Tasting menus from chefs who are described as artists and with food that could be displayed in a gallery are becoming wildly popular around the world. Enthusiastic foodies will travel across the world just to sample a notable chef’s point of view. One restaurant that specializes in these bite-sized delicacies is Casa Franko, located in Kobarid, Slovenia, a Niteo Tour destination. In the “I love my job” category, I was assigned the task of testing the 8-course menu that features both the talents of chef Ana Roš and the bountiful ingredients that come from the Soča River Valley and Slovenia’s coast.
The autumn evening I dined, the restaurant was aglow with its burnt orange walls and flickering candles. It was a warm and happy retreat from the near onset of winter in the Alps. We had a seat by the fire and the well-stocked bar and I wondered if it was arranged just for us since we were added last minute to the reservation list by our local Niteo connection who knew the owners personally. Every seat of the dining room was filled with joyful parties who only paused in their lively conversations long enough to hear the descriptions of the arriving food and take a long and thoughtful bite.
Casa Franko is more than a restaurant. It is a country estate that has a large herb, flower and vegetable garden, and a bold creek. Its proximity to the fertile Soča River Valley and the Adriatic Sea has contributed to its international success. Abundant trout, herds of sheep and goats, herbs, flowers, chestnuts, mushrooms, seafood, vineyards, and apples, provides the perfect backdrop to showcase Slovenia’s rich cultural history and capitalize on its mission to keep every exquisite morsel of food local and seasonal.