This experienced and charming Executive Chef has just launched a new collection of fabulous courses you must taste
Inspired by winter, Esplanade’s Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić has used the new menu of the Zinfandel’s restaurant to play with available ingredients such as chanterelle mushrooms, game, snails, redbeet, pumpkin, winter truffle, quince, and orange. She carefully combined selected ingredients into tempting, modern, and tasty dishes while respecting their original taste, giving each one her signature twist. A new divine symphony of scrumptious flavours such as chestnut cream, parsley powder, smoked mussels, bisque with saffron and cognac jelly – just one part of Ana’s story that tempts the palette.
“I am delighted to have launched a new menu at Zinfandel’s. My team and I worked a lot on it, and so I believe that our guests and true gourmands will be happy with it. I used seasonal ingredients as much as possible, trying to achieve unique flavours by preparing a lot of the dishes in my own workshop whilst applying special techniques. For example, the tasty salted red beet, which in this menu pairs with juicy American striploin steak, we keep in salt for three days until all the liquid is drained, which causes the beet to take on a special sweet-salty taste. On the other hand, we bake the celery in salt to prevent it from drying out and to preserve all the juices. We make pine oil ourselves by cooking pine needles in sous vide, vacuum-packed with olive oil – in this way, the oil takes on the taste of pine and gives off a special wintery aromatic note. I roast scallops in grape seed oil, which in combination with Jerusalem artichoke soup produces a a truly unique flavour. I included among the main dishes Guinea fowl breasts, which we stuff under the skin with fine cream of butter, porcini mushrooms and truffles to maintain the meat’s juiciness. The deer is served with a thick port sauce which we start preparing by first smoking cherries which we then cook in port with anise, cinnamon, and cloves – this combination with venison is amazing. We are also happy to prepare homemade bread with homemade yeast cultivated by my 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 Esplanade Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić, adding: “When creating a menu, I am particularly attentive to choosing the right ingredients, sustainability, and maximum usability. We are committed to this because I believe that we chefs, as representatives of gastronomy, must streamline the public and the media towards the global problem of usability and food waste. We have recently received a great acknowledgment from Michelin, which recognised our efforts in that area and awarded Zinfandel’s restaurant its first green star. We are very proud of this achievement and intend to dedicate ourselves even more profoundly to waste reduction in cooperation with partners from WWF, as well as to the education of our staff and guests, and even the cultivation of some of our own ingredients. On the Oleander Terrace, for the time being, we grow our own herbs and peppers and Zinfandel grapes, which gave us the first bottles of wine carrying our own label a few years after planting, in cooperation with the Krauthaker winery.”
The menu still features faithful Zinfandel’s classics such as hand-chopped steak tartare which is prepared from the best parts of the meat and selected spices, wild sea bass roasted in salt, Istrian fuži with truffles, Caesar salad, and the iconic Esplanade štrukli oven-crisped with cream, that also come in a gluten-free variant.
The sweet list of desserts, which includes homemade zlevanka cornbread with poppy, grape mousse with rose water panna cotta, buckwheat mille-feuille in peanut butter cream with Tonka bean foam, and juicy caramelised quince and yuzu with lime, completes Ana’s creative winter story. Zinfandel’s wine list has been refreshened with some new interesting labels of wines, champagnes, and dessert wines from Croatia and the world. The wines were attentively selected by the sommelier to perfectly complement the menu.
“Zinfandel’s, with its magical Oleander Terrace and its city views, is a place of exceptional decadence created by Ana’s creative menus, but also by the people, the service – professional, affordable, and friendly – that makes our guests always happy to return”, added Stjepan Okun, Maitre d ‘ of the Zinfandel’s restaurant.
A blend of innovative approach and creative dish design, charming and professional service, sophisticated fine dining experience and art déco atmosphere, undoubtedly place the Esplanade’s Zinfandel’s at the very top of the local culinary scene.
The à la carte offer is available every day for lunch and dinner from noon to 11 pm. On Sundays at Zinfandel’s, traditional brunch is served from 12.30 at a price of HRK 450. Book your table by phone at 01 4566 644 or by email at [email protected]. The restaurant follows the prescribed epidemiological measures in all business segments and pays special attention to guests’ special diets, which is why dishes according to halal standards of preparation, vege dishes, and those that should not contain gluten are specially marked.
Photos can be downloaded from this link: À la carte fotografije – Zinfandel’s restoran
Food photos: Mario Kučera, Photos of the Chef: Goran Jakuš, Interior: Esplanade Zagreb Archive
About Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić
This young but already experienced executive chef has been running Zinfandel’s Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Croatia, as well as the charming French restaurant Le Bistro and Esplanade Catering, for nearly ten years. Ana pursues the tradition of the Esplanade Hotel’s cuisine while following world-class culinary trends. Her creative and imaginative menus have impressed many guests and celebrities in the past years, as well as members of royal families, such as the Swedish king and queen, the Japanese prince and princess, the prince of Saudi Arabia, the royal couple from Denmark and many others who did not remain indifferent to Ana’s ingenuity in preparing dishes. Ana has received a number of accolades for her personality, excellence, and style of cooking. Prestigious publications have nominated her for Woman of the Year and Person of the Year, and the renowned Guida Gallo guide included her risotto among the 101 best risottos in the world in 2013 and 2016. Ana’s style of preparing dishes and her personality led her to participate in the popular TV cooking programme Celebrity MasterChef as a jury member. In addition, Ana proudly bears the title of ambassador for the Fish Forward Project in Croatia within the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) initiative, setting an example for raising consumer awareness of the global environmental and social consequences of the consumption of fishery products. The Gault&Millau guide awarded Ana the title of Great Chef of Tomorrow, specially emphasising her respect for the seasonality and quality of ingredients, as well as consistent and carefully refined dishes. Her culinary virtuosity and creativity have been recognised by the gourmet association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which awarded Ana the prestigious title of Chef Rôtisseur.
Sanda Sokol, PR & Marketing Manager – T. +385.1.4566.036, M. +385.91.4766.647, E. [email protected]
Andrea Ožegović, PR & Marketing Coordinator – T. +385.1.4563.888, M. +385.91.4766.648, E. [email protected]