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Zagreb – What The New York Times Said About ‘Gastronomad’ Club

Zagreb – What The New York Times Said About ‘Gastronomad’ Club
The renowned New York Times has recently, in its Travel section, introduced American readers to the Zagreb restaurant ‘Klub Gastronomada’, in whose specially prepared seasonal menus he specifically mentions dishes from the Istrian ‘boškarin’ (Istrian autochthonous cattle, bull).

«This is a place for everyone who understands that each ingredient has its origin and history», describes Robert Ripli, one of the three owners of this Zagreb restaurant, which was opened in 2009. In the weekly travel section the reporter from the respected American daily newspaper, Alex Crevar, introduces his readers to the gastronomy concept and writes his impressions about the place where one can try `regional Croatian cuisine`. The story about this Croatian restaurant found itself among reports about Sao Paolo, London, Milan and Columbus in the state of Mississippi. While Sao Paolo is recommended as a city of art and night life, London for the upcoming Royal wedding, Milan because of shopping and Columbus as the birth place of Tennessee Williams, a famous American writer whose centenary was recently celebrated, Klub Gastronomada is mentioned as a somewhat culinary laboratory in which experiments are performed on original local dishes, until the perfect taste is achieved. The author of the article writes about the idea of Gastronomads to participate in gastronomic and enological consulting for restaurants and local product breeders in Croatia and neighbouring countries, whilst he states that at the club itself the members and other guests can enjoy dinners with specially thought out menus. »A seasonal change of the menu is not enough. What is important to us is the micro season and we shall not offer anything even a week earlier than a seasonal product is perfect.», says the co-owner of the restaurant.

Crevar describes how Ripli travels the country with his partners, in search of perfection, connecting clients with distributers of wine, truffles, olive oil and cheese, fresh fish and selected beef and lamb. The produce he selects does not only end up in the hands of his clients but also on the menu of the restaurant. Crevar is especially interested in searching for organic and indigenous products as well as traditional processing of ingredient and preparing dishes, stating as an example an ordinary jam, derived from old sorts of plums, which are, in Slavonia, cooked without sugar, preserving a full aroma of the fruit, which can be tasted in the restaurant as a filling for pancakes. He also describes the preparation of dried octopus salad which is unfailingly seasoned with onions grown in Dalmatia. He was especially impressed by the complicated and long process of getting the Istrian ‘boškarin’ to the gourmet table. Describing in detail all the phases of preparation of this Istrian specialty, served with baked potatoes and pancetta, the author of the New York Times article concludes that the meat is «so soft, it can almost be eaten with a spoon».

The Tourist Board of Zagreb

The New York Times

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