BY JOANNA HAUGEN   

Croatia’s first restaurant to receive a Michelin star is far from Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town, Zagreb’s cultural attractions, and Split’s coastal ruins. Monte, awarded a Michelin star this year, is located in Rovinj, a fishing port in the region of Istria, known for seafood, truffles, and wine. With this distinction, the country’s culinary scene continues to heat up – and in Istria alone, twelve other restaurants also received notable recommendations in the Michelin food guide.

(Photo by Dean Dubokovic.)

Since its opening in 2014, Monte, which is run by chef Daniel Dado Dekic and his wife, has won praise for outstanding food and service, landing a spot on several “best restaurant” lists. Adriatic scallops, sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and other seafood shine on the a la carte menu and tasting menus. Look for creative ingredients and dishes such as a sashimi-like marinated beet or tortelloni with nettle and lamb, opt for the local wine pairings, and save room for the aged Croatian cheese course for dessert.

Chef Daniel Dado Dekic and his wife (Photo by Petr Blaha.)

Aside from the fantastic food, Monte’s vibe is romantic, sophisticated, and relaxed. The staff is attentive but discreet, and totally in tune with guest needs. It’s a warm, welcoming dining experience that lives up to expectations – and worthy of Croatia’s first Michelin star.

Open daily for dinner and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Ul. Montalbano 75, Rovinj, Croatia.

Top photo by Dean Dubokovic.