Why Zinfandel’s Restaurant in Zagreb does not have a Michelin Star in Croatia in 2019, I’ll never understand. In my opinion, it is much better than Noel. Located on the ground floor of Zagreb’s most luxurious hotel, The Esplanade, Zinfandel’s is the type of restaurant that requires your finest outfit. It’s stylish, elegant and romantic, the perfect dinner date for two or an ideal location to seal the deal with a new client. No other establishment in Zagreb can compare to The Esplanade, it’s simply in a league of its own. It’s also one of my favourite places go stop by for a coffee (they also have the best hot chocolate during the Christmas period) and having dinner there with my husband became increasingly higher on my to-do list.
Since our days in Zagreb are numbered, we finally booked a table on a Saturday night!
This wasn’t my first time at Zinfandel’s, I had dinner there with my best friend and cousin three years ago. From memory, I remember leaving rather impressed and my cousin had a new love for truffle pasta.
Ana Grgic is Zinfandel’s Executive Chef and has been in charge of the kitchen since 2012. For the last seven years, Ana and her team have routinely been winning awards and have been included on the Michelin Recommended Guide and the Gault & Millau list. She has also prepared meals for numerous high calibre guests including Hilary Clinton, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince of Saudi Arabia and even the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo!
Here’s the great news, the menu at Zinfadel’s is exciting and difficult to select from, everything sounds appetising. After a quick look at the menu, I tell I’m husband I’m going “all out.“
He’s curious to know what that even means, he thinks I always go “all out.“
I begin with my entree, foie gras and truffles, truffle ice cream, cocoa tuile with black sesame crumble. Told you I was going all out. I must admit even looking at this picture right now is rather triggering, can I relive this moment somehow? The last time I had foie gras this good, I was having Christmas lunch at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. I’m not name dropping, I’m just saying. I remember taking each bite and hoping this moment would never end. Foie gras with truffle ice cream? Who would have thought this marriage between two culinary delights was a match made in heaven. This shows that Zinfandel’s can stand alongside all the world’s restaurants.
For his entree, my husband had the scallops, pumpkin seed soup and pumpkin crumble. I recall the scallops being perfectly seared, far from overcooked.
For my main, I couldn’t decide between seafood or meat. Considering I regularly eat seafood and I trusted Chef Ana Grgic, I opted for the lamb shoulder confit, leek, brown consommé with trumpet mushrooms. The lamb shoulder was tender and melted in my mouth. Words cannot describe how perfect this dish was!
My husband had the beef fillet, chanterelles mushroom cream, onion gel and pickled shallots cooked medium.
There was literaly silence at our table.
That always means it’s good.
My husband had the winning dessert, one I wouldn’t usually order myself- Marinated pear, lemon sponge, and cinnamon ice cream.
While for dessert I had the peanut, vanilla and dark chocolate brownie. It was divine however, I never thought these words would ever come out of my mouth but this was a little too sweet for my overdeveloped sweet tooth!
It’s important to note that Zinfandel’s Restaurant also has excellent gluten free and vegetarian options and Halal standards. For wine pairings, there is also a full-time sommelier who will help you find the perfect wine to pair with your meals. I was a little boring and stuck with my sparkling water, no mocktails for me.
You also have the choice of a tasting menu: 4 courses 570kn (76€), 5 courses 640kn (85€), 6 courses 980kn (131€).
What can I really say to conclude my thoughts and experience at Zinfandels? It’s a sophisticated restaurant that’s totally up my alley with creative food, excellent service and like I said, one hundred times more prestigious than Noel.
ZINFANDEL’S RESTAURANT ZAGREB