I had a bottle of Boskinac red wine in Zagreb and loved it, so we decided to visit the winery on the Island of Pag. We arrived in Novalja by boat and took a short taxi drive to the rural winery and Hotel.
The surroundings are beautiful, the restaurant placed on a lovely terrace shaded by trees and nature. Expectations immediately went high. The menu looked very fancy and high-class. We ordered three courses and were waiting to be wowed. Our waiter was very polite and welcoming, but then… we waited for a prolonged time for each course. Some of the food was delicious and beautiful presented, some of the dishes fell completely flat. My fish soup and tuna were excellent, yet other dishes went back to the kitchen untouched. Our waiter was changed in the middle of the meal, maybe because a three course meal takes up most of his shift. After that, we had to search for a waiter each time we wanted more water. We had to top up our own wine. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind any of that, if everything wasn’t set up as a high-class restaurant.
Than the fish fillet came. It smelled, it wasn’t good. It was sent back. I was looking at my husbands lamb, beautiful on the plate, exceptionally cooked next to a smelly old piece of fish. It was just confusing. All the wine was very good. The wine cellar was well stocked and interesting. Each bottle we tried could be easily placed in the top 10 % of Croatian wines. With beautiful surroundings and high-class wine this restaurant would work so much better with a simpler menu which doesn’t take hours to deliver to the table. Fancy looking dishes can’t make up for the fact the kitchen and staff is just obviously overwhelmed with a group of six.
It is really a shame, because the potential is so high, some of the dishes so lovely, you want to order another serving right away. I would really recommend visiting the winery which has its own little konoba with simpler dishes attached. If you make this all about the wine, I am sure you will be more than pleased.