Restaurant in Rovinj, Istria gets exhaustive revamp by leading Croatian chef and sommelier April 19th, 2013
Croatia’s leading sommelier Emil Perdec and Hotel Monte Mulini’s Executive Chef Tomislav Gretic have joined efforts to reinvent a traditional tavern in Rovinj’s historic quarter. Now using regional products only, Kantinon has been revamped throughout to offer affordable, authentic and good-quality dishes, reflective of its coastal setting in the gourmet food region of Istria.
Refreshed with tasteful décor and a new menu, the concept is based on specialities inspired by Rovinj’s fishing tradition and cultural heritage. A selection of top Istrian wines, grappa, brandy, and traditional servings of 1 litre jugs of beer have been selected to accompany oysters on ice, sea bass carpaccio, homemade pasta with wild boar, Adriatic squid and Fisherman’s soup, among other delicacies.
A former venue used by the Austro-Hungarian Military, and previously, a wine cellar, Kantinon had operated as a konoba (a traditional tavern) for over 25 years until its reopening in April. Inside, up to 85 people can enjoy a showcase of products displayed alongside historic photographs, while the small seating area on the terrace is gifted with views of the quaint fishing harbour and Rovinj’s most notable landmark, St. Euphemia Church.
Executive Chef Tom Gretic commented: “Kitchen of Kantinon is best described as a fisherman’s old kitchen, rich with hidden old recipes that have slowly been forgotten. Here, the offer is unique and differs from other taverns and restaurants in the region in that all our food is local of Rovinj or Istria.
“As our choice of dishes varies from season to season, we are able to offer our regular customers something new every time they visit. At Kantinon, food is presented in a simple way, with dishes like risotto and pasta served in the same dish in which they are cooked. Cold cuts such as Istrian prosciutto and cheeses are placed on wooden boards, along with olive oil and olives.”
This novelty in Rovinj is just one of the many gastronomic initiatives led by Tomislav Gretic, Executive Chef at Hotel Monte Mulini’s acclaimed fine dining restaurant, Wine Vault. Among the menu of personalised food experiences crafted by the chef are customised cooking classes – including a degustation of dishes and accompanying wines, and the Chef’s Table, whereby restaurant diners create their own tasting menu from within the kitchen.
Further to the successful launch of Hotel Monte Mulini in 2009, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the Maistra Inc leading hotel group introduced Croatia’s first and only member of Design Hotels™ in 2011, Hotel Lone. This latest addition to its portfolio of hotels and resorts has helped to position Rovinj as an upscale gourmet food destination complete with five-star service and facilities.