A true oasis for Italian food lovers
The recent opening of the restaurant Tomassino was great news for Zagreb's devotees of traditional Italian gastronomy. The restaurant was opened within the Sheraton hotel, in place of the former restaurant Tomislav, whose name inspired the new, Italian one.
The authors of the restaurant’s concept are the well-known expat of the Croatian restaurant scene Jeffrey Vella as the main man of Maistra's kitchen and, as the chef, Ivica Štruml, the former chef at the Esplanade Hotel and a well-known name who inspired a whole generation of today's Croatian chefs.
The spacious bright space on the corner of the building, which can comfortably accommodate about a hundred people, with large glass walls and a pleasant modern interior design enhanced with indoor plants and abstract art, does not necessarily look like a small Italian restaurant, but it will certainly wrap you in a pleasant palette of colours, fine materials and authentic food offer.
The staff is friendly, unobtrusive, yet helpful and keeps an eye on what is happening at the table.
What is served
The menu abounds in classic dishes of the Italian cuisine that one expects to see on offer. The dishes are mostly typical of the authentic Italian cuisine with a touch of Croatian cuisine, made of Italian and Croatian ingredients using modern techniques and with some slight influence of classic French or world cuisine.
The program begins with the street food section, which includes dishes such as fritto misto, arrosticini and porchette.
Among the cold appetizers, there are raw and fresh dishes such as fish or meat tartar, burrata with focaccia, several types of excellent salads, including the legendary panzanella or a baby spinach and cottage cheese with grilled citrus salad.
The menu develops to mouthwatering pastas and risottos, whose names are well-known to everyone - rigattoni carbonara, aglio olio e pepperoncino, paccheri con salsiccia, paparedelle al ragù...
Among the main dishes, there are several excellent meat options, the most important being the famous Florentine steak (bistecca alla fiorentina), as well as some dishes inspired by important Croatian foods, such as boškarin goulash. Among the seafood main dishes there are also sea bass and tuna steak and octopus ragout.
The offer also includes cured meats and cheeses, in the Italian and Croatian version, and several types of pizza.
The classic French cuisine dominates the choice of extras, which includes a slice of goose liver, truffle juice and Béarnais sauce, all of which perfectly accompany meat lovers’ rump steak, steak or Florentine steak.
The wine list is not extensive, but there is something for everyone's palate. Many Italian regions are covered, including some 'great' Italian wines, as well as champagnes and a few famous Croatian wineries - large wine companies as well as some top boutique winemakers. We would like to see a slightly larger offer of wine by the glass.
What our chefs had
As a welcoming bite, a greeting from the kitchen, we had a very tasty and crunchy mini bruschetta with pesto and cherry tomatoes. We continued with delicious arrancini with ragu and saffron. Arrancini were hot, crispy and fragrant, and accompanied by a light aioli sauce. We were curious to try porchetta on toasted unleavened bread, with pistachio butter and sun-dried tomatoes. Although a lot of sun-dried tomatoes weakened the balance with their intensity and slightly overpowered the taste of the porchetta, in which we would have liked to see more spices, the tomatoes were superb and it was not difficult to remove one or two; the porchetta was fresh, tasty and juicy, and the bread succulent and crunchy. We simply couldn’t resist combining these two appetizers with the well-known flavours of caprese salad, but in a slightly grander form of an excellent tartare made from local tomatoes with burrata and warm focaccia with tomatoes.
As the main course we chose pasta dishes - rigatoni alla carbonara and paccheri with sausage, tomato and cheese from the island of Pag. Both pastas were well cooked and delicious. Carbonara was rich and creamy and paccheri flavourful with a lot of Pag cheese and everything combined beautifully with warm tomatoes.
For a sweet closure we chose the legendary tiramisu, a big Sicilian cannolo and pecan fudge with coffee ice-cream. The desserts were beautifully presented and served on gorgeous wooden crockery with crispy white starched napkins. All three desserts were moderately sweet, as it is the trend today, which was excellent. In terms of preparation technique, they were beautifully executed, with refined and very light flavours. Cannolo had an excellent, authentic structure: it was big, crunchy, creamy, covered with pistachios and chocolate, but with a bold twist – it was filled with goat cheese curd.