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Draga di Lovrana
L'avis de Gault&Millau
When you want to tell someone about the restaurant Draga di Lovrana, you are in doubt where you want to start: from the story about the view or about the food. This time we will start from the breathtaking view. After you climb the winding road, you are greeted by the top of the mountain Učka on one side and by the gorgeous bay of Kvarner on the other. We can’t think of a better scene for a great lunch. The hotel and restaurant are owned by the Nikolac family, and since they also own fishing boats, you know that the freshest sea food is waiting for you. Fifteen years ago, the hotel was thoroughly renovated according to the original, Austro-Hungarian designs and it is really very impressive. It exudes elegance and luxury at every turn. The wine list is well composed and extensive so we gave ourselves up in the hands of an unobtrusive and witty maitre d’hotel and the head sommelier to choose wine and food for us. After the amuse-bouche, we got a little surprise, a bonito sashimi, which had just arrived at the restaurant. Chef Zdravko Tomšić, who was the first chef at Draga di Lovrana, the mentor of the young and successful Deni Srdoč and who brought the restaurant to the highest level, has a lot of culinary experience and he knows what to do with such a fresh fish. He only put a little soy sauce, wasabi and mustard sauce on it. Then we tried the perfectly prepared scorpionfish fillet on young chard in a sauce/emulsion of olive oil, Malvasia wine and lemon. We were also very impressed by the Boškarin (autochthonous Istrian cattle) dish – an open ravioli with slow-cooked Boškarin tail, pickled hazelnuts and a pear baked in salt. An explosion of flavours and different textures. As main dishes, the chef served a gurnard fillet and a veal cutlet. Once again the fish was perfectly prepared, fresh and full of flavours. Served with fish jus, cauliflower mousse and caramelized broccoli. The veal was very tasty, soft, served with pickled carrots and radishes which gave a very refreshing dimension to the taste. We finished with their interpretation of the apfelstrudel. Puff pastry stuffed with apple, crème anglaise, almonds, raisins. Light and delicious. The amazing view is reason enough to visit the restaurant, but when you add the excellent food showing that their chef is in great shape, the hotel’s motto “worth every turn of the winding road” really becomes true.