While on our way to Momnjan near the border with Slovenia, we were revising what we know about ingredients native to northern Istria. Will Stari Podrum welcome us with prized truffles, grassy olive oil and local grape varieties – the renowned Muscat, Malvasia and Teran? The family tavern is located in the Arglia river valley underneath a castle. The first whiff made us realise that it has what we came for. This oasis of homey ambiance contains a terrace which is cooled and soothed by the sounds coming from a nearby brook. This has been recognised by numerous guests so we congratulated ourselves for having been organised enough to make a prior announcement, reserve our seats and have a great time.
The mere look at the menu and wine list fulfilled our expectations, as did the oil selection on the table. The traditional feel intertwined with a rustic ambiance is complemented by a cuisine reminiscent of how our grandmothers used to prepare food. We found out that the food selection is adjusted seasonally with asparagus and truffles being the main protagonists. The ingredients are obtained from pristine nature or the living pantry in the garden.
If like us you choose to have a serious meat dish, the host will come to your assistance by bringing in the meat so you can taste it. Faced with choosing between boškarin, ombolo (pork chop meat) and Fiorentina, we opted for the specially prepared beefsteak. Juicy and fragrant, words cannot convey how good it is. Wait till you taste the homemade pasta! Fuži and pljukanci in a creamy sauce with the magnificent white or somewhat more modest black truffles are not served in the usual fashion. According to tradition, you don’t place a full plate in front of the guest. Instead of that, the pasta is gently stirred and finished off like steak tartare, while lovers of noble mushrooms will find it hard to resist the scent that will lingers in the air around your table. Given that there wasn’t enough room left towards the end, we decided to have Panna Cotta with seasonal fruit. And we didn’t regret it because this gentle dessert with a sauce made from fruit picked from the garden was exactly what we needed to round off our meal and promise ourselves that we would definitely come back.
Contact number: 052/779-152; 098/964-7723
Working hours: MON, TUE, THUR, FRI, SAT, SUN: 12:00 - 22.00
Address: Most 52, Merišće 52460 Buje
Price range: 200-300kn