Vinodol puts a creative spin on the traditional Croatian dishes and ingredients in the Zagreb city center
Hiding inside one of the city center blocks, Vinodol is almost a mecca to Zagreb restaurant goers, especially for Saturday lunches since it offers quality and professional service at the best location in town – Teslina street, two steps from Cvjetni square and Bana Jelačića Square.
As soon as you step through the gate to reach the inner courtyard of this residential block, you are greeted by the cafe Boya, named after colorful decorations made by young artists. Through a glass door, you enter a conservatory with a glass ceiling, a terrace if you will, with glass walls that open to the open fireplace where lamb is roasted in season, and another inner hall.
The interior is stylish, decorated in light shades of grey with visible old brick arches – an architectural element often seen in the heart of Zagreb and preserved to great effect.
The table setting is traditional white porcelain with crystal glasses, on a white tablecloth that makes the hawthorn berry decorations pop.
Vinodol can accommodate up to 280 people.
What is served
Cooking at Vinodol is characterized as traditionally modern. The menu consists of a seasonal weekly offer and the a la carte part which holds 4 cold starters, 2 soups, 4 warm starters, 8 mains, 3 desserts, and a selection of Croatian cheeses. A daily vegan and vegetarian option is available too.
The menu is filled with traditional dishes, as created by chefs Josip Hauptfeld and Kristian Godinic, and exhibit lots of creativity in their cooking in spite of tradition.
The wine list is assembled by sommelier Damir Tomić, who has been at Vinodol since it opened. Usually, they feature a weekly promotion of Croatian winemakers on the first page, then a respectable list of champagnes and Croatian sparkling wines from the up-and-coming region of Plešivica. The list covers white and red wines from all Croatian regions and a few from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some rose wines and dessert wines are on there too. If you need help with wine pairings, Vinodol’s sommelier is ready to help you find the perfect wine for your meal.
Even as a Sunday lunch with family favorites known for traditional dishes, Vinodol does not shy away from creativity and modern interpretations of classics of Croatian cuisine.
Service is dynamic, each dish is quickly followed by the next.
Locals love it for its most dependable quality, recognized by Gault&Millau with 2 chef’s hats and 2 forks from Falstaff.
What our chefs had
As a starter, we tried three kinds of homemade bread from Vinodol ovens – traditional white cornbread, rye, and plain white, with salted butter and olive oil.
For the starter, we had Adriatic prawn gyoza served on a leek veloute, a creative experiment that paid off in a well-balanced and tasty little dish.
We followed with a traditional Zagrebački, a thin slice of veal, stuffed with ham and cheese, then breaded and deeply fried, with a side dish of potato halves.
To complete the experience, we had Međimurska gibanica, a layered puff pastry cake with four different fillings: nuts, fresh cheese, poppy seeds, and apples.
We paired every dish with a wine, starting with renowned Tomac Millennium sparkling wine, next Sauvignon Blanc by Galić from Slavonija, and finally Kozlović Momjan Muscat from Istria.
Everything came to 60 euros for one person.