Monday, July 13, 2009

Romantic fireplace and excellent food

Monday, July 13, 2009
Of all restaurants in Belgrade, Zlatar is one my favorite restaurants.

The main hall is on upper floor; there are few tables at ground floor, plus summer garden (but I always go there in the winter season). The interior is completely in old Serbian cottage style: furniture is made from natural wood and shaped in style, and numerous items from everyday's country life from late 19th/early 20th century are hanged on walls and placed around very tastefully. For each interesting thing you see around you can ask your waiter - they'll be glad to explain you what it was used for. It is a real treasure consisted of old petroleum lamps, baby cribs and loads of other original items. Even the architecture resembles to cottage. But the highlight of the interior is the big open fireplace which really works. It creates such endlessly romantic atmosphere, that it doesn't even matter if some smoke comes in (Belgrade has one nasty wind called Koshava which is unpredictable and strong - but not dangerous). That's why my husband and I find it's the best choice for romantic occasion diner. All staff is also dressed in traditional clothes.

The warm atmosphere you find in this restaurant is not coming just from the fireplace - the restaurant is owned by a family, and the quality of service and food is constant. Complimentary roasted almonds and dried plums stuffed with hazelnuts are waiting on the table, with which I can never be reasonable in "appetizing", spreading the strong appetizing scent. If you choose to start with a shot of homemade rakija ("rakiya" - strong brandy) it will be served in a cute little shot-glass shaped like tiny bottle, which is also a part of Serbian tradition.

Since the restaurant offers Serbian national food, that means that it is mostly based on meat. For people coming to Serbia for the first time I would recommend "The Zlatar dining table" dish, which is a combination of all kind of grilled meat specialties. But beware: this dish is so large that it can cause a "protein shock" just by looking at it. However, people who don't eat meat also can find great variety of dishes to suit their taste, especially during Orthodox fasting period, before Orthodox Christmas and Easter, when each meal marked as "posno" (the word confirming the absence of unsuitable types of food during fast). A short explanation: the Orthodox fast is not allowing any products of animal origin, including dairy products and eggs, except for fish (but if the fish is present in food, it is usually highlighted). In regular menu there are already some "meatless" dishes, such as cheese layered corn pie, roasted paprika, ajvar (pronounced as "ayvar") etc. What is also special about the food is that most ingredients are delivered daily from the valley of Lim, so they can be considered as "highly organic".

In the evenings they have authentic music program: the acoustic music, known as "Old City Music", performed by excellent musicians. Combination of interior, food and music brings you to another place, far away from everyday rush of city life and relaxes your body and soul. Well, at least the soul, because if you failed to resist overeating, you can leave out the body part.

If you're not familiar with Belgrade, you'll need some additional instructions how to get there, but nothing too complicated. Considering that it is located in wider area of city center, The good news is that they have their own parking space, so you don't have to worry about that problem (trust me, this is a BIG PLUS in Belgrade). Prices are moderate and very reasonable. Some major credit cards are accepted. Reservations are recommended for evenings.

All photos are taken from Zlatar's web site.


Post a Comment