When it comes to Pašman gastronomy, it is impossible to bypass the Zrinski restaurant in Dobropoljana. This culinary institution of the Bašić family has been a successful catering story since as far back as 1969! There are few restaurants along the Adriatic coast that can boast of this number, and all this is even more fascinating when you realize that everything that is prepared for guests in Zrinski comes from the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, from family gardens and olive groves, as well as Pašman family farms.
Zrinski opened its sails to us, almost literally, because the bora brought a lot of fresh air to Pašman at the time of our visit. The owner, Nikolino Bašić, is an old acquaintance of ours. He hosted us in his restaurant Intrade in Kali, on the neighbouring island of Ugljan, and this time we spent more time with his son Domagoj who prepared what Zrinski does best: the original food of the Adriatic islands!
With a great homemade herbal brandy, with the opaque greenish look and with the smell of fennel and citrus, we entered the gastronomic story of the Bašić family, open to surprises. And it really came true! The sounds of Dalmatian klapas penetrate through the restaurant, which is a real set of various interiors that can be known in their fullness only in winter. But winter and early spring is the right time to explore the island flavours spiced with olive oil from family olive groves scattered on the hills around Dobropoljana, a place whose very name says that there is good land here.
In addition to the fertile soil, Dobropoljana also has a small harbour where the Bašićs welcome the fruits of night fishing. It is asparagus time and as expected they found themselves in the appetizer. On wavy plates, they bring us a wonderful shrimp risotto with asparagus that is expertly prepared so that the taste does not overpower the mild sea creatures. In addition, a very juicy and fresh blacksmith fillet was served, and everything was spiced with rubbing chips, i.e. a crunchy and salty piece of this fish whose flesh is recognizable by its reddish colour. A great appetizer can be enjoyed with mild Malvasia and drops of fresh olive oil blend with homemade bread.
In Zrinski they try to have as much seasonal food as possible, but also to surprise guests with new culinary contents. We had the honour of getting a gastronomic exclusive and enjoying the small grills and seafood mix. These are grills designed for each guest individually, with roast enriched with rosemary. The scent is mesmerizing, but even more so the look of this mastery! Delicious squid, mussels and warty venus were found on the grills, and the local shellfish is especially delightful. In addition to shellfish, grilled a la Zrinski complement the large shrimp and excellent juicy tuna steak. In every bite, the fishing tradition of Pašman and the life of ancestors on this island are respected. This dish is a total hit and we have no doubt that it will be often ordered in Zrinski!
Restaurant Zrinski is not only a gastronomic institution but also a cultural one since it is completely rooted in the local life of Dobropoljana. Every festival in the place, whether it is Dobropoljanski gušti, the International Folklore Festival or the festival of the patron saint of St. Thomas, whose church is located in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, cannot avoid the participation of the restaurant and the Bašić family. This can be seen in the care for old crafts and objects that Domagoj Bašić keeps on behalf of the Dobropoljanska udruga mladih in the former oil mill. It is especially proud of the hand-knitted top that was once used by Pašman fishermen.
A place of daily meetings of hosts and gastronomic pleasures of guests, Zrinski is impossible to miss, so we hope you will enjoy the tastes and aromas of Pašman delicacy!
Dobropoljana 111, 23263 Dobropoljana, island of Pašman
+385 23 269142
Fotografije: Cristiano Diaz