Cap Aureo: Istrian Flavour Theatre

5 MINUTES READ

Cap Aureo is the flagship of Maistra’s restaurant portfolio and since its opening two years ago it has been setting high standards for the fine dining scene. The art of haute cuisine comprises put-together culinary philosophy and local ingredients, a great team that runs like a well-oiled machine and a chef that is not only a visionary, but also executes his vision to perfection

Jeffrey Vella’s reputation as an extraordinary chef and promotor of contemporary cuisine in Croatia was unquestionable ever since the first dishes he cooked at Zagreb’s Esplanade. Nearly 13 years have passed and the tireless spirit of this Maltese national is scaling new heights, opening the minds of gourmands flocking to Rovinj’s Cap Aureo to unheard-of culinary pleasures. Located on the fifth floor of the majestic Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Cap Aureo is the flagship of Maistra’s restaurant portfolio and since its opening two years ago, it has been setting high standards for the fine dining scene.

Ovo je fotografija pogleda na Rovinj iz restorana Cap Aureo

The Grand Park Hotel alone will take your breath away when you see it for the first time. Cap Aureo consist of two parts, one of which features a glass wall terrace overlooking the marina and the old town of Rovinj and it is the first one to get full. Guests enjoy the unforgettable view and picturesque colours and as the sun sets, the flavour theatre puts its show on display. Open kitchen means that guests get to witness meals being prepared and the chef’s table is located right next to it.

Cap Aureo enjoys the million dollar view of the marina and Rovinj Old Town – perfect setting to delight all your senses with views, history, nature and flavors…

The minimalistic space is simulated on the table setting as well. The same neatness, concision and perfectionism are reflected in each new dish we taste. The basis of Cap Aureo’s kitchen is the ingredient and its location. So, the Chef’s trained eye chooses the best of what Istria has to offer and then the young team moulds it without aggrandizement. Harmony and whimsy in unknown tastes and textures of well-known ingredients. The menu is mainly plant-based, but there is always room for a scrumptious portion of fish or oysters from the nearby Lim Channel, as well as a delicious piece of meat.

Ovo je fotografija Cap Aureo otvorene kuhinje
Cap Aureo

The ‘Cucina povera’ is doubtlessly their inspiration, but it takes more than a put-together culinary philosophy and local ingredients for a fusion to work. The success of the art of haute cuisine depends on a number of factors, a great team that runs like a well-oiled machine and a chef that is not only a visionary, but also executes his vision to perfection. As Jeffrey has found his home in the hamlet of Maružini near Kanfanar, which is home to some 80 people, and as he is, as he says himself, quite happy with his life in Istria, we believe that this is merely the beginning of his culinary adventure that will put Istra on a culinary pedestal.

Istrian Cap Aureo turns the finest locally sourced ingredients into 20 delicious, exciting dishes that all tell an equally exciting story

We have followed the steady growth of Cap Aureo since the first day. Two or three dishes have turned into classics and it is good that they are available year-round, with slight modifications. Other dishes change relatively quickly and constant touch-ups are done to the menu, both due to changing of the season and due to the myriad creative ideas that make it to the menu after a period of testing and perfecting the dishes. As the Grand Park is also home to what is probably the best bar in Croatia, young barmen have designed several cocktails served as aperitifs and digestifs at Cap Aureo. We highly recommend ordering a glass of champagne or sparkling wine.

This is photo of a kitchen Cap Aureo
Cap Aureo

A few amuse bouches to get us started. Sweet corn – crème or popcorn, followed by carrot in two ways: tartar and pickled. Next, we have roasted Portobello mushrooms, pickled chanterelle and shaven caps. This grand opening will win you over with its elegance, visual composition and an exciting play of simple ingredients. A strong and certainly tasty follow up is leeks and mussels from the Lim Channel. Roasted with local juniper and vanilla, simmered with Slavonian kulen and grappa, which gives it a kick and some saltiness, and finally salted pig from Jeffrey’s artisanal oeuvre.

Read more: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery: The Art of Luxury

Read more: The best restaurants in Kornati to visit by boat

Read more: Boškinac: Michelin star restaurant inspired by island of Pag

Our favourite new dishes are barbecued asparagus with ramson and barbecued Lim Channel oysters with sautéed rabbit kidney. A singular and multidimensional dish. A classic that we’ve previously mentioned is a take on the legendary Italian dish Cacio e pepe the likes of which you’ve never tasted before – paired with squid and gambero rosso, shaven bottarga washed with a green tea martini. Exquisite. Another new addition to the menu that blew us away was the butter warmed Novigrad scallops, absinthe poached turnips – crumpet and sauce made out of 30-month old Veli Jože cheese by Latus Dairy, topped with Oscietra caviar.

This is photo a served dish
Cap Aureo

A touch of luxury permeates the restaurant’s pleasant ambiance and the choreographed sommeliers and waiters led by Mr Željko Lozančić. For the grand finale, we suggest you try the refreshing Straw & berries – Strawberry and fennel seed sorbet with strawberry ‘straw’, strawberries and lemon verbena gel. Cap Aureo’s tasting menu is not strictly defined; instead, the menu consists of 20 stories, dishes, and it’s up to you to choose as many as you want.

Read more: The best restaurants in Croatia to visit by boat

Read more: Four Culinary Temples

Read more: Istria Gourmet

Wine pairing will also be tailored to your selection of food unless you already have your eye on one of the many wines from the great wine list. The list has recently been updated and expanded to cater even for the more demanding palates. Young sommelier Maja Hrastinski, whom we had the pleasure to meet in renowned restaurants such as Boškinac or Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik will explain each wine down to the last detail or recommend the best option based on your preferences.

Cap Aureo has turned into one of the finest restaurants in Croatia in a short period. Chef Jeffrey Vella and his sous-chef Ivan Koprivnjak prepare exhilarating and delicious food, truly one of a kind because it is difficult to compare it to anything else. Each new visit is a new gastronomic experience, virtually unmatched in Croatia. If you haven’t had a chance yet, dare to visit them as soon as possible because they are definitely in their cooking prime.

Text Hrvoje Petrić
Photos Cap Aureo

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Gastronomy

Culinary aces at the extravaganza at the Alhambra Boutique Hotel on the island of Lošinj

The gala dinner Mid Summer Epicurean Extravaganza held at the Alhambra Boutique Hotel in Mali Lošinj was truly a celebration of top gastronomy. At sunset, …

This is photo of a seaside palace, Lopud 1483, Boutique Hotels in Croatia Hotels

Heritage Hotels in Croatia: 5 Seaside Palaces of Pleasure

We’re taking you to some of the most beautiful heritage hotels in the Adriatic, fit for royalty, where guests can find peace and quiet surrounded …

This is photo of a island Rab Destinations

Rab Island: Kingdom of Emerald Bays and Sandy Beaches

Even though surpassed in surface by its island neighbours, what it lacks in size, Rab makes up for by its numerous emerald bays, plenty of …

This is photo of hidden wineyard at Vis Gastronomy

Four Vis Restaurants with Hidden Charms of the Vis Plain

The fertile Vis plain in the island’s interior has several restaurants in which the embers of the traditional, or as the locals call it ‘pojorska’ …

This is photo of a Budikovac, island of Vis ,Croatia Cruising

Island of Vis: Mount Everest of Croatian Yachting

One of the most popular yachting and sailing destinations in Croatia, the island of Vis is a place with many faces, all sharing one thing: …

This is picture of town Vela Luka Destinations

Vela Luka on Korčula Island: Spot of Art and Good Vibes

Almost ten kilometers long, the bay where Vela Luka sits peacefully once was one of the most developed spots in the Adriatic. Now sleepy and …

This is a photography of Feadship Pure Yachting

Feadship concept design Pure: The power of now

Feadship is renowned for its ability to create pure custom superyachts for clients that meet their every desire. But what would happen if its designers …

This is a photography of Aimee_JanOcean Photographer of the Year 2021 Art

Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021 Announced

Princess Yachts, the UK’s largest yacht manufacturer, is delighted to announce that Ningaloo Coast-based photographer, Aimee Jan, is the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021. …

This is a photography Swan120 Yachting

Swan 120: Connecting and Stretching Boundaries

The Swan 120 brings together the skill and craftsmanship of three distinct groups, all renowned in their individual fields, and working together, in partnership, to …

This is photo of a Panoramic view on Biograd Boat Show Yachting

Biograd Boat Show: 23 Successful Years

New edition of the show will take place in Marina Kornati from October 20th to 24th Central and Eastern Europe’s largest in-water boat show celebrates …

This is photo of a gold watch Luxury

Seven Luxury Gold Watches for Men

Gold watches are back. We present several new prestigious models that will wrap your wrist in bling H. MOSER & CIE Endeavour Tourbillon Ox’s Eye …

This is photo of a Technohull T7 profile view Tests

Technohull T7 review: Mini Techno

T7 is a representative of a new generation of Technohull RIB, best known for their excellent performance and top quality build. The latest in the …

Scroll to Top