L'avis de Gault&Millau

The hotel, the winery and the restaurant Boškinac are truly an oasis of hedonism. With each new visit we are more and more convinced of that. A magical terrace in the shade of the gorgeous pine trees, the sound of the crickets and a perfect food paired with excellent wines from the winery – this is Boškinac. The table setting is simple, everything is white or neutral so nothing gets in the way of the experience you came for, because Boškinac is really that – a unique experience. We were there when the chef was still Matija Bregeš who brought one Michelin star to the restaurant. Together with Boris Šuljić, the owner, they haved redesigned the menu to offer something completely new, even more radical and local than before. We must say that we welcome this approach. We started with a series of amuse-bouche, from which we will single out the Pag elixir of life, a small ball filled with refreshing vegetable juice, which bursts in the mouth, and the tuna saur, the chef’s interpretation of a classic, Dalmatian dish. The first dish from the tasting menu was simply called scampi-langoustine (caught in the channel between the island of Pag and the Velebit mountain, one of the best location for scampi). A delicious tartare wrapped in a thin gel of wine and seaweed, served with a basil emulsion, almond cream and croutons dipped in a bisque. Visually a very attractive dish with extremely clean and elegant flavours. The next dish were tortellini. Filled with fermented skuta, a local ricotta cheese, and served with burnt kale cakes stuffed with egg and dried lamb hearts. The dish was finished with a touch of bright green kale soup and pieces of fresh, sweet pear. A small break between the courses was their already widely known sourdough bread with homemade olive oil. Then- the fish. This simple name hides elegance and subtility of flavours. The fish changes depending on the daily catch. We tried a perfectly cooked turbot with crispy skin and juicy, firm meat. We could stll taste the sea, how fresh it was. The fish was served with a scampi mousse and trout roe. The delicate flavours were perfectly rounded off by the slightly sour and aromatic buttermilk infused with fig leaves. The main star of the evening was obviously – the lamb. It has been on the tasting menu for some time, but each time improved with new techniques. First, a hot pan with burning pine came to the table and in the pan there was a baked lamb belly spreading fantastic aromas all around. We had also some lamb fillets wrapped in juniper, carrots in rue, demiglace cooked for 72 hours and a pea and mint purée. As a little surprise, in a sheep sculpture they served two mini cones filled with green strawberries and dried lamb tongue, a great snack at the end of the main course. For predessert we had sour, fruity ice cubes on komovica (a local brandy) foam, and served on a huge ice cube. The dessert definitely surprised us, and if you are expecting chocolate, you will feel the same. Beetroot, lemon and pickled vegetables play the main role here. Delicious, refreshing and innovative. The Petits fours and a glass of Prošek (a local dessert wine) were the perfect end of a perfect dinner. At every visit Boškinac raises the bar. At the time of chef Matija Bregeš, and his sous chef Tomislav Rezo, Boškinac used to raise the bar every time we visited them. We hope that the new chef, Matija Kruhonja, will follow the same way. Anyhow we recommend not to miss this unique gastronomic experience.