Solta, Mediterranean Cuisine

 

ŠIBENIK-KNIN

1 Michelin Star

Pelegrini - Šibenik, Modern Cuisine

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Photo credit: Instagram: pelegrini_sibenik

The Michelin Guide describes chef Rudolf Štefan's menu as perfect and a result of long, painstaking research and hard work. Pelegrini highlights the usage of local ingredients such as oysters, sea snails, sea urchins, mussels, lamb, and veal. 

MUST TRY!
  • Carrot mussels and sausage
  • Chicken tingul
  • Fig and ricotta

The Plate Michelin

Konoba Tri Piruna - Vodice, Modern Cuisine/Contemporary

Konoba Boba - Murter, Modern Cuisine

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Konoba Vinko - Konjevrate, Country Cooking  

 

ZADAR 

The Plate Michelin

Fośa  - Zadar, Seafood and Classic Cuisine

Kaštel - Zadar, Meditteranean Cuisine, Contemporary

 

DUBROVNIK-NERETVA

1 Michelin Star

Restaurant 360 - Dubrovnik, Modern Cuisine

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A restaurant with a perfect view of the picturesque and historical city of Dubrovnik, the restaurant is equipped with real professionalism and young and dynamic staff. The menu is elaborately prepared and beautifully presented, including the wines. The Michelin Guide describes it as the best choice for an enchanting and gourmet evening in this romantic city.

MUST TRY!
  • Two textures of scallops and turnip: turnip creamy base with slightly seared scallops, sour turnip disc, and marinated scallops carpaccio in lime juice, crunchy quinoa chips, and thick onion soup
  • Pan-seared duck breast, soy sauce glaze, Jerusalem artichoke purée, sour onion filled with duck confit, croutons, and anchovies foam
  • Milky chocolate velouté base, Kadaif filled with cooked pear in timut pepper and vanilla, Tonka cream, homemade vanilla, and oat ice cream

LD Restaurant - Korčula Island, Mediterranean / Modern Cuisine

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Photo credit: Instagram: lesic.dimitri.palace

This restaurant offers superb Mediterranean cuisine showcasing local products, especially olive oil, excellent fish selection, and exotic ingredients. The outdoor area is perfect for al fresco dining and has the perfect view of the sea and the islands. 

 MUST TRY!
  • Foie Gras (Apple, grapes, brioche crumbs, cherries)
  • Prawn gyoza (Mousseline sauce, chili, daikon, sesame)
  • Chocolate Crocante

 The Plate Michelin

Vapor - Dubrovnik, Modern Cuisine

Nautika - Dubrovnik, Classic Cuisine

Above 5 - Dubrovnik, Creative

Stara Loza - Dubrovnik, Mediterranean Cuisine

Proto Fish - Dubrovnik, Seafood 

Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik, Mediterranean Cuisine

Bistro Tavulin - Dubrovnik, Traditional cuisine

Pjerin - Dubrovnik, Mediterranean Cuisine 

Bugenvila - Cavtat, Classic Cuisine

Filippi - Korčula Island, Mediterranean Cuisine

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Konoba Mate - Korčula Island, Country Cooking

ISTRIA

1 Michelin Star 

Monte - Rovinj, Creative

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Photo credit: Instagram: monte_rovinj

The Michelin Guide describes Chef Danijel Dekić's cuisine as highly creative, almost theatrical with contemporary and exciting techniques. Monte is located in the heart of Rovinj, with a modern and trendy vibe. Definitely worth a stop!

MUST TRY!
  • Omega 3- three preparations of Northern Adriatic fish
  • Suckling pig, lentils, yellow cabbage, pork rind
  • Apple & Rose- rose ice cream, apple mousse, candied rose petals

The Plate Michelin

Alla Beccaccia - Valbandon, Traditional/Classic Cuisine

Meneghetti - Bale, Classic Cuisine

La Puntulina - Rovinj, Mediterranean/Regional Cuisine

Zigante - Livade, Traditional Cuisine

SV. Nikola - Porec, Classic Cuisine

Konoba Čok - Novigrad, Seafood

Marina - Novigrad, Creative

Damir & Ornella - Novigrad, Seafood

Konoba Morgan - Brtonigla, Traditional Cuisine

San Rocco - Brtonigla, Contemporary/Modern Cuisine

Badi - Lovrečica, Meditteranean Cuisine

Konoba Buščina - Umag, Traditional Cuisine

Pergola - Zambratija, Seafood

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Batelina - Banjole, Seafood 

 

PRIMORJE-GORSKI KOTAR

1 Michelin Star

Draga Di Lovrana - Lovran, Modern Cuisine

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Photo credit: Instagram: hotel_draga_di_lovrana

The Michelin Guide commended the restaurant's promotion of local produce and its dishes that are creative, modern with Mediterranean influences and occasional French twist. The restaurant has an impressive wine list that perfectly complements the restaurant's daily menu. Since 2021, this modern kitchen is being run by chef Zdravko Tomšić.

MUST TRY!

  • Rolls of deer ramsteak, mousse pastrnjaka, carrot, pomegranate
  • Pork belly, Roman gnocchi, beet chutney / apple
  • Whiskey biscuits, baked pear cream, mandrine sauce
  • Kvarnerski ceviche, orange emulsion, black basket

The Plate Michelin

Villa Ariston - Opatija, Classic / Modern Cuisine

Navis - Opatija, Contemporary / Mediterranean Cuisine

 

ZAGREB

1 Michelin Star

Noel - Zagreb, Modern Cuisine

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Photo credit: Instagram: noelzagreb

The restaurant serves contemporary, modern, and imaginative dishes with carefully selected Croatian, French and Italian wines. This trendy and hip restaurant is owned by owner-chef Goran Kočiś and his business partner and sommelier, Ivan Jug.

MUST TRY!
  • Zagorski Štrukli with Istrian truffles
  • Wild fish, young beans, yuzu, beurre blanc
  • Apple, rosemary, passion fruit

The Plate Michelin

Tekka - Zagreb, Japanese/Asian, Takeaway

Zinfandel's - Zagreb, Modern Cuisine

Le Bistro Esplanade - Zagreb, French

Beštija - Zagreb, Market Cuisine / Contemporary

Apetit - Zagreb, Mediterranean Cuisine

Takenoko - Zagreb, Japanese / Fusion, Takeaway

Boban - Zagreb, Traditional Cuisine

Pod Zidom - Zagreb, Market Cuisine

Dubravkin Put - Zagreb, Mediterranean Cuisine

ManO - Zagreb, Steakhouse / Modern Cuisine

Bistro Apetit by Marin Rendić - Zagreb, Mediterranean Cuisine

Mon Ami - Velika Gorica, Mediterranean Cuisine, Takeaway

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Agava - Zagreb, International

Tač - Zagreb, Traditional Cuisine

 

KRAPINA-ZAGORJE

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Vuglec Breg - Krapina, Regional Cuisine

 

LIKA-SENJ

1 Michelin Star

Boškinac - Novalja, Pag, Modern Cuisine

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Photo credit: Instagram: hotelboskinac

Surrounded by greenery, Boškinac showcases Pag island's various delicacies in its menus such as olive oil, Pag cheese, lamb, fish, and wine. The restaurant is located in a property that is perfect for an idyllic and relaxing holiday in Croatia.

MUST TRY!
  • Scampi, seaweed, basil and almond emulsion, planktons
  • Pag lamb burned with pine needles powder, roasted lamb belly, peas, and mint cream, pickled carrots
  • Beetroot cream, fermented lemon and yogurt cream, olive oil sponge cake cover, beetroot jelly, pickled carrot leaves

 

VARAŽDIN

The Plate Michelin

Bedem - Varaždin, Traditional Cuisine, Takeaway

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Zlatne Gorice - Varaždin Breg, Regional Cuisine

 

MEDIMURJE 

The Plate Michelin

Mala Hiža - Mačkovec, Regional Cuisine

 

OSIJEK-BARANJA

The Plate Michelin

Waldinger - Osijek, Regional Cuisine

 

VUKOVAR-SYRMIA

Michelin Bib Gourmand

Dunav - Ilok, Country Cooking / Regional Cuisine

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

 

Monday, 13 July 2020

Can Good Communication Save The Season? Boškinac on Pag Busier Than In 2019

July 13, 2020 - Marc Rowlands interviews Boris Šuljić, owner of Boškinac on Pag, a Michelin-starred restaurant, to try and discover the secret to success in the challenging summer of 2020

Among the neverending doom and gloom of this year, a ray of sunshine through the clouds. At Boškinac on Pag, the restaurant, hotel and winery, business is booming. With better numbers than at this point in 2019, is it possible the luxury sector is suffering less this season from COVID-19? And what is the secret to Boškinac's success so far in 2020?

“I am very satisfied with this year's business,” Boškinac owner Boris Šuljić told TCN with a smile and a carefree tone to his voice. “It's definitely busier than last year. Some days are better than others but, generally, more people are coming.”

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An island within an island. Pag's Boškinac is located within a lush green and neighbourless section of the island's interior © Boškinac

In a year where, depending on who you believe and how you extrapolate the info, tourism in Croatia is down by at least 50%, people sit comfortably isolated on Boškinac's large terrace. There, they take in the view of the olive trees and Boškinac's vineyards, with not a neighbour in sight. With special measures in place, seats in their Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant are similarly full. But just where are these guests coming from?

“Most of them this year have been from Croatia and Slovenia,” says Šuljić, not unsurprised. “I'd say the next largest group is foreign nationals, ex-pats, who now live in Croatia. But, also we've had quite a few from Germany, Austria, and Belgium. It's not so difficult for us to get busy. We are a relatively small hotel - 11 rooms, 55 seats in the fine dining restaurant, and 40 seats in our more informal tavern.”

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Boris Šuljić welcoming guests to Boškinac with a glass of their own-made wine in summer 2019 © Fabio Šimićev

Šuljić estimates that in total around 60% of 2020's guests have come from Croatia, 40% from other countries, a distinct change in the usual demographic they receive. Awarded a Michelin star in February of 2020, the hotel and restaurant have earned a reputation internationally for high-quality food, wines, service, and an experience much more unhurried and relaxing than that found in many places on the popular island. So, has he dropped his prices to encourage this year's draw?

“No, not at all” Šuljić tells us, “our prices remained normal. We are not so expensive like some other 4 or 5-star hotels in Dubrovnik, Rovinj, or Split. The average room price is around €200. Until 15 July, we arranged some special packages with the room and fine dining. We kept the food at the same price but offered the rooms a little cheaper in combination. It was successful. It seemed to attract people who'd heard of the hotel and restaurant, who maybe decided that right now was the best time to come and look. It's not so far to come here to check us out when you only have to travel from Split or Istria, even Zagreb, which is where many of these guests have been coming from. They stayed for one or two nights and enjoyed our Michelin-starred restaurant.”

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The flair with which Boškinac on Pag use their fresh, locally-sourced and premium ingredients earned them a Michelin star earlier in 2020 © Boškinac

Always keeping on top of developments in Croatia's gastro scene (you can stay updated on our Gourmet pages), one of TCN's most recent reports from Boškinac noted the venue's fluctuating success of the 2019 season. The summer's unusually variable weather was considered as perhaps one factor in the lack of footfall. With the sun shining reliably on Pag this summer, could it be that visitors care more about the weather than they do about Coronavirus? Is sun-seeking really a greater deciding factor for those looking at Croatia holidays than the ever-updating COVID-19 situation? Šuljić thinks not.

“I definitely think we're busier this year because of the Michelin star,” he says. “People seem to really recognise this international sign of quality. We got a lot of attention because of this. I think it is also because of our communication. We capitalised on the attention and we have been sending out very positive messages. We have every reason to be optimistic and it is this optimistic message we have been sending out; we are here, we are a small place, isolated, we have no neighbours, with allocations for relatively few people, but with lots of room and air and enough terrace for everyone. This is not the usual kind of busy hotel that's packed with people. We are very passionate about our food and our hotel experience. Ours is a business that concentrates on quality, not quantity.”

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A platter of distinctly Dalmatian delights, an example of the food on offer at Boškinac on Pag's less-formal tavern restaurant © Boškinac on Pag

Though Šuljić's international recognition, unique premises and isolated location undoubtedly offer an advantage in attracting high-end clientele, could other Croatian businesses learn something from the clear and optimistic communication Boškinac has been sending out since the season's start? Well, it's an option to all but, since opening in 200, Boškinac's message and communications have been of premium importance to the business.

“We were very ambitious as soon as we opened, especially with our food,” remembers Šuljić. “But, at that time, this kind of fine dining experience was not so much recognised in Croatia. It was a very high cuisine for the time. People didn't understand what we were trying to do. Slowly we grew with our guests. It was a journey we made together. It was a gradual process. On our part, a mixture of good social media communication, some PR and word-of-mouth recommendations from previous guests was what worked best.”

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Spectacular presentation, one of the many wow factors attracting curious visitors to Boškinac on Pag © Boškinac on Pag

Of course, it's too early to tell if Boškinac will maintain its story of success through summer 2020. Šuljić is aware of this. And, even though it is even more difficult to predict the rest of the season than in any other year, he remains decidedly unworried because of their experiences so far.

“It is really interesting,” he says, when asked about future bookings for this summer, “I've never known anything like it. We have so far not had any bookings further than three or four weeks in advance. It's much more week to week. For instance, right now we have zero bookings for August. Usually, I would be concerned. But, it was the same one month ago and now we are almost full. All of the bookings are last minute. People are making their decisions based on the status and the quality of the information available. They check the news and the websites for advice, make a decision and then off they go.”

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© Boškinac on Pag

For the best and most up-to-date information on Coronavirus and travel to Croatia, bookmark the Total Croatia News news page.

Total Croatia News is the best-read English language news site covering Croatia for people across south-east Europe. If you want to get your message across to those booking last-minute visits to the Croatia in summer 2020, contact us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see what we can do for you.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Croatian Restaurants in Anticipation of Michelin Stars Announcement

We are getting closer to mid-February, and the Croatian restaurant owners and chefs are getting more and more nervous: will there be new Michelin stars, will the current three be confirmed or perhaps even reinforced with additional ones, will the list of about fifty recommended restaurants be expanded? In the past two years, this was the time of the year when Michelin announced the names of restaurants that deserved a star or a recommendation, so the feeling of anticipation is quite understandable, reports Večernji List on February 10, 2019.

The first Michelin star in Croatia was presented in early 2017 to "Monte" in Rovinj, while the year later the acknowledgement for the quality of food, cooking skills and creativity was awarded to "Pelegrini" in Šibenik and the Dubrovnik restaurant with the unusual name "360°".

In addition to these three restaurants which many knew were great even before they received the stars, Michelin inspectors concluded a year ago that more than fifty Croatian restaurants deserved their special recommendation. The list was almost doubled compared to the previous year, so everyone is now waiting for the opinion of Michelin's inspectors for 2019.

Although the representatives of the world's most famous and most respected gourmet guide are still silent, it is expected that this year the first Michelin star could finally arrive in the Kvarner region. Industry insiders were surprised that in the last two years Michelin skipped this region known for its excellent restaurants and good food which is the reason why, in addition to Croatian guests, people from Italy, Slovenia and Austria often come to Kvarner for just a day or two.

The Kult Plave Kamenica writers have drafted a list of eight potential candidates for this year’s Michelin stars, which includes two restaurants from Kvarner, “Plavi Podrum” from Volosko and "Matsunoki" from Lošinj. The local restaurant insiders believe that Michelin might also award the "Boškinac" restaurant on Pag, and well as “Laganini” in Hvar, "Zinfandel’s" and "Noel" in Zagreb, "Batelina" in Banjole, "Lemongarden" on Brač, and "Vine Vault" in Rovinj.

We will know soon enough. The impatience is also growing due to the rumours that some of the restaurants have already received notices that they will be on the list of recommended restaurants. All Michelin awards bring more guests, and they are great news for tourism because more and more people want to eat top-notch food on holidays and some even choose the destination they will visit according to the quality of restaurants. The number of tourists who opted to visit Croatia primarily due to the gastronomy reached 29 per cent in 2017 when the Institute for Tourism conducted its latest research on the habits of guests.

All this is accompanied by the pressure and the stress for the restaurant owners who receive the Michelin stars. It was nice to see how delighted the owner of Rovinj's "Monte" Danijel Đekić was when two more Croatian restaurants received their stars, relieving him of the responsibility of being the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Croatia.

More news about restaurants in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Radmila Kovačević).

Monday, 4 February 2019

Zagreb and Dubrovnik Added to Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe 2019

Zagreb and Dubrovnik, Croatia's foodie hubs, have been added to the Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe for 2019. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Michelin Guide to Istria 2018: Who Made the Cut?

This year's edition of the Michelin guide to Istria was expanded to include top wineries and olive oil producers

Friday, 2 March 2018

Two New Michelin Star Restaurants Named in Croatia!

Šibenik’s Pelegrini and Dubrovnik’s 360º restaurant have been awarded a Michelin star!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Michelin Star Chefs Take Over Rovinj at 'Istria Gourmet Festival - Autumn 2017'

Istria Gourmet Festival brought renowned Michelin star chefs to Rovinj on October 30, 2017

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