Imagine the good old days when the restaurant represented the heart of the local community. The times when everything was local and farm-to-table didn’t need advertising. In a global economy, all of the above is increasingly rare, but that is not the case at the Vila Podvin restaurant. That is why Chef Uros Stefelin deserves all the praise for his work inside and outside Vila Podvin. Not just praise, that’s why he has one Michelin star. Now let’s check the Vila Podvin review and get to know his efforts.
About Vila Podvin
Dedication to local goods is diverse in this restaurant. It’s not only felt in the dishes but also the atmosphere proves that. We haven’t met a person that would be so passionately involved with the local community like Chef Uros Stefelin is. Everything in the restaurant is local, including the handmade tableware, which has been designed in collaboration with the Slovenian painter Arnol Matjaz and CUDV (center for the work safety and training for people with special needs).
Every first Saturday, Podvin premises host a market where the public can meet the restaurant’s partners. There everyone can find out where Vila Podvin’s food originates from and even purchase some for personal use. Then there is also cookery school for children and grown-ups, plus a summer special event “stake & chocolate”… The event calendar is packed and updated on their website, so click through.
Slovenian constitution was written on the Podvin premises
Chef Uros Stefelin
Chef Uros Stefelin is working hard to revive traditional Slovenian cuisine and make it more appealing to future generations. Visual impressions have never been more important than now; no need to deny that. Add to that the flawed view of food in general and dishes of our ancestors are gone. Anyway, the meeting point between old and new is Chef’s creativity. He’s stunning creations are developed by modern cooking techniques and personal memories. In addition to that, neighboring Italian cuisine influenced the Slovenian cooking style, and so did France.
On a warm day, one can enjoy al fresco dining experience under or near the tall trees. Although indoors offers a cozy and intimate place to go for the colder days. Inside the Vila Podvin restaurant, you can appreciate the arched ceiling made of red bricks and stained-glass windows. The color theme is earthy and gives away the homely vibe with a fireplace. A connection to the outside world is the art exhibition art.
Vila Podvin Food Review
Get ready for some delicious Slovene Nouvelle cuisine based on sustainable gastronomy. We must admit, eating the food grown as close as possible gave us double pleasure. That is why we dared to address the dishes through old wisdom.
Time Makes Memories Golden
We began our lunch with a nourishing dish in an eggshell. This rustic perfection has propper old school roots. With modern execution, it got transformed into the perfect pleasure. Not only is it utterly beautiful to look at, for us carnivores, but it also pays tribute to the traditional breakfast. Potato foam introduces the heart-warming bite, filled with runny egg yolk and polenta. Let’s not forget the rinds, another traditional regional addition.
Play by Ear
Tiny cones filled us with intense flavors that played out like a symphony. Starting with the perfectly tuned horseradish mayo that supplied mellow piquancy to the smoked trout. In fact, the relish smoothened the transition between the firm meat and crisp dough. Then, there was a beautiful parsley leaf for a stimulating effect.
Bread & Butter
Freshly baked sourdough bread tasted like heaven and had an insanely crisp crust. As if that wasn’t enough, Chef Stefelin served it with infused butter stripes. Each butter stripe brought out something new from already very flavourful bread. For example, beetroot appealed to the grounding sweetness while nuts rounded its depth.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Slow-cooked slices of the marinated bovine tongue were tender, juicy, and full of flavor. It went wonderfully with fine-tuned horseradish mayonnaise and salad. However, it became a delicacy when eaten together with black walnuts, quail egg, and local cheese.
Beauty is Only Skin Deep
Both sunchoke and mushroom soup hugged us from the inside. Naturally, the thick sunchoke soup was lighter, especially when combined with the yogurt foam. For extra flavor and bite, Chef garnished the soup with crisp fried parsley leaves and sunchoke chips. He did the same with the dried fennel and pea sprout on top of mushroom soup. Here and there, they cut through the combination of wild mushroom foam and smooth potato soup.
A Chain is Only as Strong as its Weakest Link
Sealed ravioli kept the filling inside without the option of escaping. Lack of weak links allowed us to get the Bohinj cheese filling in abundance. This beautiful dish continued to evolve with mushroom foam, creamy quail egg yolk, and toothsome autumn salad.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Late autumn used to be reserved for the pig slaughter and village life fussed over the winter food storage. One of the traditional dishes prepared during that time used to be the blood sausage, filled with buckwheat and different seasonings. In respect to the tradition, Chef kept the filling classic but deconstructed it for a more attractive appearance. Appetizing look continued with the thick potato foam, truffles, and fried turnips.
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Where Love Sets the Table Food Tastes at its Best
Ians’ main dish was a Slovenian meat classic – piglet. There is no need to say it was prepared perfectly because the photo says it all. Crispy skin and juicy meat in a company of mixed beans, red cabbage, apples, and parsley root.
Art Finds its Food Everywhere
I have a statement to make! This is the second-best grilled octopus, after the one we had in Lefkada, Greece. Looks like chef Uros is well aware of how to prepare seafood and satisfy even the most demanding guests.
What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye
Our first dessert was a mysterious one, because of the sunchoke sheet stretched across the bowl. Once we broke through, we were taken aback by the aroma of sweet pear, pumpkin, and mint. In the middle of it, we also got some chestnut sauce and delicate meringue. Numerous flavors and textures kept opening new horizons up until the last mouthful.
All Good Things Come to An End
We finished our feast at the Vila Podvin with an absolutely delicious dessert. As a matter of fact, we loved the dashing twists on the seasonal ingredients. First, we stopped at the chocolate chestnut mousse and apple ice cream. Then we couldn’t get enough of the orange & pumpkin sauce with panna cotta on the side. Truth be told, we almost run out of it before having that one perfect bite where everything is included. Nevertheless, it was enough and spot on.
Their style reminds me of Repovz, where the line between modern and traditional is thin. However, it never ever gets crossed but rather play with all your senses. Slovenian cuisine is thrilling and people like Uros are making it sure it will rise out from the ashes and show the world glorious Slovenian taste.
Vila Podvin Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 9.3/109.3/10
- SERVICE – 9.4/109.4/10
- PRESENTATION – 9.6/109.6/10
- FOOD – 9.6/109.6/10
- DRINKS – 9.3/109.3/10
- VALUE – 9.7/109.7/10
Price and Location
The 8-course degustation menu at Vila Podvin will cost you about 100 USD per person. Here is a link to the location in case you will give a try at this Michelin restaurant.