Thursday, June 13, 2013

Restaurant Pizzeria Giardino - Kotor, Montenegro

While in Kotor, Montenegro we had our best meal of our entire stay in the Balkans. There are quite a few restaurants inside the city walls and we were walking between sign boards looking at what items they had on the menu. I am not a pizza person and so the name "pizzeria" in the name of a restaurant is a negative for me, but when we looked at the menu items for Restaurant Pizzeria Giardino, they mentioned they had a special for baked lamb.
I came to the Balkans expecting some great lamb dishes and had been a little disappointed. We'd had some good lamb, but nothing that was really great - until this restaurant. We opted for an inside seat as opposed to one in the square under an umbrella. We were brought a complimentary plate with bruschetta that was fantastic and an accompanying dollop of something that seemed like a combination of mayonnaise, tuna, egg and perhaps some cheese. I spread the concoction on the bread in addition to the tomatoes and it was really nice. 
bruschetta
I got a shopska salad which was okay, but not as good as a number of other shopska salads I had on our trip. Shopska salads are on virtually every menu in the Balkans. A shopska salad is a Bulgarian cold salad that is made up of diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, a miniscule (virtually unnoticeable) amount of onion and a heavy helping of grated sirene cheese. Sirene cheese or white brine sirene is particularly popular in Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania and can be made of any one or a combination of cow, sheep or goat milks. It is very similar to Feta cheese, fairly salty and comes in a block. The vegetables are salted and have a small amount of sunflower or olive oil on them. Vinegar may also be added. Wikipedia indicates that raw or roasted peppers and parsley are also ingredients in shopska salads, but I did not find those ingredients added to many of the salads that we had.  This particular salad had bigger chunks of tomato and cucumber than I prefer and the cheese was in bigger pieces and did not seem as salty as cheese on other shopskas we had.
shopska salad
Judy got a steak with gorgonzola cheese sauce on it that she really loved. There was a significant amount of gorgonzola and the meat was tender. It came with some sliced and grilled zucchini, potato wedges and sliced tomatoes. I think that this was perhaps Judy's favorite dish on our trip.
steak with gogronzola cheese sauce
I got the baked lamb special and it was by far the best dish I had on our trip. The lamb was tender, it had the traditional lamby taste I love, the baked potatoes that came with it had been baked with the lamb and were infused with that same taste, so they, of course, were fantastic. If I could have gone back to this restaurant again, I would have and I would have ordered the lamb. 
baked lamb
We shared a crepe, or pancake as they call them in English. I believe we got one with a filling of Nutella with some crushed graham cracker on top. 


2 comments:

  1. Outstanding meal. In a place where so many of the menus look similar, this restaurant was a real winner.

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