A spacious interior, a good reputation, and rich portions are not the only aces up their sleeve.
The owners of restaurant Kod špilje grow around 80 per cent of products themselves, and by that we mean pigs, cows, poultry, fruit, and vegetables. Stjepan Grgos took over the restaurant from his father 20 years ago. It is a business awake and running 24/7. Stjepan tells a story of how his uncle, who was dining at his restaurant, took his wife to the hospital when she was in labor because he couldn’t leave the restaurant himself.
“We know the exact origin of our meat, we know who the veal belonged to, we know the cow’s name. We don’t use any frozen meat,” Stjepan says and adds that everyone at the restaurant loves the spring and the autumn. In autumn, for instance, they have at least five meals with chestnuts.
Their guests are often business people and families from Zagreb, Croatia, and even from other countries. The most common foreign visitors are the closest neighbors, Slovenians, but Italians and Austrians come by, too. It is not unusual to meet a Japanese group of tourists, who come here both the food and the cave opposite the restaurant.
Grgos wants his guests to enjoy real, local food, not called by any pretentious names, such as “foams,” or “beds.” What he finds most interesting is the local duck stuffed by barley grouts. He is in charge of meat dishes in the kitchen, whereas his wife Ivanka and other girls do all the preparation and bake cakes. Even if they are “close to the cave” (the restaurant name means “close to the cave”), they are no cave men, Grgos says.
They keep up with the trends and the seasonal changes, they keep informed, change menus, adapt. Nevertheless, they have managed to preserve their homey feel.