When you have an inn that runs as family business since 1933, then you really have something to tell to the world! The restaurant Most is such a place. It is situated just beneath the old town of Buzet, along the bank of the Mirna river. Its name, meaning bridge, explains its position just across the bridge that divides Buzet from the small neighbourhood. A big three-floor house was an inn even before it became a property of Marinac family. The history is visible on the wall, where old pictures tell not only of foodways and food memories, but also of happiness and sorrows of a very typical Istrian family. We came here in spring, when surrounding almost mythical forests are rich with wild asparagus and thus tried how it is used in the Most’s kitchen.
We were met by professional and very hospitable Valter Marinac, whose wife Nilda and sister Majda, together with their children, run the place. Clean white shirt and black trousers is almost extinct as a sign of a professional waiter and restaurateur and the bright welcome shows the heart of inner Istria. And although we have tried several menus with asparagus this year, every single one good and imaginative, this beautiful and healthy taste of spring has left the strongest impact exactly here in Most. Who knows, maybe it is because the time for asparagus is over and the best flavours are now available, or it may just be that Most cares for the true and clear tastes on the plate. We thing it is the latter thing. After all, this is a place where former Croatian president Ivo Josipović dined!
Homemade warm bread and sip or two of strong Teran blend wine were just an introduction in a shadow of vast tree that adorn nice little terrace. From here one can easily spot the church bell of Blessed Virgin Mary, the parish church of Buzet old town. And suddenly Valter brings us two bowls of green and thick minestrone soup with asparagus. Yes, we had asparagus soup before, but never with typical bitterly taste of asparagus. Health sips into your organism as bitter vermouth and nothing is worth of your attention in these few minutes of enjoyment. Truly a magnificent soup we had!
The restaurant offers many annual special food menus, such as springily asparagus menu. This has become a tradition all over the Northern Adriatic and often brings both forgotten recipes to life and asks for imagination of kitchen staff. Most’s own menu is also fit to represent Buzet region and to cater to the needs of local guests. Here one can find various typical Istrian pasta such as fuži, gnocchi, pljukanci, tagliatelle and ravioli with game stew, beef goulash, prosciutto, filled with cheese, prosciutto or mushrooms.
Buzet is town of Istrian truffles, situated in an area where truffles abound in surrounding forests. It is not that whole town smells of truffles, but the specific aroma and scent immediately fills the space when a dish with truffles is made. We couldn’t leave Buzet without trying at least one such dish, said Valter. So, we were presented with simple but excellent and soft gnocchi, whose potato base was a background for thinly cut slices of black truffle. Nowhere else in Croatia can one find such abundance of truffles in one plate as in Buzet and Central Istria, so everyone who likes these aphrodisiac mushrooms should head this way!
When one looks at those old pictures on the walls of the inn, one feels the essence of old truffle tradition in Buzet, right? Well… wrong… For hundreds of years truffles were regarded as useless tuber, smelly and rotten in the grounds, fit possibly only to feed pigs. Some older people revoke the idea of eating truffles even today. Thus, the truffle heritage is somewhat new in Istria, and is partly an influence of French and Italian truffle hunters who recognised the Inner Istria as one of the best truffle grounds in the world. If truffles are your thing, you can go for classic pasta with truffles, or more elaborate ravioli with truffles and cheese filling. Those with more profound tastes may try beefsteak, ramsteak or pork/chicken fillet with truffles.
Still, we were here for asparagus, one of the most cherished self-grown plants in Istria. Have you ever pick the asparagus? If you did, you know it takes birds eye, hard will and knowledge you might be scratched all over. The delicate taste of asparagus was also an essential part of the homemade fuži (traditional Istrian pasta) with asparagus, prosciutto and eggs. This mix is somewhat bears a classic sense of Central Istrian culinary traditions. And those table traditions always end with a good dessert, such are the famous Most’s pancakes filled with homemade jam.
So, if you’d like to feel the atmosphere of an old inn with the menu dedicated to preserving the local heritage, head here: Konoba Most Most 18, Buzet Tel 00385 98 327 673 firstname.lastname@example.org