New Creative Menu of Le Bistro Features the Best from Local Producers

Total Croatia News

Le Bistro (4)

At the legendary Le Bistro of the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, accompanied by the scents of hyacinth and excellent DJ music, a new a la carte menu of Le Bistro was presented. It offers a range of quite seductive dishes. Chef Ana Grgić and her team of young and creative chefs keeps proving that she is a master and an artist of her craft.

 Le Bistro (4)

For this occasion, she prepared for the guests a series of tempting dishes and attractive bites at live cooking stations. Everyone gathered in the Le Bistro had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful spring day on this lovely picturesque terrace in the heart of Zagreb. The presentation of the spring concept of the menu was attended by numerous regular guests of the restaurant, such as Ivana Marić, Karmela Vukov-Colić, Ashley Colburn, Vladimir and Marija Kraljević, who were among the first ones to have the opportunity to taste delicious dishes and grilled meats that will be part of the new menu.

In addition to the delicious snacks, the charming and well-run team of Le Bistro, led by restaurant manager Ivan Trbušić, served great wines. For starters, the Motovun winery Tomaz surprised the guests with the Rosé sparkling wine and Malvasia, while the Korak winery from Plešivica offered its Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling and Pinot Noir. The Istrian winemaker Franković from Buje offered Sauvignon, Malvasia and excellent Muscatel which was served with a selection of sweets. The exquisite dishes by Ana Grgić are even better when paired with the award-winning collection of extra virgin olive oils Oleum Viride of the Belić family from Istria, which has been the official Le Bistro olive oil for many years.

Ana devotes special attention to each particular ingredient, and only the locally grown ones, natural and healthy, found their way to her kitchen and her guest’s plates. The spring menu includes homemade asparagus, aromatic Istrian truffles, smoked ham of the indigenous Slavonian pigs, and the famous potatoes from Lika. Lamb for the tasty lamb burger came from the green pastures of Gorski Kotar region and from black Romanov lambs. “This meat is of great taste, juicy and with no strong scent characteristic of lamb meat. It is easily digestible, and I was impressed by the breeding story”, explained Ana Grgić, adding: “The spring offer of ingredients is impossible to resist. I wanted the menu to offer the top products from local breeders and highly-nutritional ingredients, from which I tried to create delicious and unusual combinations of dishes with the touch of French cuisine.”

While creating the menu, a particular emphasis was placed on the sustainability that Ana has been promoting over the last few years as a distinguished ambassador of WWF’s global Fish Forward Initiative. Among the appetisers, Ana has thus included the Adriatic shrimp from the Podvelebitski Channel which are caught in a way which protects the micro-ecosystem, encouraging fishers to follow the practice. Representatives of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) took the opportunity of the presentation of the new menu to bring attention to the alarming state of the sea and the necessity for sustainable use of resources.

Jadranski škampi, kadaif, pečeni krastavci, juha od kopra i krastavaca

“WWF Adria has the honour to work with the Esplanade Hotel on promoting the protection and sustainable use of natural resources. Trap fishing of shrimp in the Podvelebitski Channel is an example of good practices whereby fishers can live of their work long-term without endangering the species they fish and their habitat. This fishing is one of the most sustainable ones in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Esplanade Hotel, with the promotion of Podvelebitski shrimp, not only assures itself a constant supply of sea products but it remains the sustainability leader of the entire Ho-Re-Ca sector in Croatia. The consumption of sustainable fisheries products is a key element in the protection of marine resources not only in the Adriatic but in all seas of the world. Responsible practices protect not just the fish but millions of people around the world who depend on fish as a source of food and income,” said Danijel Kanski, Marine Program Manager at WWF Adria.

Dimljeni rižoto sa sušenim trubama i kremom od komorača

Guests also had the opportunity to taste a variety of beautiful and creative spring-inspired delicacies that will be available on the Le Bistro menu. On offer were burratina panna cotta, salsa and avocado gel, marinated mackerel with crispy vegetables and quinoa, spider crab with fresh zucchini and crunchy tapioca, celery rosti with roasted trout caviar, smoked trout and warm celery cream, as well as Ana’s award-winning smoked risotto, which this year comes with dried chanterelles and fennel cream. The spring menu expertly combines fresh local flavours: salad with pumpkin comes with fresh goat cheese, dressing of pumpkin oil and roasted hazelnuts, chia seeds; smoked duck breast garnished with caramelised parsnip, teriyaki and bok choy; and vitello tonnato with caper leaf, sugared lemon peel and baby salad.

Panna cotta od burratine, salsa i gel od avokada, maslinovo ulje, rikola, rajčice

The spring collection of hearty soups brings together healthy ingredients. Oyster mushroom soup is served with aronia gel and roasted oyster mushrooms, while parsley soup is garnished with cottage cheese pithivier and pancetta crumble. Homemade raviolo is stuffed with smoked prawns, crab velouté, tomato cream and basil. Homemade noodles with truffles, foie gras and orange juice are a real treat on the new menu.

Glazirani teleći ossobuco, svježi bosiljak, basmati riža sa sušenim rajčicama i pinjolima

Among the main dishes, there is glazed veal ossobuco, fresh basil, basmati rice with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Ana has decided to serve seldom used zander in brown butter, smoked sweet potatoes, kale with chilli pepper, and she was inspired by traditional “fiš-paprikaš”. Monkfish is served in paper, turmeric root, leek, sun-dried tomatoes, lardo and sage, while striped red mullet is prepared with fennel and saffron marmalade, roasted artichoke, citrus velouté. Cuttlefish confit is rounded with roasted white polenta with herbs, romanesco broccoli cream and lemon juice.

Confit od sipe, pečena bijela palenta sa začinskim biljem, šenon krema, limunov sok

The meat selection offers beef fillet, pistachio crust, truffle potatoes, figs in Prosecco. In her spring menu, Ana also included the unavoidable USA striploin steak with shallot cream, onion confit, roasted mushrooms with thyme. Gourmets can also choose among a varied selection of delicious desserts inspired by spring colours and scents which are a perfect end to a meal. Lemon meringue combined with lemon curd and flaky lemon grass pastry or caramelised mango with ricotta and white chocolate will impress everyone, while chocolate fans will be delighted with warm chocolate cake with strawberries, mint and vanilla cream. The French chic in this springtime dessert menu is represented by mille-feuille with strawberries, mint powder and cocoa crunch, offer a rhapsody of flavours. The exotic note is provided by rum baba, caramelised pineapple and coconut cream.

In addition to the a la carte offer, the menu includes meals prepared according to the strict BOSK gluten-free standard.

The wine list offers a rich selection of exceptional Croatian and international wines and sparkling wines, which will complement the dining experience, while the staff will propose to the guests those which best suit the selected dishes.

Ana’s perfectionist approach to gastronomy, the young and charming team of chefs and waiters, and the cosy, relaxed ambience of Le Bistro, are an excellent reason to spend time enjoying Ana’s delicious meals. Bravo.

More news about Ana Grgić can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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