A dinner with DOUBLE the wines? You heard right. A recent dinner at Kamin Restaurant in Isola on the Slovenian coast brought us to double the pleasure. It was a four-course meal paired with NOT ONE wine per dish BUT TWO WINES! And they weren’t just any ordinary wines. They were some of the best and most expensive wines in the region: a selection of top wines by winemakers Movia and Gordia. But before I get to the food and wine …
Charming Isola & Kamin Restaurant
Isola is a charming town. I love it for its quaintness and calm, and traffic-free coastal walkway, which always beckons me for a walk whenever I’m on the Slovenian coast. That was my intention before going to dinner with Movia and Gordia wines a few weeks ago- to take a walk by the sea in Isola town and enjoy one of the last summery days by breathing in some salty marine air. However, I decided to forgo that this time and head straight for Kamin Restaurant.
Kamin Restaurant forms part of the Belvedere Resort which is not located in the centre of Isola but on the adjacent cliffs overlooking the town and the Gulf of Trieste. So yes, I did skip the seaside walk. But it was worth the miss as it’s always a pleasure to admire the sea views from the restaurant’s terrace while enjoying a glass of wine. I love this restaurant because it offers a romantic setting outdoors during the summer and a cosy atmosphere with its fireplace (where the restaurant gets its name, as ‘kamin’ is ‘fireplace in Slovene) in winter. Chef Jernej Podpečan and his team also use the fireplace to cook some of their dishes.
What Can You Eat at Kamin?
Kamin’s culinary offer consists mainly of Istrian and fish specialities, which are available along with international dishes. Some of the dishes we’re having this evening are a fusion of Slovenian and East Asian cuisine. What I also particularly like is that they present their own homemade PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) extra virgin olive oil.
Food & Wine Pairings
This four-course dinner consisted of an amuse bouche, a cold and warm starter, a main course, and a dessert served along with nine wines.
Amuse bouche: Butter trio (natural, beetroot, and black olive) with anchovies served with homemade sourdough bread. Wine pairings: Movia’s Puro sparkling wine and Gordia’s pet-nat rosé.
Cold starter: Japanese-style raw sea bass with Kombu seaweed, celery, apple, candied kumquat, & dill. Wine pairings: Movia Gredič and Gordia’s Malvazija, both from 2019.
Warm starter: Pasta with porcini, guanciale (cured meat made from pork cheeks), and radicchio. Wine pairings: Gordia’s Amfora 2018, and Movia’s Rebula 2018.
Main course: Venison tenderloin with enoki mushrooms, topinambur, and venison demi-glace. Wine pairings: Refošk 2016 by Gordia and Veliko Rdeče (Double Magnum) 2003 by Movia.
Dessert: Choux au craquelin with a chestnut, caramel, and chocolate cream filling. Wine pairing: Gordia Damigiana 2015 dessert wine.
An Entertaining Evening
The evening was not just about food and wine. Winemakers Aleš Kristančič and Andrej Cep of Gordia were also with us to talk about their wines and share their lively vibes. Not to mention Aleš’s cool demonstration on how to disgorge a bottle of sparkling wine under water without losing too much wine!
All I can do now is remember the great time we had that evening and wait for the COVID restrictions to ease up a bit and be able to enjoy Kamin’s next culinary event.
About the author:
Denise Rejec is a freelance writer from Malta. Her passion for writing—not to mention her love for Slovenian food and wine—prompted her to create the website Wine Dine Slovenia, which is dedicated to all the yummy things you can find in Slovenia.