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. 

Jb ice
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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Cap

    I just wanted to say that you take fantastic photos !Cap

  2. marshal sandler

    Restaurants discoveries are interesting ,Slovinia borders a lot of good eats-Polenta My Favorite-nice article

  3. Michael

    “BTW, this entire country has only 2 million people living here. Pretty amazing.”It’s less than the population of Brooklyn!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Amazing…right? Of course that allows them the luxury of national health care including the dentist and free education thru college or even med school if you choose. High taxes, yes, but those are big perks.joanne [email protected]

      1. Michael K

        I agree, countries with big populations are highly overrated.

  4. scottythebody

    I *heart* that town. Definitely go to the Jože Plečnik Museum the next time you’re there. It might be one of my favorites in Europe: intimate and educational. He’s the guy who did all the urban design for the bridges/downtown area and one of my fave architects.Love the pics, too. These are great.I’m chillin’ with the fam just a few kilometers down the coast on the Istrian Peninsula (Rovinj). Have you been? You should sometime! I can recommend.Safe and awesome travels to your clan from ours.

  5. Leo Santarelli

    Joanne,I am part of the small community of expats living in Ljubljana. We all love it here, hate it when we have to leave. Slovenia is one of the best kept secrets in the world. We also say that it is a boutique country, small but with quality ! Great nature and skiing nearby. Venice is only a 2 hour-drive away. If it wasn’t for the language (so hard to learn !), many among us would consider retirement in this lovely country. But then again, by now you know that almost everyone speaks English !Leo

  6. seankelly

    Loved reading your detailed gastronomic experiences. Can “literally” taste the meal!I have some friends who live there and Ljubljana is very much a well kept secret.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Go visit them!

      1. soulata

        I live here and probably don’t appreciate what we have as much as I should :(. The food can be great, yes, don’t get me started on the health-care …