A fairy-tale of Stribor’s Forest in Dubravkin put
The leaves are rustling. The room is slightly dimmed, lit only by white candles, decorated as a scenography of a theatre play. The installation on the table presents a forest. Not just any forest, but Stribor’s forest, the one from the warmest fairy-tale of our childhood, the fairy tale written by Ivana Brlić Mažranić. In the background of the delightful atmosphere, light music is carefully selected and played from the other room by the DJ. I feel as if I have come here for theatricals, not a dinner.
There is fire on the table – not real fire, though, but fiery flames that guide the guests to their sears like the Brownies from the story. Each seat bears the name of a character from the fairy-tale. I end up being the Daughter-In-Law – the Serpent (what a destiny…).
A lad entered Stribor’s Forest, yet little did he know that it was enchanted, obscuring all sorts of miracles. Miracles fair and miracles amiss – to each its own.
While the waiters, choreographed almost as ballet dancers, silently pour the first glasses of wine to each of the twelve of us, the storyteller begins his evocation.
The menu, written in one’s best penmanship, is as impressive as the space and inspired by the forest and fairy-tale events. There are eight courses, with more-or less allusive names – the Meadow, the Trout, the Frozen Tear, the Hare and the Pumpkin, Quail’s Eggs, the Coal, Through the Silver Gate, and Forest.
There is a regular fairy-tale happening on our plates, designed (as well as the entire concept) by Priska Thuring, so we delight in the woodland tastes of nature and extraordinary delicacies.
The first plate ushers us to snails wrapped in lardo di colonnata with mixed forest mushrooms, blueberries, and pistachios. This is followed by trout cross-bred with salmon (love is strange J) with parsnip cream and juniper berry and pine kernel crumble.
The Frozen Tear is visually the most impressive since it offers an ice sculpture in which groundsel sorbet is served. We taste the rabbit roll, cheese gnudi in “black soil” with cauliflower crème, whereas the Serpent Daughter-In-Law takes particular joy in quail’s eggs with caviar on a bed of straw made of leek and potatoes.
Through the Silver Gate we are led into the dramatic resolution, enhanced by the amazing musical background, and for the first time ever, I try sweetbread with boletes and beef heart with beets and kale.
We toast to the happy ending with a glass of Muscat wine and a forest desert made by Robert Bašić, executive pastry chef and ambassador of luxury Belgian chocolate.
The fairy-tale goes on for as long as four hours, and the impressions flatter literally all senses.
The end of our journey is particularly touching, and we leave home after midnight, aware that, apart from a top gastronomical experience, Dubravkin put gave us a memory for a lifetime.
Reminder – Conceptual Dinner in Val (as the small room of restaurant Dubravkin put is often called) was held for the first time last Thursday, and the idea is for it to be held once a month. The next one is to take place on 16 December; the theme is new and kept secret until the last moment, and the number of places is limited. If you get the chance, make sure to put this date in your calendar and allow yourself to be swept of your feet.
Magic invented by:
- Owner and hostof DP – Daniela Gajski
- Concept creators – Priska Thuring and Robert Barišić
- Main chef – Priska Thuring
- Sommelier – Tihomir Purišić
- Space decoration – Dubravka Dujmović and Martin Pohl
- DJ – Zozo
Matea powered by:
- Dress: Sposa (www.vesnasposa.hr)
- Jewerly: Zlatarna Jozef Gjoni (www.zlatarna-jozef-gjoni.hr)
- Hair: Martin Potter for Opium (www.opium.hr)In Studio Opium (left); in Jewerly Jozef Gjoni (right)
Photos: Iva Pezić, MLZ
Translation: Nevena Erak