It’s long been said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same can be said for women, too. Trust me, if anyone knows, I know. You learn a lot about someone simply by sharing a meal with that person so no wonder dates usually involve some kind of a dining experience.
I already shared my top tips on picking the perfect date night restaurant, and, more by chance than by meticulous planning I’ve recently come upon a place that definitely ticks all the boxes: great food, cozy atmosphere and truly great service.
If you’re from Zagreb, you’ve definitely heard of Lauba. It’s a really cool venue that hosts great parties, events and exhibitions. I’ve been there tonnes of times, but never before have I properly visited the Lauba Bistro. I should have, but better late than never, no?
So, what makes Lauba Bistro the perfect date night place?
First and foremost, Lauba is not located in the very heart of the city center as is not a place that random tourists and hungry passers-by just stumble upon. It’s a place where you can be certain you’ll have some privacy. The building actually used to be a horse barn way back in the day while today it’s a private gallery. It’s quirky and different, with that effortlessly cool vibe.
Once you’re there, instead of a classic appetizer (or on the side), definitely try the bread. Currently, there are 7 different kinds of bread you can choose from, and although you can’t really go wrong with any of them, you cannot really leave Lauba before trying their black bread with nuts. Goes great with the tomato spread.
Time to amaze her with your knife skills!
Once you’ve broken the ice, it’s time to move onto something more substantial. Lauba recently introduced their new menu featuring a black burger with black Slavonian pig patty, cheese and their special sauce. Pork lovers have definitely come to the right place here! If you’re not a big fan of pork, opt for the beetroot risotto with chicken and grana padano.
We, however, went for the baby beef with Roman-style gnocchi with pumpkin puree. Flavor-wise and even texture-wise the combination is definitely not something I was expecting. It was different, but good kind of different. The meat was perfectly moist and tender, just as it should be.
The poached tuna fillet, however, is a whole nother story! For me, it’s an upscale variation of a dish that my grandma made every Friday: fish fillet (usually mackerel) and boiled potatoes with yellow onions, parsley and olive oil on the side. I’ve never tried poached tuna before, but ever since visiting Lauba I honestly can’t stop thinking about this dish!
It’s light, well-balanced, and I strongly recommend you try it even if you’re not a really big fan of fish. Since we also ordered the salad with smoked buffalo mozzarella and baby greens on the side, and 2 more loaves of bread, we were way too full and skipped the dessert. But, gives us something to look forward to next time we’re here.
Last, but not least, the service here is amazing. Truly is. Hate may be a strong word but I really do hate people who treat their servers badly and I rarely (if ever) complain if someone messes something up. We’re all human, it happens. But, the service here, from the moment we came through the door until the moment we said goodbye was really impeccable. Quick, polite, welcoming and helpful. Really, all one can ask for.
Three things I’ll definitely come back here for: the bread, the poached tuna fillet, and the service!