Puli Pineta Tavern

Josip Kuhar
Price range:

Prosciutto, cheese and sausages are cold starters, seven pastas or risottos and two scrambled eggs warm, rib-eye steak, steak, ombolo (pork loin) and sausages are meat dishes. Potatoes are a side dish, they have two types of salad and skuta ricotta style cheese with honey and ice cream for dessert.

This is the whole menu of the Puli Pineta tavern in Istrian Žminj. The list of drinks contains six juices, carbonated and non-carbonated water, two wines, Malvasia and Merlot, three local beers, coffee, cappuccino and macchiato plus tea. These are the facts about what’s on offer in this tavern. Yet the impression is that the food is extraordinary and that you will simply not want to leave.

Pino the Chef, a legend in Istrian gastronomy, opened Puli Pineta, as well as culinary education on the peninsula, in order to have somewhere to receive his friends. It gradually grew into a serious job.

The hostess, it would be very unfair to call her a waitress, offered roast beef à la tagliata and with a lot of laughter the understanding of what this is lasted. It was a roasted then sliced rib-eye steak, which they also call rump steak. She immediately added that it was too hot for potatoes and recommended a green salad and cabbage. The beef arrived several minutes later. It was perfectly roasted with a nice, crispy skin and, as requested, red, but not bloody in the centre, garnished with a little rocket and several thin slices of hard cheese. The only seasoning were grains of rock salt. Sufficient. The portion was huge, 400 grams of meat with pieces of sinewy fat. And after that was cleared, there was enough meat for two, and not only for two. The skuta ricotta style cheese was very delicious, not with too much honey which would have killed the taste, just enough to sweeten it slightly.

The tavern also offers fish, but only by prior arrangement. Everything is prepared to order. Pino the Chef once said that the sauce is not prepared if no one knows who will eat it. The foodstuffs are local, if not from Žminj, then they are from Istria. If there are none in Istria, then they must be Croatian, because they are, he says, the best.

The interior of the place is set up like a classic Istrian tavern with a lovely fireplace, whilst the terrace is a family courtyard with a vine for shade and a fig tree, a few olive trees, and an old barrel and a large glass demijohn as decoration.

Author of photography: Duško Marušić/Pixsell

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 098/9911 795

E-mail: pulipineta@gmail.com

Working hours: Monday - Friday: 04:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday - Sunday: 01:00 PM - 10:00 PM
June, July: Monday - Sunday: 05:00 PM - 10:00 PM
January, February, March - Tuesday CLOSED

Region: Istria

Address: Karlov vrt 1; 52341 Žminj

Capacity: 65

Price range: 100-200kn

Restaurant description:

The homely atmosphere, fireplace and aroma of baked bread and Istrian cooking adorn the restaurant. The best Istrian delicacies are prepared here. The ingredients are exclusively fresh and of great quality, the herbs endemic, as well as the wild plants which are used during the preparation of the dishes.
Seasonal menu