Best Croatian Restaurants by Gastronaut

The twenty-fifth printed and online Croatian and English edition of the book Restaurant Croatica "100 leading Croatian restaurants and their recipes 2020/21", published by Abisal biblioteka Gastronaut, was promoted in style at Botel Marina in Rijeka. As the cover of this year's burgundy colour - burgundy was also a dress code at this celebration which was almost entirely held under the protective masks.

The leading restaurants in the book are presented with text, pictures and recipes of home-made specialities and information on what is worth seeing and experiencing in their surroundings. In addition to the restaurants that have been selected from among the top 100, the book also presents quality and top products that can be found on the table and destinations with their gastronomic and oenological advantages. Many of these attractive products are also found on Botel Marina tables today.

The project "100 leading Croatian restaurants - Restaurant Croatica" was initiated in 1995 and since then strives to be an incentive for quality service and offer. You can browse the editions from previous years by clicking on the book covers at this link. 100 leading Croatian restaurants also received Restaurant Croatica plaques and stickers, which also include a QR code that leads directly to the online edition of the book. The project "100 leading Croatian restaurants - Restaurant Croatica" has been implemented continuously for 25 years and is the oldest national brand of quality in catering. The elections included over 2,400 restaurants in Croatia in three rounds - visitors to the www.gastronaut.hr portal and caterers voted, and members of the Honorary Committee determined the final list after reviewing the voter lists and detailed documentation on the service and offer of restaurants.

In the 25 years of the project, a total of 488 restaurants have been included among Restaurant Croatica, and 6 restaurants have defended the title in all 25 years. Holders of the title of one of the leaders are gathered in the project Gastronaut Club, which has so far organized over 130 thematic gastronomic gatherings and advocates the presentation of destinations, potentials, culture and history through the prism of gastronomy. The project leader is prof. Karin Mimica, who started it in 1995 in cooperation with the then Croatian Economic Forum.

The richly illustrated 240-page book brings information about the service and offer of 100 leading restaurants and their surroundings, along with recipes for restaurant specialties that they decided to share with readers. Among the recipes are Marinated fillet of sole with chives mayonnaise, Baked sheep cheese, Lamb crown, Kvarner shrimp, Ramsteak of bošakarin, Lamb tripe, Wheat with smoked seafood, Poljički Soparnik, Fish fillet in cognac sauce, Dalmatian pašticada, Cream nettle soup, Sarma from Ogulin sauerkraut and venison, Cream of bear onion soup, Beef cheeks in port, Meat from tiblica, Veal fillet with pumpkin puree and beetroot, Cheese of young ox on cream of potatoes and celery, Carp on forks , Podolac under the baking lid and many others. The book is enriched with photographs of about 10 attractive exhibits from the Museum of Gastronomy Puntijar.

The award ceremony of the Restaurant Croatica plaque was organized with the support of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the Kvarner Tourist Board, the Association of Croatian Restaurateurs and numerous sponsors whose products could be tasted during the later gathering at the Bordeaux Party. The awarding of plaques was held on October 6, 2020 at Botel Marina in Rijeka under the auspices of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Kvarner Tourist Board, Rijeka Tourist Board and the Association of Croatian Restaurateurs. ; Association of Croatian Restaurateurs; Project Advisor - Nikola Serdar; Member of the Honorary Board - Nikica Karamarko; Project manager and editor of the publication - Karin Mimica. The program was led by a member of the Honorary Committee Siniša Križanec, and on behalf of the caterers thanked Zlatko Puntijar, Dražen Lesica and Pave Jerković.

After the awarding of the plaques, there was a reception on the ship - hotel - Marina Marina with specialties prepared by the Marina restaurant with the products of the sponsors: Crna Slavonska - cured meat delicacies BELJE; White cod - MILENA; Beef carpaccio - METRO; Plates with truffles and cheeses - ZIGANTE; Plate with truffles and cheeses - KARLIĆ TRUFFLES; Cheese platter - DUKAT; Breaded olives - KOTANYI, METRO, DUKAT; Bruscette with mushrooms, tomato and cheese - VENDRIJA, DUKAT; Quiche with truffle sauce - KARLIĆ TRUFFLES, METRO, DUKAT; Boletus and broccoli quiches - VENDRIJA, DUKAT; Fresh cheese and ham croquettes / cheese - DUKAT, METRO; Breaded pancakes stuffed with cheese and bacon of black pig - BELJE, DUKAT, METRO; Chard and feta cheese strudels - DUKAT, METRO; Black pig leek and bacon tart - BELJE, DUKAT, METRO; Truffle strudel - KARLIĆ TRUFFLES, METRO, DUKAT; Mushroom risotto - VENDRIJA, METRO, DUKAT; Fuži with truffles - ZIGANTE, DUKAT; Tagliatelle in Istrian salami sauce - KARLIĆ TRUFFLES, METRO, DUKAT; Caprese salad - METRO, DUKAT; Pljukanci made of prosciutto and sage - BELJE, KOTANYI, METRO; Homemade gnocchi in forest mushroom sauce - VENDRIJA, DUKAT; Chocolate mousse with truffles - ZIGANTE; Tiramisu - METRO, DUKAT; Mini folders - KOTANYI, METRO, DUKAT; Hazelnut cube with riccot - METRO, DUKAT

Great wines and sparkling wines were offered for tasting: Deklić, Erdutski vinogradi, Matić, Pavlomir, Sladić, PZ Gospoja, PZ Svirče, PZ Vrbnik, Valenta, Visintin, Zigante and the award-winning pelinkovac Darne. The Gastronaut also thanked the partners: ZIP store Bella Forma - for support with beautiful plates, Wine4All for support in everything needed for the presentation of wine and winemakers; the Hagleitner company that supplied us with contactless disinfectants, Gastroprojekt and Kotanyi on gift packages for our caterers, Catering Puhar who supplied us with ice and project friends who were personally involved in the success of this event.

Among this year's winning restaurants are the ones you can read about on our website. These are: Trošt in Vrsar; Sveti Nikola in Poreč; Vodnjanka in Vodnjan, Zijavica in Mošćenička Draga; Stancija Kovačići in Rukavac, Jist in Viškovo; Vinotel Gospoja in Vrbnik; Za kantuni in Mali Lošinj; Foša in Zadar; Zrno soli in Split; Frankopan in Ogulin; Gradina in Josipdol; Žganjer in Ozalj; Villa Zelenjak - Ventek in Risvica; Mamica in Pušćine; Mala Hiža in Mačkovac.

Photos and text: Gastronaut.hr