Right in the Slovenian capitals city’s heart, we stopped for lunch and got a taste of international delicacies awarded with a Michelin star. Atelje Restaurant got one Michelin Star and is one of the best restaurants in the Ljubljana center. However, if you are eager to know how they impressed us, continue reading our Atelje Restaurant Review.
- Atelje Restaurant Ambiance
- Jorg Zupan, Head Chef of Atelje Restaurant
- Atelje Restaurant Review
- Bread Basket
- Cheese Course
- Atelje Restaurant Drinks Menu
- Final Thought
- Atelje Restaurant Review Card
- Price and Location
Atelje Restaurant Ambiance
During the warm months of the year, you can sit outside and enjoy the peaceful pedestrian avenue. Laid-back atmosphere leads the way also inside the Atelje restaurant, designed with a bistro image in mind.
There you’ll find dark grey walls highlighted with terracotta bricks, vintage wooden chairs, and a handful of artworks. At this point, it is fair to explain the meaning behind the restaurant’s name Atelje, which means studio. There is no secret that Chefs are artists, and at Atelje restaurant, creative plates fuse with the interior.
However, we can imagine a better execution of the interior here. Dark fake plaster would be much better in bright tones and thicker relief would make a difference as well. On the other hand, bricks have their own charm! Which we can’t say about the toilets, though.
Jorg Zupan, Head Chef of Atelje Restaurant
Young Slovenian Chef with European and Australian experiences loves all good things in life. Naturally, good food comes first, and he builds his plates with sustainable gastronomy in mind. Therefore, Jorg Zupan uses seasonal local ingredients and strives to minimalize packaging. For that reason, they make their bread, pickles, butter, yogurt, kefir, etc. He doesn’t limit himself to only a few influences and techniques. On the contrary, he smoothly bonds cosmopolitan flavors on a continuously changing Atelje menu.
Atelje Restaurant Review
Two or three-course lunch menu is designed to be quick; this means that offer is straightforward. On our visit, we were able to choose between two starter dishes and two mains. In addition to that, the dessert of the day didn’t leave us coldhearted. Here we must admit that we missed the option of an extra dish, which could be vegetarian.
Whether you want to try their tasting menu, you must stop by in the evening. That is when you can enjoy 7-course Atelje Expressions and 9-course Atelje Impressions.
Each of us got a piece of buckwheat bread with walnuts and a piece of wholegrain sourdough bread. Both had the perfect crust that filled our ears before we got to the moist center. Next to the bread, we got whipped homemade butter, seasoned with yeast extract. We loved the airy cloud that could quickly be mistaken for creamy, yeasty spread.
Beetroot and Blackberry Gazpacho
This refreshing cold soup presented the best side of the beetroot. Blackberries vivified its sweetness, while the walnuts rounded earthy notes. Finally, the chef added the sour cream and connected everything into a creamy delicacy. We really liked the smooth consistency of the soup and young beetroot leaves that remained clean and glossy till the end.
Eye-catching greens on top of the cucumber wrap were an eye-popping contrast to visible black dots. These spots were made of black garlic paste and were divine umami bombs on a mouth-watering bite. The vacuum compressed cucumber kept definite crunch despite thermal treatment, which deepened its taste. Inside the thin cucumber sheet, was diced mackerel file, seasoned with shallots and mint vinaigrette. Around the long roll, chef drizzled the gravy made of fish stock and chardonnay.
The aroma of the pil-pil sauce sent us straight to Thailand, with its seasonings. Chef added some coconut milk and lemongrass to the fish proteins left in the olive oil. With cooked young potato, he uplifted the initial sweetness in the sauce and the octopus. Really, the octopus tentacle was the plate’s star, soft as butter if we may add.
Slovenian version of the Japanese cutlet sandwich was filled with a tender beef tongue that had a long time to cook, prior frying. Crumbs in which it was fried were crisp and not at all fatty, same goes for the deep-fried onion rings. Fritters were quite the opposite of the soft bread. Its sponge-like texture soaked up the Tonkatsu sauce like a charm. Due to a mixture of the favorite western sauces, some call it the Japanese BBQ sauce. We loved the large bowl of mixed green salad on the side, with emphasis on arugula.
Creamy and refreshing summer dessert left us feeling light at the end of the meal. We started the final course with buttermilk ice cream flavored with lemon verbena. Afterward, we focused on the luscious greek yogurt panna cotta topped with fresh strawberries, sage, and sugar braised skinless cherry tomato. The only thing that bothered us a notch was stevia like sweetness in the tomatoes. Nothing outrageous, we prefer different sweeteners, like gula Melaka.
The cheese course is an excellent opportunity to try different cheeses. Pleasing additions usually accompany the cheese selection, at Atelje restaurant we especially liked the apricot chutney with toothsome mustard seeds. Of course, the classic nuts and dried fruit never disappoint. In our case, we got dried figs and tomato on the side. Another great companion of the cheese plate is wine. Ultimately, both cheese and wine are true artistry.
BIO sheep and goat cheese, we got at the Atelje restaurant, were from a small family farm. Oresnik’s pastures are pure, unpolluted by the chemicals, full of wild “weeds”; flowers and herbs. Therefore, Oresnik cheese is a true joy to the taste buds with five samples ranging from mild to intense. In their over 20 years of cheesemaking, the Oresnik family personalized French and Dutch influences.
Atelje Restaurant Drinks Menu
Atelje restaurant’s wine menu consists of numerous Slovenian and renowned European wines, plus a handful of Latin American wines. We were over the moon also for the opportunity to choose a dozen organic wines. Also worth mentioning is the wide offer of wines by the glass.
Atelje restaurant might be the place you would want to return, especially if you stop for lunch, as we did. The taste of the dishes was superb and the service was lovely. After all, this is the standard one expects from Michelin starred restaurant. However, there were some flaws but nothing too serious.
For lunch, they serve only a few dishes and we couldn’t make some “serious damage”. Our bellies were more than ready for the degustation menu, which is not on the menu for lunch, only dinner. A great solution for that would be some extra signature dishes, not only cheese plate.
Another flaw is their wine list. At the Atelje Restaurant, they use a modern approach – wine menu on the tablet pc. This is a great idea, especially now in Corona times. Nevertheless, there was only one tablet, and we almost finished our cheese plate, before some wine ordering.
Atelje Restaurant Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 8.5/108.5/10
- SERVICE – 9.0/109.0/10
- PRESENTATION – 9.4/109.4/10
- FOOD – 9.4/109.4/10
- DRINKS – 9.5/109.5/10
- VALUE – 9.6/109.6/10
Price and Location
2-course lunch menu with dessert comes at a price at about 33USD, while the 9-course tasting menu costs around 112USD. Here is a link to the location in case you will pay them a visit.