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Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
17.5 / 20

Pelegrini

Jurja Dalmatinca 1, 22000 Šibenik

Modernă Meditereneană

On a beautiful location, in the old town of Šibenik, overlooking the famous cathedral, there is Pelegrini, one of the most famous Croatian restaurants. Owned by the award-winning chef Rudi Štefan, Pelegrini is known for its seasonal changes of the menu. According to the chef’s philosophy, in cooperation with the small Croatian producers, they want to create the recognizable fresh seasonal flavours. That was the main reason we opted for a tasting menu that contains multiple courses, each providing some surprise. Creative and interesting dishes really delighted us. It is worth mentioning the couvert with three bites that announced the beginning of an inventful experience. On an oblong piece of wood they served a dumpling, like a large, open raviolo of homemade dough stuffed with delicious meat ragu, a fragrant piece of focaccia with pesto and anchovies, and a mussel with a sparkling emulsion of egg whites and olive oil. This was followed by an oyster from Šibenik canal with onion foam and toasted prosciutto. An unexpected blend of familiar ingredients. Unforgettable harmony and fullness of taste. A new surprise greeted us with veal meatballs in salsa and horseradish sauce. The creaminess of the salsa and sauce softened the taste of horseradish, and highlighted the veal meatball in the best way. The other primi piatti, such as octopus brodetto (broth with pieces of octopus) with chives and melon as well as a chickpea dish with zucchini julienne, beetroot and toasted pumpkin seeds impressed us by the creativity, intertwining and harmony of textures and flavours. All dishes were served on unique plates made exclusively for Pelegrini, of earthy gold and dark colours, with a visible signature. After the cuttlefish ink pasta served together with a reinterpretation of čevapčići and kajmak (traditional grilled sausage meat balls and a unripened new cheese from the Balkans) we moved on to the main course, lamb on sweet corn and chanterelles base. The home-grown lamb was soft, delicious and full of flavour, and the breaded mushrooms and sweet young corn cream complemented that memorable dish. For the sweet end, they served first a small pannacotta with an olive oil emulsion and a melon sorbetto. A refreshing combination and a nice transition to the next dessert. Fig sorbetto, figs, fresh cheese and vanilla cream. Sweet enough, but not too much, full of aroma, creamy and exciting. The wine was selected by a lady sommelier who recommended Bibich brut and a pleasant Alta shyrah made for Pelegrini. The wine list is extremely rich, especially with the wines of the best Croatian winemakers. We must say that the presentation of the food and the visual effects contributed to the full enjoyment of this unique gastronomic experience. Nicely decorated dishes, served on attractive ceramics, with beautiful utensils and elegant glasses, and above all professional waiters. Pelegrini is a must for the true gourmet that come to Croatia. Don’t forget to book some weeks in advance.

Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
17.5 / 20

360

Sv. Dominika bb, 20000 Dubrovnik

Modernă

The new conditions of visiting restaurants could easily affect the objectivity of the review, but in 360 the quality of the complete gastronomic experience is constant. In this sophisticated and elegant restaurant, everything works properly: from the beginning to the end of the dinner, guests are treated extremely kindly, and the waiters and sommelier are instructed in every detail of food and drink. The atmosphere is always romantic and relaxing, and from the restaurant 360 located atop the city walls, there is a magical view overlooking the old port, which is dominated by the Fortress of St. John and the island of Lokrum. We entirely indulged in the choice of the hosts and not for a moment we remained indifferent. From the kitchen of the very talented chef Marijo Curić, magical creations arrived, and each individual dish was expertly paired with wines. The emphasis is on indigenous foods combined with the French style of preparation and processing, so the amuse-bouche presented various parts of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, but also France. The crisp pastry stuffed with black olives and oranges, the potato souffle filled with smoked eel and the macaron with truffles and foie gras, were sophisticated, soft and delicious. This was followed by perfect scallops with turnip puree, onion soup and quinoa, after which we tasted the finest and softest octopus, prepared with the sous-vide technique, served with lime ravioli and fennel of different textures. And those were just appetizers! Sea bass with crispy skin, served with fagotini with cuttlefish, shellfish and sour-sweet fish sauce, melted in mouth, while perfectly pan fried duck breast with Jerusalem artichoke cream and duck jus was the “cherry on top” of the main dishes. We were also delighted by the pear dessert with kadaif, tonka cream and oat ice cream, which was preceded by a selection of pralines of various textures (foam, meringue) and flavours (lemon, yogurt). Each course was paired with excellent wines, of which we would single out the Istrian Malvasia Damjanić - Clemente Blanc - 2017, Slovenian cuvée of Rebula, Chardonnay and Picolita Jakončić - Carolina Bela - 2018, and Međimurje Pušipel Jakopić - Prestige - 2015. Restaurant 360 has completely justified last year’s high rating, and the overall gastronomic experience is an experience to remember.

Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
17.5 / 20

Monte

Montalbano 75, 52210 Rovinj

Bucătărie de autor

Restaurant Monte, a real gastronomic oasis, is located in the old part of Rovinj, on the top, near the church of St. Euphemia. In 2020 chef Danijel Đekić, together with his wife Tjitske, won the Gault&Millau Trophy Chef of the Year. We were eager to come back to their restaurant. The whole Monte’s team is very coordinated and you can see it in every moment of your stay. There are still 3 tasting menus with well-known names - Red, Green and Blue. But there are some new dishes beside their classic ones. We started the dinner with a series of amuse bouche, and were especially impressed by the summer porcini mushrooms and egg yolk cooked at 65 °C (150°F). The first dish of our Red menu was a combination of cuttlefish, chard and mussels from the Limski kanal. The cuttlefish was great, and the mussels on the leek foam tasted like if the chef had taken them out of the sea a minute before they got on our plate. The next dish was tuna. A beautiful plate dominated by black and red color. The tuna with a sesame crust, perfectly prepared, was exceptional both in taste and texture. Along with small beetroot gnocchi, there were some strips of fried beetroot with a surprise inside – ginger. Its freshness went well with the earthy flavour of the beetroot and the sesame. The last in a series of fish dishes was a technically perfectly executed combination of sea bass, shrimp and artichoke. The sea bass, cooked very precisely, was extremely tasty, the shrimps were sweet and soft, while the almost burnt artichokes had a mild, bitter aroma. The dish was served with a rich crab sauce that was in perfect balance with the sour eggplant cream. The meat sequence – at our opinion - started with the best dish of the evening – a suckling pig from the farm Sure stine cooked for hours, extremely juicy and soft. We really didn’t need a knife to cut it. The side dish was spicy lentils that went well with the sweet meat, the yellow cabbage and the chips made of pork cracklings and kulen (a spicy salami variety from Slavonia, similar to chorizo). The pre-dessert just prepared us for a great finish that was a combination of apple and rose. It was the dish that surprised us the most. At first glance, it is just ice cream with an interpretation of the classic apple pie. But there is so much more. One bite of the ice cream takes you to a garden full of fragrant roses. Not only Monte has once again justified its last year’s award but it raised the bar to an even higher level. If you are a fan of haute cuisine you should definitely head to beautiful Rovinj and treat yourself to a gastronomic trip directed by Monte’s team.

Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
17 / 20

Pergola

Sunčana ulica 2, 52475 Savudrija

Bucătărie de autor

The little village of Zambratija, on the north western coast of Istria, houses Pergola, one of the best Istrian restaurants. The fact that the chef and owner of the restaurant, Fabricio Vežnaver, was awarded with the Gault & Millau trophy of the great chef of tomorrow for 2019 is enough reason to pay a visit to the place. When, once on the spot, you meet his wife Lili, who exudes warmth and sincere love for what she is doing, you know that your choice to come was justified. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, the furniture is minimalist with some cookbooks on the shelves or sea decoration. The space is dominated by a large fireplace. The crackling fire in winter time greatly contributes to the atmosphere. What is unusual in such a restaurant is that there are only three people working there. In addition to the chef and his wife, a young assistant works in the kitchen, so the restaurant has a real family atmosphere, which makes a great difference with the gourmet restaurants of this type. The excellent wine list includes some of the best Croatian labels. The restaurant offers only a tasting menu that changes depending on the season, and the number of courses can be decided on the spot. The dinner was regularly interrupted by delisious amuse-bouche off the menu. We especially enjoyed the divine fritters with seaweed and the excellent homemade bread that went great with the collection of wonderful extra virgin olive oils by Mate. We started the dinner with a succulent shrimp carpaccio, in a reduced shrimp head sauce that was a real explosion of flavour. Then we had scampi: brilliant, fresh and almost raw, touched by the grill just for a second, enough to highlight all the fullness of its taste. This was followed by an excellent octopus with sauteed leeks, orange cream and an unexpected, yet very logical peanut sauce. As a break from the fish sequence of the dinner, we tried one classic dish from the Istrian cuisine – the ravioli with cottage cheese and white truffles. A rhapsody for the senses - a fantastic dough, a creamy and mild curd combined with a rich, aromatic truffle. A dish that everyone should try, at least once. The finale of the dinner was a boškarin steak (the Istrian autochthonous cattle). Perfect, buttery meat full of taste, served with a delicious potatoes gratin. We sweetened up with a chocolate cake and candied oranges, a classic combination of flavours in a dessert. Light and not too sweet, it rounded off perfectly the whole dinner. Chef Vežnaver cooks brilliantly, bravely and creatively, with a deep understanding of the ingredients he uses. His cooking is getting better and better and this year he obtained a higher score and his fourth Gault&Millau toque. y yearPergola is a must for true gourmet and he definitely deserves his 4th Gault&Millau toque. By entering in the narrow circle of the Croatian highest level restaurants, which reputation crossed the borders, his Pergola became a gourmet destination for the most refined lovers of haute cuisine.

Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
17 / 20

NAV

Masarykova 11, 10000 Zagreb

Bucătărie de autor

Chef Tvrtko Šakota’s restaurant NAV is located in the center of Zagreb, in an old courtyard, on the first floor of the house. The space is very pleasant, set up as a cooking studio. Behind the large glass panels the kitchen overlooks the hall with high ceilings, clean lines and a combination of minimalism and large, warm wooden surfaces. NAV offers only four types of tasting menus that differ in the number of dishes. Chef Šakota cooks exactly what is written on the board at the entrance - a modern Croatian cuisine. He prepares old and forgotten Croatian dishes, often from almost extinct ingredients, using modern culinary techniques. The service is professional and fast, very pleasant, without any imposing attitude. They give you the impression of a team loving what they are doing. All the dishes in NAV are signature dishes, inventive, modern, with very original combinations of foods. The preparation includes the processes of ageing, fermentation and pickling. The presentation is unique as well. From the very beginning we were intrigued by the airy, sparkling cloud in which the main ingredients of the dish were hidden. We were eager to discover what it was. We were delighted by the perfect harmony of flavour of the caramelized milk foam on a bed of organic barley, with the barley porridge chips and the sweet and spicy organic grape gel. We found that same harmony in the dish that for us was the most impressive of the dinner - the bowl of creamy corn with cubes of crispy corn husk, popcorn, and alburnum of the cob of corn. The perfection of different flavours from a single food - corn - achieved by the combination of top techniques and creativity of the chef. Zero waste, like all the other dishes on the menu. The wine list is very interesting and offers domestic and foreign wines, most from organic, ie vineyards of natural approach. There are also two beers on offer, which chef Šakota makes with the brewery ‘Brlog’. A top experience for every recommendation. Be sure to book a table. With its original and impressive dishes, NAV is one of the most important restaurants on the Zagreb gastronomic scene. For his creativity, perseverance passion and overall culinary vision the chef Tvrtko Šakota won his fourth Gault&Millau toque.

Selected by Gault&Millau Selection
16.5 / 20

LD Restaurant

Don Pavla Poše 1-6, 20260 Korčula

This outstanding restaurant is located within the luxury boutique hotel Lešić Dimitri Palace, a former episcopal palace, in which every apartment is uniquely designed. We visited the restaurant at the peak of the season so we had to book a table few weeks in advance. We were greeted by a beautiful place by the sea and the city promenade, as well as the friendly waiters, who professionally and discreetly fulfil the wishes of their guests. The menu offers three appetizers, as well as the main dishes and desserts, and it is possible to order a 6 courses tasting menu. The ingredients are traditional Dalmatian, but each dish is original, very thoughtfully designed and perfectly served. Our gastronomic journey in Lešić Dimitri Palace began with a refreshing sour-sweet amuse-bouche in which the cucumber was presented in three ways; as gazpacho, with guacamole and tuna aged in beetroot. For appetizer, we tasted red snapper and scallops. Red snapper served in chickpea flour tacos with wasabi, tomato aspic and sour cream makes a delicious combination of salty and sour, with a refreshing wasabi pungency. Light, soft and fresh scallops were served with intense crispy black truffles, sweet corn cream, black alioli and pasta with egg yolk and pancetta. It was a true rhapsody of flavours and textures on the plate. We continued our meal with sea bass and prawns. Soft, juicy and crispy sea bass with aromatic curry sauce, light cauliflower carpaccio, chickpea, quinoa and coriander make another rich combination of flavours. We were delighted with the sweet - sour - spicy combination of black gyoza stuffed with prawns, in mousseline sauce, with dried tomato pesto, seasoned with chilli, onion, marinated beets and fried prawns powder. Each dish is superbly presented, and the plate irresistibly reminds of the paintings by abstract artists. As if each dish served had some secret ingredient that makes the whole combination of flavours extremely tasty and unique, memorable long after leaving the restaurant. The kind waitress was ready to answer all our questions and there is no doubt that the great dedication, courage and originality of the young chef Marko Gajski is accompanied by the professionalism of the entire LD restaurant team. We concluded our special meal with delicious pralines and chocolate dessert, which delighted us. Cocoa biscuit, dark chocolate cream, hazelnut paste, sour fluid orange gel, light whipped cream with mashed almonds wrapped in a crispy cocoa crunch - a luxury for the palate and eye. Second dessert, the combination of white coconut pralines, white chocolate and raspberries, alongside dark chocolate pralines, served with coconut flakes, almond crumbs and raspberry powder, is reminiscent of carefree summer days. With all the dishes paired well Intrade grk and Bire grk - light, aromatic, in traces salty white wine of the autochthonous variety. Top quality dishes, superb ingredients and service justify the high prices in this restaurant, and the delicacies of chef Marko Gajski and his team are worth visiting the island of Korčula.