Best Restaurants in Croatia – Boskinac Restaurant and Hotel, Novalja

Boskinac in Novalja. How many times and for how many years I kept hearing about it before my first visit only this past Saturday? I know – I should be ashamed of my self. Being in this business and not paying attention to it and not sending clients there I consider now to be my major mistake!

Well, after meeting with the owner – Mr. Boris Suljic – last winter, we agreed on cooperating but I am usually very “shy” when starting with someone and especially with a property that I haven’t seen myself. As most of our clients take the main route Zagreb – Split – Hvar – Dubrovnik, steering them to the uncharted territory is often hard. So, I simply had to visit Boskinac personally and see why it is still considered to be one of the culinary temples in Croatia and to know what exactly I am offering when sending clients.

Entrance to the hotel
Entrance to the hotel

Several of the clients we sent there this summer were extremely pleased by everything so we waited till the main season came to an end to visit.
Boris met us at the porch talking to several of his guests but we soon moved to the wine cellar where he told us the story of Boskinac: the story of passion for food and wines and truly living the dream of exceptional service, using the fabulous ingredients this rocky land of Pag Island can give… And that is a simple truth behind the success of Boskinac. OK, let’s not forget hard, hard work that still continues as not once Boris personally checked the reservation with me and made sure everything is going smoothly.

Boskinac wine cellar
Boskinac wine cellar

So, in the wine cellar we learned about the production and how proud Boris is of a local variety called Gegić that is typical only to Pag and how sad he is that so many original and authentic varietals disappeared during the past years. With a glass of a superb Boškinac 2007 (cabernet sauvignon and merlot)  we slowly moved upstairs for a special dinner Boris prepared for us.

The terrace overlooking the vineyards
The terrace overlooking the vineyards

The terrace overlooking the vineyards is the most attractive part of the restaurant although the interior is very classy and spacious.

The octopus salad with a twist
The octopus salad with a twist

The food was nothing short of superb and probably our favorite culinary experience in 2011 so far! Everything from the serving to the taste showed great attention and care. Besides, there is no menu at Boskinac as Boris uses only what can be found at the market that day. We were in luck as they had just that morning received a lamb that the chef prepared for us choosing only the best parts! A completely new way of enjoying tender lamb meat instead of simply roasting it on a spit (nothing wrong with that, either!)

The best of lamb
The best of lamb

The end was an amazing sage ice cream!
As the restaurant was nearly full by 9 PM, Boris had to step in the kitchen and assist his staff so we did not have the time for a relaxing chat to end the dinner with. We only went to kitchen where my son recognized one of the finalists of Croatian MasterChef who is actually cooking at Boskinac! Matija Nikolić made it to the top four and rightfully so!

Roko, Boris and Matija
Roko, Boris and Matija

As the summer night was already upon us, the scents and colors of this magical place already created a lovely memory that will stay with us for a long time and keep us coming back.

Boskinac (from www.boskinac.com)
Boskinac (from http://www.boskinac.com)

Again, one of the most exceptional places in the whole country! Not only because of the location and food but also because of the passion invested in this place that keeps it being among top foodie destinations in the country for years, now. The dedication to give absolutely the best, makes Boskinac a must stay stop for everyone looking a relaxing and authentic holiday in Croatia. And we will have to do another post on the hotel as well!

Their web site for more information: www.boskinac.com/

 

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