Simple and tasty Mediterranean basics in Teslina street
On one of the most coveted corners in Zagreb, where Nikola Tesla street meets Cvjetni square, you'll find Carpaccio, a true Italian, with walls covered in old posters and ads. The tables inside are set in stark white, as opposed to the terrace tables where tablecloths are chequered red like in a traditional trattoria.
Their terrace is always busy, even in the winter, when it is heated. Carpaccio has a large and firmly set a la carte menu, with occasional winks to seasonal ingredients. Cooking is simple and almost standardized, resulting in traditional, tasty, and satisfying dishes. Service is fast, hospitable, and charming. There are plenty of servers, so guests do not stay thirsty or hungry for long.
All of the ingredients are of good quality and respectfully Italian.
Gault&Millau awarded them two chef's hats.
What is served
Carpaccio's menu is relatively large. It starts with, 6 kinds of paper-thin slices of meat or fish that the place was named after - Carpaccio. There are 7 starters, most mozzarella based, with a couple of classics, like Vitello Tonato and prosciutto with melon.
They usually have 2 soups, and the salad section offers six choices.
Out of 8 pasta dishes, one is ravioli and 1 gnocchi, both handmade on the premises.
Risottos are cooked from scratch, as they should be, so you have to wait for 25 minutes.
Carpaccio offers a prawn and vegetarian risotto.
Mains are divided into 9 meat-based and 6 fish based, covering all of the bases when it comes to sauces and cuts. The fish are usually fresh from the Adriatic coast.
A selection of side dishes, vegetables, and desserts concludes the menu.
The extensive wine list focuses on Italian and Croatian wines, starting with proseccos and champagnes. The per-bottle section of the wine list is divided per region of Croatia and Italy and is satisfyingly long, so you are sure to find a bottle to your liking. Carpaccio has a vast selection of wines by the glass, more than 10 reds, 10 whites, and a bunch of roses.
Seasonal dishes are usually written on the board, ranging from truffles to wild asparagus or seasonal porcini mushrooms.
What our chefs had
We started our meal with a classic selection of cheese and prosciutto, most of Croatian origin, sorted by strength, with cows, sheep, and goats cheese and sweet, wind-cured dalmatian prosciutto.
After a strong start, we moved on to an Italian classic, creamy, juicy, tender burrata mozzarella, served with perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes, basil, and young, spicy Istrian olive oil. There was a selection of several Dalmatian and Istrian olive oils on the table, all of them excellent.
For the main course, we had veal saltimbocca, folded, tenderized slices of veal filled with sage leaves and prosciutto, and served on a light white wine sauce, with a side of boiled vegetables, to even out the strong, satisfyingly salty flavor of the dish.
The second main was oven-baked octopus and potatoes with rosemary. Octopus was cooked to perfection, sticky on the outside, and soft and juicy in your mouth, with potatoes soaked in cooking juices.
Our dessert of choice was, of course, creamy tiramisu made out of fresh ricotta, biscotti dipped in espresso, and custard.
With our meal, we had a bottle of non-vintage Moet Chandon.
Our bill reached 190 euros for two people and a bottle of wine