Michelin recommendation
JRE Croatia

Damir Modrušan
Price range:

Below wonderful Motovun there is a place only for the most elite, so when we combine that with a restaurant of man who built an empire on an unsightly underground fungi, and which is valued more than gold – it is clear that one doesn’t come to Zigante for lunch.

This place, from the very moment you enter to the end of your meal is a magnificent, as well as an exclusive experience. The interior of an Austro-Hungarian street with lanterns, in stone, the fitting classical music from Brahms to Vivaldi, all of this prepares you for a higher level. And so does the menu.

You can choose from ten starters and ten main courses, as well as two set menus. The menu changes every three months, and the foundation is logically – truffles. With each new “catch” the carte also changes, and they adapt the dishes to the season and types of truffles which are most available. There is, of course, also seafood, from turbot fillet with octopus, sea bass, Kvarner shrimp to classic Istrian specialities such as boškarin (Istrian beef), maneštra (stews) and žgvacet (chicken stew), and others.

The starter was a real masterpiece – homemade cheese with truffles in a dried chicory sauce. Soft, savoury, far from the classic fresh cow cheese.

On the whole, it is fantastic to look and choose from two menus, or à la carte. At once you enter the empire of the truffle, a rare place where you listen to a string quartet and you can try such a fine veal breast with fresh black truffles, orzotto, and beans in a white Porto sauce. The breast was covertly seasoned with black peppercorns which gives the dish a special surprise.

Piran coarse salt adorned everything and as such the dish is really complete and enchanting. The barley in Porto sauce is something indescribable. A fantastic combination that proves that superb dishes can be combined with ingredients from different parts of the world. To drink there is the strong and enticing Zigante Teran, for dessert you can choose from truffle ice cream and crème brûlée and you will long enjoy the taste that remains on your palate, in your nose, everywhere…

Author of photography: Duško Marušić/Pixsell

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 052/664 302

Web: www.restaurantzigante.com

E-mail: info@livadetartufi.com

Working hours: Monday - Sunday:
Summer: 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Winter: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Region: Istria

Address: Livade 7; 52427 Livade

Capacity: 102

Price range: more than 300kn

Restaurant description:

The Zigante Restaurant is located in the very heart of Istria, in the small village of Livade, not far from the famous Motovun forest – between Motovun and Oprtalj.
The old flow of the Mirna river passes through Livade, and the Parenzana railway also once passed here. This typical Istrian place attracts foreign, as well as local tourists with its peaceful and rich natural beauty and, of course, with the fact that in the surrounding forests one of the world’s most famous sites for truffles can be found.

In was in fact in 1999 near Livade, more precisely in the protected Motovun forest, that Mr. Giancarlo Zigante, with his dig Diane, found a large white truffle, a specimen of the famous Tuber magnatum pico, weighing 1.31 kg, and which as the largest in the world was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records!

This event made Livade famous as a world centre for this exceptionally valuable underground fungi.
The first Zigante truffle shop opened in 2000 in Livade. In 2002, in a bold step, the restaurant was also opened, which is just two years reached the very peak of Croatian gastronomy. It was renovated in 2005 and expanded with a VIP lounge, and since June 2007 it has also had three four-star luxury rooms.
As the first Croatian restaurant specialising in dishes of Istrian truffles, the restaurant offers a carefully designed menu based on fresh truffles all year round. The restaurant can also boast an exceptionally rich wine cellar, which includes many local and foreign wines. The restaurant staff, chefs and sommeliers are the holders of numerous international acknowledgements for their work.
Guests arrive from all over the world, however they all have one thing in common: they are all lovers of superb cuisine.

Awards and recognitions:

Recommendation for MICHELIN Guide 2018
Seasonal menu