30 September 2015

Meneghetti – Not only sea! In Croatia to try out all the flavours if Istria…

Relais e Chateaux in Bale

Bale? I have always heard people talking about Bali! But during one of my trips I discovered that in Istria (Croatia) there’s a little hidden treasure, a small medieval village on top of a hill, just a few kilometres from the sea, called Bale. Whoever has been there, among the labyrinth of tiny streets and old stone houses, the gothic-renaissance castle of the Bembo family, says it is an enchanted place.

 

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From Bale, in the middle of the typical vegetation of the area, a 2,3 kilometre long white road takes you to the entrance of “Meneghetti”, a Relais & Chateaux Wine Hotel with a restaurant.

 

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Before dinner I do a little exploring. I discover a small building besides the main building, all made of stone: the tasting hall. Meneghetti in fact is also a wine and oil producer. The villa is entirely surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and their labels are: Malvasia Chardonnay, Merlot, and blends of white and red wines. Flavours to discover and taste.

 

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From the wines to the servings everything smells of refined flavours from Istria… Daniele and Bojan, the two chefs, are waiting for me in their kitchen to present their dishes, created with care also in the presentation.

 

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They delight me with some wonderful fresh fish, a fundamental ingredient for all servings. Here are some pictures of my dinner.

 

Carpaccio di orata con orzotto servito con olio, crema di sale, rucola fritta e scorza d'arancia  

Carpaccio of gilt-head bream served with oil, a salt cream, fried rucola and orange peel

Seppia in umido con polenta accompagnata da un Chardonnay 2013

Squid cooked in sauce with polenta accompanied by Chardonnay 2013

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Filetto di branzino aromatizzato al basilico con cavolo rapa, spinacetti, cetriolo e melograno accompagnato da Withe 2010 (uvaggio Chardonnay e Pinot Bianco)

Seabass filet cooked with basil, with turnip cabbage, spinach, cucumber and pomegranate, accompanied by White 2010 (a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco)

Semifreddo alla lavanda con salsa di fichi e pinoli

Lavender semifreddo with a fig and pine nut sauce

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Ananas arrostito con gelato d’arancia e granella di biscotti con rapa rossa disidratata e schiuma di limetta

Roasted pineapple with orange ice-cream and biscuit crumble with dried red turnip and lime foam

 

The prices are affordable and if you consider the location, service and the quality of food I would almost say they are excellent (you judge, having a look at the menu).

 

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This wonderful dinner reminded me of one of Voltaire’s famous aphorism: “Nothing would be more difficult than eating and drinking if God, as well as a need, hadn’t made it a pleasure” And at Meneghetti’s, eating is definitely a pleasure!

 

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