A green oasis of the white island of Pag. This is how Boškinac could be described, a hotel, restaurant, and winery not far from Novalja. On the edge of a natural forest which the owners have enriched by planting more vegetation in order to have shade on more levels on the terraces in front of the restaurant, so even during hot days it’s a very pleasant place to have a meal. And just like microclimate, the meals are pleasant as well.
Fish and lamb dominate the menu. Cuttlefish, shrimps and small fish are among the cold starters, scampi, hake, shark and octopus are among the warm ones, and fish, of course, are in the soups, brudet stew, and main courses.
As soon as one sits in the restaurant, the chef’s greeting from the kitchen comes before lamb in the form of red mullet fillet on a cream of celery and parsley mousse. Lamb came, on the other hand, first as carpaccio. Vegetables and fregula, small round Sardinian pasta, were wrapped in a thin slice of raw lamb meat. That roll was seasoned with a fantastic dehydrated olive oil, a powder that looks like coarse sea salt, and whose taste cannot be compared to anything else.
Lamb as the main course did not arrive in a pile, but three pieces of meat, one from the belly, one from the muscle, and one from the loin, roasted so as they stay pink in the middle, served on glazed vegetables from the restaurant’s garden and cream of carrot. Meat dishes also include veal and beef from natural breeding, and pork ribs.
The meals are well paired with wines from the family winery, which is in front of the restaurant. They have the unique Gegić. This white variety is indigenous to the island of Pag and part of the surrounding area of Zadar. Their red wine is a blend of carefully grown and vinified international varieties. This blend made the Boškinac name famous even before the restaurant. Nowadays they make also Boškinčić, made of almost identical raw material, but without the aging. While Gegić was a refreshing welcome, and followed the raw lamb nicely, that small Boškinac, Boškinčić, was nearly perfect. The “real” one is the aged wine for special occasions, but the freshness of a young red wine perfectly matched the hot summer day and soft meat.
The hosts frequently organise interesting eno-gastronomic events in the nicely decorated tasting room through which one can reach the winery. They do so since it’s easy for an imaginative chef to pair good food with fine wines.