Boškinac: Michelin star restaurant inspired by island of Pag

5 MINUTES READ

Boutique hotel, restaurant and winery Boškinac has more than a Michelin star to prove it is truly an oasis of creative fine dining island cuisine

Boutque Hotel Pag 01
Boškinac is situated on the island of Pag in Croatia, between Novalja and Stara Novalja

Before sunrise, crickets begin their chirping that echoes all day long, rebounding against ancient hunched pine trees and randomly scattered rocks. This rhythmical buzz of leisure is only occasionally interrupted by bleating of a sheep. Always present, the rare sounds accent peace like they were put there with that sole purpose.

Boškinac is a serene corner of the world, a place that celebrates the nature and the island of Pag, from its barren lands to the salt on the skin of its fishermen. On the island, the salt is everywhere: merciless to skin, it hugs juicy fresh fish steaks like a lover, or dips its fingers into wine just enough to dry out the throat and inspires another glass.

Boskinac Pag Terasa 01

restoran Hrvatska
Restoran Boškinac got awarded with one Michelin star in 2020

The gastronomic history of Boškinac

Inward from the coast, toward the town of Stara Novalja, white fabric attracts the eye: as we look closer, we make out a man in white kitchen garb crouching, picking wild fennel. Wild rabbits, those delicious scourge of the island, daringly criss-cross the terrain, scuttling from olive orchards to vineyards. It’s time to close the shutters and get to the restaurant. The staff is already there, Matija and all; a silent symphony of working hands, knives chopping, whisks buzzing. Shrimp climbing out of wooden crates.

The gastronomic history of Boškinac began in 2003, when Boris Šuljić opened his restaurant, a wildly ambitious project that brought to the island chef Stéphan Macchi and his sous, Dino Galvagno. Foodies descended upon Pag in a blink of an eye. The new wave of hedonist migration began in 2016, when Boškinac opened their doors to young chef Matija Bregeš, who after his first island season spent a year learning from Europe’s finest chefs.

Vlasnik Hotel Boskinac Boris Suljic 01

Chef Matija Breges 01
Boškinac winning combination owner Boris Šuljić (above) and chef Matija Bregeš (below)

The culmination of his efforts led him to Larrabetz outside Bilbao, to an apprenticeship with the master of local cuisine, chef Eneko Atxa of Azurmendi. Fresh off that experience, Matija returned to Pag with new inspiration and new philosophy, and gathered his crew to create the 2017 menu: first and foremost, he pared it down by 30-40%, a move that allowed a more focused presentation of the island cuisine and was rewarded with excellent reviews.

The seemingly barren island of Pag hides a bounty of unique and exquisite ingredients: from the duly popular lamb to cheese and dairy, olive oil, fish and shrimp from the Podvelebit channel, to the myriad of aromatic herbs and juicy fruit and vegetables from the fields around Novalja

Boskinac Menu 2020 01

Hotel Pag Menu Michelin 01

Matija Breges Menu Pag 01

Boskinac Novi Menu 01

Boskinac Desert 01
Boškinac menu is an interpretation of traditional cuisine from Pag, transformed in a creative, modern way

At the end of that season, he leaves the island once again, this time for the Netherlands. In the three Michelin stars restaurant De Librije, he observes and works with chef Jonnie Boer, whose idiosyncratic and innovative cuisine colors outside all lines and caters to each guest personally. This new concept, this new approach spurs the young chef into seeing things in a fresh light.

Apprenticeship programs for chefs and kitchen staff serve more than one purpose, but most broadly, they serve to open minds of young professionals to new horizons, allowing them to find their signature cooking style. Chef Matija and his staff learned from their colleagues in some of the finest restaurants in Europe – chef Claude Bosi of Bibendum (2**), chef Jan Hartwig of Atelier (3***), chef Kevin Fehling of The Table (3***).

Admiration from both clients and the industry

Late in 2018, Matija confirmed his status with an apprenticeship in Copenhagen’s Geranium (3***) number 5 on the World’s Best Restaurant list, whose aggressively progressive chef Rasmus Kofoed, winner of gold and silver Bocuse d’Or is one of several grand masters of the Scandinavian cuisine.

Yachts & Wine

All this extra work resulted in admiration from both clients and the industry, and chef Matija was voted 2019 Gault&Millau Great Chef of Tomorrow, and Boškinac top restaurant by the Dobri restorani project. Finally, the restaurant and the chef were rewarded with one Michelin star earlier this year.

Today, Boškinac is an oasis of creative fine dining island cuisine. The seemingly barren island of Pag hides a bounty of unique and exquisite ingredients: from the duly popular lamb to cheese and dairy, olive oil, fish and shrimp from the Podvelebit channel, to the myriad of aromatic herbs and juicy fruit and vegetables from the fields around Novalja.

Try exquisite wines from Boškinac winery

As important as Boškinac is for the island and Croatian haute cuisine in general, the restaurant might not even exist if for the adjacent winery, built in 2000. The winemakers of Boškinac have for years been creating a most exquisite wine, their signature blend Boškinac cuvée, from the merlot and cabernet sauvingon grapes grown in their five-hectare vineyard, as well as delightful wines made from the local grape gegić, sometimes alone, sometimes blended with sauvignon and chardonnay.

hotelska soba

hotelski interijer

boutique hotel soba

pogled na hotelski bazen

mediteranski dorucak
Luxury boutique hotel Boškinac is a sophisticated place that blends seamlessly into the nature that surrounds it

The winery makes two types of sparkling wine Viaz, white and rosé, as well as two simple and fresh young wines Kalma and Reful; flavorful Boškinčić (baby brother of the Boškinac cuvée) and Ocu, a gegić wine dedicated to Boris’ father.

In addition to the restaurant and the winery – and directly above them in the same building – there is a boutique hotel renovated last year. The new visual identity of the hotel was designed by Ana Penavić and Lana Cavar, while ceramicist Lidija Boševski, painter Koraljka Kovač and weaver Sanja Šebalj have contributed to decoration, creating a relaxed, sophisticated space that blends seamlessly into the nature that surrounds it.

Four Culinary Temples

Text Hrvoje Petrić

Photos Boškinac, Robert Pichler, Maja Danica Pečanić, Fabio Šimićev

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
This is a photography cove vela luka island krk marina punat Marinas

Five Bays for Yachtsmen Near Marina Punat

Marina Punat is an ideal starting point for visiting five bays in the Kvarnerić maritime area and exploring the beauties of Cres, Krk, Rab, Pag, …

Šolta Cruising

Šolta: The Forgotten Island Kingdom in Croatia

The island of Šolta charmed Illyriqan queen Teuta into building her castle there, was one of emperor Diocletian’s favorite fishing spots and inspired poet Marko …

Ston Walls Front View 01 Destinations

Ston: History and gastronomy behind ancient walls

Calling the walls of Ston gateway to heaven may sound a bit exaggerated – until you see what’s behind them. One small town holds the …

Lesic Dimitri Palace Sailing Hotels

Lešić Dimitri Palace: Korčula’s word for excellence

Lešić Dimitri Palace in Korčula has always offered its guests the opportunity to unplug from the busy world and to reconnect with their inner selves. …

Restaurant 360 Dubrovnik Terrace 01 Gastronomy

Restaurant 360: Dining under stars in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik restaurant 360 has one Michelin star, the most beautiful terrace in the world and a chef who interprets iconic local dishes using food as …

Hotel Ikador Riva Aquariva 01 Hotels

Hotel Ikador: Perfect escape in Dolcevita-style

Ikador is the only hotel in the world with a Riva Lounge and a Riva Privee opens doors to everyone looking for true hedonism, impeccable …

This is photo of a Yanmar tested boat Yachting

Yanmar Maritime Hydrogen Fuel Cell System

Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. have conducted a field demonstration test for the maritime fuel cell system. The …

This is photo of a Benetti launches MY Hawa Yachting

Benetti Launched Custom Yacht MY Hawa

Benetti launched from Livorno MY Hawa, a 48-meter full custom yacht designed in collaboration with the famous English studio RWD, who penned the exterior and …

This is a photopgraphy of 80 Sunreef Power Great White Tests

80 Sunreef Power review: Approved by Rafa Nadal

Power multi-hull 80 Sunreef Power gives motoryachts of the same size a run for their money. This model might just be the one to propel …

This is photo of a Tomislav Hrala, direktor prodaje i marketinga Portonovi Interviews

Tomislav Hrala: One&Only is new standard of luxury

The first One & Only resort in Europe is located in Herceg Novi, in the Bay of Kotor, which is considered one of the most …

This is photo of a Artisan Neva chair Luxury

Neva Chair Is an Artisan Icon

The Neva chair is an elegant combination of modern technology and master craftsmanship whose unique design sends a message of universal values and beauty Good …

This is aphotography of new Pershing 6X Yachting

New Pershing 6X: Bold by Nature

Self-assured and defiant, with a slew of new features and an incredible 48 knots of power: Pershing 6X expresses the boldest and most daring side …

Scroll to Top