In the eastern entrence to Zagreb, there is a small gastronomy jewel that goes under the name Konoba Luka. It is just a place which Taste of Adriatic team would recommend. It is situated in Sesvete, which was once separate town settled around beautiful two-tower church of All Saints.
The tavern was opened in 1989 as a family café, but in 1997 it was transformed into a restaurant with a Mediterranean flair and thus was named konoba. As in any other konoba, this place is based on Mediterranean cuisine, Adriatic fish and seafood that is freshly caught night before. There are many classic meals baked under the iron lid and you can also choose among different dishes characteristic for the continental part of Croatia.
Mrs. Danica Marasavić and Mr. Ivica Varaga together make culinary wonders here and we were more than ready to try some. Our appetizer was a classic octopus salad, with excellently balanced aromas. It melts in mouth, together with homemade bread made by Mr. Ivica. Together with salad, we enjoyed the tuna pate. The Mediterranean nutrition is known as one of the healthiest ones: in Konoba Luka they follow this trend but with another specific. The manager, Luka Marasović, is a young guy in love with foods. He gained a diploma as a nutritionist and boasts with information and knowledge about food, ingredients and healthy life. When this is taken into account, the high level of quality and food preparation in Konoba Luka is no wonder at all.
We talk to Luka while we try excellent black risotto with cuttlefish. The al dente rice and pure oil-black ink give a rhapsody of tastes. It was followed by grilled bream with Swiss chard and potato. The Adriatic bream is one of the beloved fish on the Croatian table and its quality is indisputable. There is no discussion about the quality if one is ambitious and knowledgeable and Luka Marasević is a clear evidence. He is also the official nutritionist to the European boxing champion and Olympic medal winner Filip Hrgović, who visits Konoba Luka regularly. He is not the only sportsman who visitis the place, which is based on wisdom, passion and love of Luka and his brother Mario, together with the rest of the Marasović family.
For the sweet finish of our Mediterranean dinner we had the legendary rožata, dessert made of eggs, rose water and caramelized sugar, with bits of southern fruit inside. A good dinner was followed with wines, in a good combination of the seafood and continental wine from Jarec Kure, a local proud from not so faraway Zelina vineyards. Those rakija lovers will be happy to try homemade brandies made from herbs, mistletoe, honey, and cherry, as the tavern orders them directly from the Istrian homesteads.
The tavern is blessed with positive and relaxed atmosphere. All the praise goes to the hospitable staff as every guest feels the comfort and consequently many family gatherings take place here. Almost every day, you may encounter brunches, team buildings and special menus for anyone working in Zagreb. Those who cannot reach Sesvete, don’t worry – there is a catering service suited to any desire and need.
While the quality of food and professionalism runs high in the tavern, we could only add the essence of its success: the family Marasović itself. They can only develop further and get stronger by the day in the vicious restaurateurs’ business, but we do trust a hope there will be much more to report about the Konoba Luka. Until then, be sure to visit it, enjoy in its gastronomy and feel how enchanting the Mediterranean can be!