Food, My Work, Travel

Visit Croatia: Pelegrini

May 18, 2016



When people travel across the country to the small, seaside city just in order to dine at a certain restaurant and when the reservations are highly required since all of the tables are almost always completely booked, then it must mean that you’ve come across a very special place… This special place is a restaurant and it’s called Pelegrini. It’s situated in the old town of Sibenik, Croatia, right next to the majestic and UNESCO protected cathedral of St. Jacobs. For the third year in the row, it won a prestigious gastronomy award as the best restaurant in the whole country, accompanied by this year’s award for the best chef as well.

Mr. Rudi, the head chef, the visionarie who has “built” Pelegrini from a small, unpretentious restaurant to the most innovative and hyped about one. It’s worth mentioning that this restaurant is a part of Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, a prestigious association of young restaurateurs who want to share their talent, innovations and profession with each other.


Between billion “konobas” along the Adriatic coast, which are usually just a tourist traps, often unappetising and 3 m long menu kind of restaurants, places like Pelegrini are real jewels. I was very excited to visit Pelegrini for late dinner last Sunday and experience the privilege of enjoying a chef’s Secret menu of all together 9 courses. All of the dishes were wonderfully paired with the finest local wines such as Bibich, Rak and Gracin.



We started off our foodie trip with the little “golden bombs” of the best what a sea can offer – oysters! We were told that those oysters are local ones which are from the Krka river, just in the spot where the sea mixes with the sweet river water. Oysters were served with a bit of lemon gel on top which has enhanced the taste of these sea diamonds to the max! Along with that we have snacked on homemade bread and black olives, capers and anchovies tapenade.


Next up arrived a fish tartar of a lightly seared sea bream on a cuttle fish inked rice chips. This was a perfectly warm, crispy, salty and simply such a fish delight of a starter/ snack.


Right after, followed a very interesting presentation of beef tar-tar! I was impressed by a very original idea of serving raw, chopped up meat in a panko crust with a bit of mayo on top and tomato gazpacho soup on the bottom. I have never seen a beef tar-tar taste or look like this anywhere else. 10 points for this starter!

All of these three courses were paired with Brut Bibich bubbly.


Now, onto the first plates – Gnocchi with squid like nothing I’ve seen before either! Love how a very, so to say traditional Croatian dish got a whole new makeover at Pelegrini. Soft and warm gnocchi wit the squid ink was paired with thinly sliced squid, topped with fish caviar on the bed of homemade, reduced fish sauce. Match made in heaven!! This was my favourite dish off of the menu.


Next up was a mashed potato with cream cheese and chili with cooked and thinly sliced pig ears, topped with marinated mustard seeds and on the bed of reduced meat stock. I have to be honest and say that I have “forwarded” this dish to my assistant and rely on his opinion about it. He approved it with two thumbs up and said that when everything is mixed together, the explosion of tastes happens and that’s when the dish becomes alive. Def. a chef’s strong card to impress an eater who has “seen it all”.



Besides gnocchi and squid, my 2nd favourite dish was Egg in Shorbul. It’s basically another very traditional dish, interpreted in a very inspiring and modern way. It’s a runny egg ( soldiers ) with foam of fermented cow’s cheese, local truffle slices, local prosciutto and snails from the fields. I have no words for this dish, it’s so “simple” but incredibly delicious and unusual.

All three dishes were perfectly paired with another local and family run vinery Rak – Marashtina wine from 2013.


As for the final, main course we were served puree of celery with raspberry, cooked kale, slowly cooked ( 6 hours in su-vid machine ) in the red wine beef cheeks and covered with demi-glace sauce. First I was wondering why the raspberry “on top”, but let me tell you, that was a party in my mouth little bomb of sweetness which connected perfectly the smooth and creamy pure, crunchy kale and buttery, cooked to perfection beef cheeks. Once again, such a simple, but perfectly done dish.

This dish worked wonderfully with Gracin Babich red wine from 2011.



As a pre dessert, we were served bisque with the strawberry compote, cream with lavender scent, lemon gel and fresh strawberries. The main dessert was Rogach cake, made of rogach, raspberry panna cotta, strawberry coulis along with apple puree, cooked apple and choco thins. This goes straight to the top 3 best desserts of my 28 years of existence. 😀 SO GOOD!!!

As the dessert wine, we were served with Ambra Bibich prosecco.

I must mention that besides brilliant surprise menu, tasty food and fine wines, the service was absolutely impeccable, better than in many Michelin starred restaurants. Yep! Believe it or not, Pelegrini deserves the hype, awards and everything in between… You must visit this place if you find yourself anywhere near or in Sibenik this Summer. 🙂

*This post was made in collaboration with Pelegrini restaurant. All of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Miss Lucija and Mr. Rudi for making this collaboration possible.

*All photos by: Natali K. photography

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  • Reply Trang Do May 18, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    Love this place!! Food looks so delicious!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 8:16 AM

      Thank you very much Trang! It was a great experience!

  • Reply Livia May 18, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    OMG the food looks soooooooooo good <3


    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:27 PM

      Thank you Livia! Everything was fabulous!

  • Reply Matea May 18, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Ma nema do Pelegrinija i gotovo 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:27 PM

      Sta reci?! Slazem se! 😀

  • Reply Lisa Favre May 18, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious! It’s 6 in the morning where I am but you’ve totally got me craving gnocchi and squid now.

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      Thank you Lisa! Yep, that dish was to die for!

  • Reply MsTomie May 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    The Oysters look so yum
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    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      They were amazing!

  • Reply Conni May 18, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Love love oysters! What a lovely little place this looks like it is! xx, Conni

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:25 PM

      Thank you Conni! I’m obsessed with oysters. 😀

  • Reply Lorena May 18, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    All look like delicious!!
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    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:24 PM

      Thank you for commenting Lorena!

  • Reply Jo May 18, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Strangely enough, I am having raspberries and kale (not on the same plate) on my menue today. You do find some mouthwatering little places, Natali. X

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:24 PM

      Lol! 😀 You’re so cute, love your comments, they always make my day!

  • Reply Amy Arnold May 18, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    I can see why this is such a sought after place to visit and eat!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:24 PM

      Thank you Amy, I’m so glad that you liked the post!

  • Reply Shannon May 18, 2016 at 4:29 PM

    What a cute place! Love me some yummy oysters!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

    • Reply natali karppinen May 18, 2016 at 5:23 PM

      Thank you Shannon! Those oysters were simply incredible!

  • Reply Nada May 18, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    I love Croatia ! Every single summer I am in this beautiful place ! 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:05 PM

      Oh wow! Really? I’m glad to let you know that there will be many more posts coming on my blog with lots of cool places in Croatia. 🙂

  • Reply Mara May 18, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    I would looove to go here one day!!


    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:04 PM

      It’s an amazing spot!!!

  • Reply MS May 18, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Thanks for the recommendations in Croatia!!!

    I will be going there soon 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      Wow! Great to read this! There will be many more recommendations coming!

  • Reply Federica Spinelli May 18, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Food look so delicious!! i like this dishes! kiss
    Federica – Cosa Mi Metto???

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      Thank you Federica!

  • Reply Patricia May 18, 2016 at 7:37 PM

    Amazing place!

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      Thank you Patricia, it really is!

  • Reply IK May 18, 2016 at 10:58 PM

    So many great pictures! 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      Thank you!!! 🙂

  • Reply Toks May 18, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Another great food post. xoxo

  • Reply AikA❤︎ May 19, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    looking so delish!!!! <3

    xo from Seattle,


    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 1:55 PM

      Thank you Aika!

  • Reply olia May 19, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Looks amazing!! Hope you’ll stop by my blog for the latest post!

    Love, Olia

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 1:54 PM

      Thank you dear Olia! Love your blog!

  • Reply Alissa May 19, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    One of my best friends is visiting there TODAY I am so excited to see someone else talk about this gorgeous place!
    The Adored Life

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 3:48 PM

      Oh wow! Really? That is so amazing!!! I hope that your friend will like it as much as I did. 🙂

  • Reply Caitlin Lee May 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    I love Croatia!! Haven’t been to Pelegrini but sounds amazing! xo

    • Reply natali karppinen May 19, 2016 at 3:49 PM

      So nice to read this Caitlin!!! Pelegrini is def. worth visiting!

  • Reply Liz May 19, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    The food looks incredible! Sounds like a good trip 🙂

    xo, Liz

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      Thank you very much! Food was delish!!

  • Reply Lauren May 19, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Gorgeous! This all looks delicious!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      Thank you Lauren, it was! 🙂

  • Reply Tamara May 19, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    Beautiful pictures, and the food looks so gourmet!


    Tamara –

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      Thank you dear Tamara!

  • Reply Ivana May 19, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Nisam bila, ali ne mogu reći da ne bi htjela jer klopa izgleda predivno! Pohvala za fotkice, predivne su sve od reda! 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:41 AM

      Hvala ti draga, s fotkicama se nekad “borim” a nekad idu kao podmazane. Za ove sam se morala malo vise boriti ali sam zadovoljna ishodom. 🙂 Ako ikad budemo u Sibeniku u isto vrijeme, vodim te na veceru u Pelegrini. :*

  • Reply Naelle-Once in Paris May 19, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    ohhh this really makes me want to travel! lucky you! (and hmmm YUMMI!)
    xxx from Paris!

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:42 AM

      Thank you Naelle! I love to travel, if I could, I would just do that and eating all day, every day. 😀 😀

  • Reply Jalisa May 19, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Wow, the food looks ah-mazing! I don’t believe I’ve ever read a post on someone’s travels to Croatia before, so I really enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you’re having a great week so far!



    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:43 AM

      Oh wow! Thanks Jalisa, I’m so glad to read that I’m the first one to introduce you like this to Croatia. Have a great weekend too!

  • Reply Eye See Euphoria May 20, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    The food looks incredible. Thanks for sharing and have an awesome weekend.

    Eye See Euphoria |

    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you very much! Food was wonderful!

  • Reply Keri May 20, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Wow, such divine food! Looks amazing <3

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    • Reply natali karppinen May 22, 2016 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you Keri, it was all top notch!

  • Reply Lola May 23, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    Amazing photos 🙂
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  • Reply Meghan May 31, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    Croatia is definitely one of the places on my bucket list. I would love to go one day.

    Meghan |

  • Reply Sophie June 1, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Lovely restaurant with delicious food <#

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