Chef Ana Grgić Tomić brings with the new Zinfandel’s À la Carte Menu
Homemade noodles with dried porcini mushrooms, venison chops in juniper berry sauce, American striploin with pine nuts and caramelised shallots, Adriatic scampi in roasted celery cream with Jerusalem artichoke tartare, cod with Brussels sprouts and black garlic gel, sea bass in thick orange and saffron sauce with fresh cauliflower, invigorating creamy chestnut soup with porcini mushroom marmalade and molasses, and the inevitable crab bisque soup are just some of the dishes from the new collection of enticing signature dishes by Chef Ana Grgić Tomić, which will delight the refined palates of even the most discerning of gourmands.
There are many good reasons why you should consider Zinfandel’s an unmissable destination on Zagreb’s culinary map in the coming weeks. This iconic Zagreb restaurant, with its high-level gastronomy and distinctive service, whose guests are often well-known stars from the world showbiz scene, proudly carries the green Michelin star for its sustainable concept, while also noteworthy is that Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić was recently presented, at the prestigious European Hotel Awards 2023 award ceremony in Barcelona, with the special award Étoile Blanche by the World Gastronomic Organization, while Zinfandel’s was awarded as European Hotel Restaurant of the Year. In addition, the magically decorated interior and the upcoming holidays certainly invite you to socialise and enjoy fine dishes with a bottle of superb wine and sparkling bubbles of pure pleasure.
In the new seasonal à la carte menu, Ana combines her personally recognisable creative style of food preparation with the tempting flavours of autumn, resulting in an attractive dose of art that invites you to taste it. The selection of precisely designed dishes brings interesting combinations, with the lead role played by autumn fruits such as chestnuts, pumpkin, game, parsnip, truffles, porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, kohlrabi, cauliflower, juniper berries, olives, plums, oranges, and pears. Oscietra caviar in combination with a pear poached in white wine, along with a buckwheat waffle and almond mousse is something certainly worth tasting. The menu also includes Adriatic scampi, caught in the Velebit channel by pot in order to protect the micro-ecosystem, but also to encourage small fishermen to engage in this activity. “One of my favourite ingredients has also found a prominent spot on the menu this time – fresh Adriatic scampi are a great starter, especially with Jerusalem artichokes – I made a delicious tartare and combined it with roasted celery cream, absolutely delicious” Ana said, and added: “For pasta lovers, I definitely recommend the homemade noodles from our own production, which are fantastically paired with dried porcini mushrooms, chanterelle velouté, sunflower seed cream and candied truffle cream, with the addition of special aronia aceto that we source from a local family farm Brolich. Certainly an interesting combination with dominant earthy tones. Creamy, crunchy, and tasty are the three components that almost always guide me when creating a new menu, and they have turned out to be great guides indeed. A light dish is scallops but reimagined, since I refined them with pumpkin seed pesto with three different pumpkin flavours and the addition of delicious crackers and lemon. Nutritionally balanced creamy chestnut soup is an excellent choice for all those who appreciate the sweet aroma of chestnuts, which comes in combination with homemade marmalade made from porcini mushrooms and molasses. Duck breast, which in this menu I combine with apples, roasted plums, honey, and anise, originally come from a small farm in the Međimurje region which breeds ducks for our kitchen, just as they do the Christmas turkeys that have been popular for years, which guests especially look forward to. As for domestic duck, for the à la carte menu I would like to spotlight the juicy duck breast, while from the other parts of the duck we prepare a tasty duck confit and delicious duck fat, which we mostly serve with holiday treats. Among the main dishes, I have also added venison chops, which come to us originally from the region of Gorski Kotar. Along with this excellent piece of venison, I have prepared a thick port sauce, which I make by first smoking cherries and then boiling them, all with the intention that the chops melt in the mouth, while I also add juniper berry sauce, pine oil, and parsnip – for a real winter story,” explains Chef Grgić Tomić, adding that, this time, she has presented the inevitable American striploin in a completely different version, with a parmesan cheese and pine nut crust along with black trumpet ragout and caramelised shallots.
“The new menu places an emphasis on fresh domestic ingredients that we procure from carefully selected family farms, while I tried to use seasonal ingredients at every opportunity and prepare them, for the most part, in my own workshop through special preparation techniques. We are also happy to bake homemade bread with homemade yeast cultivated by my own team. For guests we also bake home-made focaccia, with added rosemary, herbs, and olive oil, so as to highlight the cuisine’s Mediterranean concept. In addition, we serve guests butter that we churn ourselves, enriching its flavour by adding olives and black salt,” said the Executive Chef.
The menu also includes faithful Zinfandel’s classics such as hand-chopped steak tartare which is prepared before guests from the best parts of meat and selected spices, then wild sea bass roasted in salt crust, which a speciality especially among foreign guests, and there are also Istrian fuži with truffles, and the iconic Esplanade štrukli roasted in cream, also served in a gluten-free version. It needs to be highlighted that Ana and the Zinfandel’s staff pay special attention to guests’ specific diets, which is why dishes according to halal standards of preparation, vegetarian dishes, and those that should not contain gluten are specially marked. There is also a Kid’s menu with specially adapted meals for children.
For all those with a sweet tooth, the pastry team led by the Esplanade’s Pâtissiere Mirjana Špoljar has prepared a tempting selection of delicious desserts that perfectly round off the delicious gourmet experience of Zinfandel’s. The creative dessert menu brings irresistible combinations of hazelnuts, almonds, olives, rose, and oranges, while one of the select favourites that will delight many is the delicious chocolate and hazelnut Fondant sponge cake with hazelnut mousse.
This dessert is a great choice for all fans of gluten-free desserts. If you are inclined to more intense flavours, a dessert that stands out is the juicy almond cake with olive oil and rose water sponge cake with the addition of milk and orange peel gel, prepared using a special cooking technique.
A carefully created wine list that offers premium wines, sparkling wines and champagnes from Croatia and the world will additionally complete the dining experience, while the staff will be happy to suggest the ones that best pair with selected dishes. A special place on the wine list is held by Zinfandel’s own limited edition, with the Esplanade label and the signature of the Krauthaker winery.
The à la carte offer is available at Zinfandel’s every day for lunch and dinner from 12:30 pm to 11 pm.
During Advent, a special edition Advent brunch is served on Sundays from 12:30 to 16:00 with a glass of welcome sparkling wine and piano music for 115 € (866,46 HRK) per person. Advent Lunch for children is 79 € (595,22 HRK), and free for children under 3.
The restaurant serves a buffet and à la carte breakfast for guests every day from 6:30 am to 11 am. Book your table by phone at 01 4566 644, by email at [email protected] or via OpenTable App.