We are getting closer to mid-February, and the Croatian restaurant owners and chefs are getting more and more nervous: will there be new Michelin stars, will the current three be confirmed or perhaps even reinforced with additional ones, will the list of about fifty recommended restaurants be expanded? In the past two years, this was the time of the year when Michelin announced the names of restaurants that deserved a star or a recommendation, so the feeling of anticipation is quite understandable, reports Večernji List on February 10, 2019.
The first Michelin star in Croatia was presented in early 2017 to “Monte” in Rovinj, while the year later the acknowledgement for the quality of food, cooking skills and creativity was awarded to “Pelegrini” in Šibenik and the Dubrovnik restaurant with the unusual name “360°”.
In addition to these three restaurants which many knew were great even before they received the stars, Michelin inspectors concluded a year ago that more than fifty Croatian restaurants deserved their special recommendation. The list was almost doubled compared to the previous year, so everyone is now waiting for the opinion of Michelin’s inspectors for 2019.
Although the representatives of the world’s most famous and most respected gourmet guide are still silent, it is expected that this year the first Michelin star could finally arrive in the Kvarner region. Industry insiders were surprised that in the last two years Michelin skipped this region known for its excellent restaurants and good food which is the reason why, in addition to Croatian guests, people from Italy, Slovenia and Austria often come to Kvarner for just a day or two.
The Kult Plave Kamenica writers have drafted a list of eight potential candidates for this year’s Michelin stars, which includes two restaurants from Kvarner, “Plavi Podrum” from Volosko and “Matsunoki” from Lošinj. The local restaurant insiders believe that Michelin might also award the “Boškinac” restaurant on Pag, and well as “Laganini” in Hvar, “Zinfandel’s” and “Noel” in Zagreb, “Batelina” in Banjole, “Lemongarden” on Brač, and “Vine Vault” in Rovinj.
We will know soon enough. The impatience is also growing due to the rumours that some of the restaurants have already received notices that they will be on the list of recommended restaurants. All Michelin awards bring more guests, and they are great news for tourism because more and more people want to eat top-notch food on holidays and some even choose the destination they will visit according to the quality of restaurants. The number of tourists who opted to visit Croatia primarily due to the gastronomy reached 29 per cent in 2017 when the Institute for Tourism conducted its latest research on the habits of guests.
All this is accompanied by the pressure and the stress for the restaurant owners who receive the Michelin stars. It was nice to see how delighted the owner of Rovinj’s “Monte” Danijel Đekić was when two more Croatian restaurants received their stars, relieving him of the responsibility of being the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Croatia.
More news about restaurants in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Radmila Kovačević).