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Croatia Lunch

Zagreb, April 22, 2021

An emotional double celebration

" Where there's a will, there's a way! "

Nothing can stop our love for dining together, enjoying excellent wines and new tastes! Not even the pandemic! We proved that by organising lunch at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. All epidemiological measures were fully respected. We chose it because of the open-air oasis which is the beautiful Oleander Terrace.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The Esplanade Hotel is famous for its distinguished staff led by Stjepan Okun, Maître d' of the Zinfandel Restaurant. In his welcome speech Radovan Marčić (Consellier Gastronomique) emphasised the excellence of staff. The menu created exclusively for our lunch by Chef Ana Grgić (Chef Rôtisseur) and Sous Chef Miroslav Jurić with their teams won our attention. It was an exceptional honour for us.

We discovered that it was a double celebration - dining together and a birthday. On April 22nd 96 years ago the hotel first opened its doors to guests. The hotel’s Director Ivica Max Krizmanić (Maître Hotelier), our host and a founder member of the Bailliage of Croatia, and his wife Sanda Sokol modestly shared the birthday news. This was a great excuse for a toast with the welcome drink of Tomac’s sparkling wine “Diplomat”.


Homemade breads with hand-whipped herb butter

Frozen thin slices of foie gras
cocoa tuille, raspberries, black sesame crumble
Graševina Principovac 2013 - Ilok

Fresh shrimp, nettle juice, fresh spring herbs
accurately measured drops of yuzu gel
and olive oil
Stina Vugava 2019

Poached meagre
white asparagus velouté sauce
crispy fish skin crisps, black garlic gel
Krauthaker's Chardonnay 2018

Spring lamb shoulder confit
black chanterelle ragout, young peas, wild garlic cream
Krauthaker's Mercs 2017
made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Zlevanka corn and poppy tartlets
vanilla ganache, cranberry sauce with rosewater
Kabola Muscat Momjanski 2018

When dining is enjoyed in good company, every bite counts. Savoured carefully, combining everything to achieve the final balance of taste. We enjoyed each bite very slowly so lunch would last longer. When something is so delicious, you can only follow up one bite with another, and another. And the choice of wine pairings was exemplary and a perfect match.

The staff of the Esplanade who contributed to this exceptional lunch will remember this day by the certificates presented to them by Bailli Délégué Dalibor Greganić. Members will cherish the positive atmosphere, excellent dishes, and wines.

The Bailliage has organised many gatherings, workshops, masterclass workshops and dinners since its inception. This was the first time that members gathered at lunchtime. As we were leaving the most beautiful terrace in town, we concluded that this might have been the first midday event but not at all the last.

Sunčana Barušić

Photos courtesy of Mateja Ilijašev

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