Ljubljana...who would have thought?
We came to Slovenia because Fred has an investment in a company here called Zemanta and IMHO is going to be a huge win. The flight in was incredible. Pristine landscape and just gorgeous. Kind of jaw dropping flying in. I was wondering, where am I?
Drove into Ljubljana and walked the town. The accommodations, at least in town, are nothing better than a Holiday Inn, but I feel as if we have discovered something that nobody knows about. The town, where no cars roam, is like San Antonio, Texas, in regards to the river that meanders through the town with tiny cafes down the river. People are walking, biking and just out on the streets. A very nice vibe. Tomorrow, we are really going to see the local high points as our guide is the CEO of Zemanta ( born and raised in Ljubljana).
He took us to dinner at a restaurant tonight which has been our best meal in Europe, who would have thought? JB is the name of the restaurant, after the chef who was trained in Austria and attempting to bring a Michelin star to the town...he might succeed. BTW, this entire country has only 2 million people living here. Pretty amazing.
We didn't order, the menu had already been prepared for us. The restaurant definitely has an old school feeling as the town does too. Don't expect modern here. Our plates had a crocheted white piece set on top. Our first course was set on an oblong black tray. A line of 3 things in triplicate, over each other to form a line starting with thinly sliced scallops then a thinly sliced black truffle and then a thinly sliced mushroom. Divine. Light and full of flavor and all 3 flavors complemented each other with only each other to work off of.
Second course was beautiful. In a white plate that had a small round whole in the middle, flat and then molded over to sit on the table. In the whole was a squash risotto and in the middle of that was a squid ink risotto and over that was one small shrimp that was cooked like a piece of tempura. The risotto was full of flavor with a bit of a bite and the shrimp just melted in your mouth. Not only beautiful but delicious.
Third course was Foie Gras. Not a very big piece but poached and then served with a chopped red pepper orange sauce. The orange with the peppers was different and really worked with the fois gras. Fois gras locally grown in Slovenia.
Next out was the palette cleanser. A small high glass bowl with a scoop of basil lime sorbet and a foam which I am not sure what the foam was. Basil and lime so work together. Brilliant, delicious amd melts in your mouth.
Our main course came out next. A small piece of skinned Branzino poached in a butter with tiny wild asparagus that looked like long beans ( butter enhanced ) with sliced roasted potatoes that were just a bit browned. Really delicious. Simple. You could eat this nightly.
Next was dessert with a sweet wine from Croatia that reminded me of Vin Santo from Greece. A scoop of beyond flavorful strawberry ice cream set over 1/2 poached peach, sliced of strawberries, blueberries, half a green fig and a few sliced of cantaloupe.
We were done and not stuffed but perfectly content. Fantastic meal with wonderful local wines. The best part was the chef came out, we got to talk to him and he gave me a signed copy ( with a little note in the local language ) of his cookbook. Ok, I am now in heaven. Can hardly wait to check out the local markets tomorrow.