Today I’m going all medieval on you. Or Roman-y? But that doesn’t sound as cool. Truth be told, it’s likely somewhere in between. Mostly I just wanted an excuse to use a Knight’s Tale meme…because, Heath Ledger.
Slovenia is a country that may not be on everyone’s radar—thought it should be. It’s fairly small, but culturally a melting pot. It’s neither wholly Eastern European nor Western European, but rather you can see at different times the Italian spirit, Austrian punctuality- and efficiency-loving heart and interesting architecture, and Slavic cultural roots. It doesn’t get quite as much press as Croatia’s beaches or budget-friendliness (Slovenia is on the euro and only has about 30 miles of coastline total).
We drove from northern Croatia to Ljubljana, Slovenia, which is a very smooth and easy drive. The roads and infrastructure were amazing, very new and easy to navigate. After dropping off our rental car in the city center and meeting our friends (and freshening up), they had a surprise for us.
We piled into the car and they drove us up to Ljubljana Castle, which overlooks the city. There, at the top of an archer’s tower and offering stunning city views, is Restavracija Strelec.
You can arrive by funicular railway or drive, then head up the cool spiral staircase in the castle turret to reach your destination. The circular tower dining room is a very cool experience, though I’m a little bummed we couldn’t sit outside (it had been raining on and off and was quite cool that evening).
The cuisine feels both super fancy and distinctly ancient, a combination of medieval and Roman cuisine with a modern flair. It was developed in tandem with an ethnologist, so is designed specifically to evoke this region’s history as well as give you a feel for what dining in old time-y times would be like. The wines are Slovenian as well, and wonderfully complement the tasting menu.
We started with an amuse bouche of chicken liver mousse and onion jam that was amazing. We had delicious soup and a fish course, and then I had the saddle of venison with beets. I’m fairly certain we had dessert and coffee as well, but I was obviously in a food coma at that point and forgot to take pictures!
The sun was setting as we wandered (considerably fuller and slower) back down the path to the car. It was definitely a meal to remember, and if you’re looking for a special and splurge-y dinner in Ljubljana, this is the place for you!
Restavracija Strelec is located in Ljubljana Castle – reservations definitely recommended
What’s the craziest restaurant you’ve ever eaten dinner? Let me know in the comments!