Getting Fancy at Hisa Franko
Alright friends, where are all our Chef’s Table fans at? From the moment we saw Season 2, Episode 5 on Netflix, we knew we had to make it to the beautiful Soca River Valley and eat at Hisa Franko. If you haven’t seen it, you should go watch it immediately. Then come back and experience all of its goodness or continue and just be prepared for a mouthwatering read! This post is going to be strictly about our dinner at Hisa Franko, but you can read about our overnight in Kobarid here. Whether you’re in Slovenia just for the restaurant or to do a tour of the country, the detour to visit this amazing bed and breakfast needs to be on the list!
Here’s a little rundown of Hisa Franko, and more importantly, the head chef, Ana Ros – just in case you don’t get chance to see the episode. She started out as a business major and had a killer job offer from the UN. But then she fell in love and defied her parents wishes of success to be with her husband. They took over his parents bed and breakfast and with no prior culinary experience, Ana Ros embarked on a new journey being head chef in the restaurant. She basically taught herself cooking techniques and came up with her own unique dishes that has made her a world renowned chef. Her husband Valter is the sommelier and has built a wine cellar on the property where he brings in only local Slovenia wines to pair with Ana’s dishes. She has become a famous chef in Slovenia and worldwide – which is a big deal because there is no such thing as Michelin Stars in Slovenia. You can stay on the property, but make sure you give them enough notice because they book up very far in advance. We tried to book about 2 months in advance for a room but unfortunately the weekend we wanted was already booked. They have some really great room and food pairing packages available so you can really get the most bang for your buck.
We decided on the 9 course dinner and added the wine pairing, which we think is a MUST for your dinner. We felt like the wine added so many different flavors to the dishes and was absolutely worth the extra money to pair. We had budgeted for both so it wasn’t a shock, but make sure you kinda know what you’re willing to spend and what the prices are just in case. We spent about $300 with the conversion rate and it was absolutely the best $300 we have ever spent. It was such a beautiful, exquisite experience and one we will always remember. We got a little out of our normal comfort zone with foods we tried and if we could take home every single wine we tried, we totally would. We dressed up a little bit (for what “fancy” things we could fit in our backpack), but it was actually a bit more casual than we expected. I’d say as long as you have at least business casual, you’ll be good! The waiters were amazing and so on point! From the second you finished your last bite they were cleaning your table and dropping off your next dish. They answered any questions we had and even sat with us to write down all the wines so we could write about it later.
Technically this counted as a course but we’ll list it as the appetizers because it was how it came listed on our menu. We got to try apple fermented bread, fried dandelion + parsnips, cheese lollipops, white asparagus + pink grapefruit, and fresh bread with local butter. It was all paired with a really crisp, complimentary champagne style white wine.
Our first course consisted of grayling, cabbage water, red beets, pumpkin oil mayo, and sedum maximum (flower). This was paired with a 2016 Pinela white wine.
Course 2 was one of our favorite small plates we tried for dinner. It was a nice little sandwich of sardine, candy lemon, artichokes, and ransoms. The little shot glass in the photo below was actually the artichoke broth – the waiters told us to take a little bite of the dish and then swish the artichoke broth in with our bite to mix all the flavors together. This was also paired with the 2016 Pinela wine.
Has anyone ever heard of dirty cuttle fish? We have heard of cuttle fish, but what was with the dirty? We got to find out on course 3 of our dinner. We had dirty cuttle fish, agretti, and charcoal grilled young onion. The “ink” sauce was from the dirty cuttle fish and it was surprisingly delicious. This paired with a 2016 Sumenjak Sauvignon.
This was one of two very favorite dishes we got to eat. Course 4 was a delicious concoction of wild hops + bone marrow ravioli, prosciutto broth, yeast oil, and hazelnuts. It paired with a delicious 2013 white Sauvignonasse, one of our favorite wines we got to try.
This was one of our more… interesting dishes. We tried beef tongue, celeriac, and scallops, paired with a very nice Reisling + Rebula Cuvee.
This was absolutely the most out of the box course for us, even though we have both tried the meat on hand. Kenny is the more adventurous out of the two of us when it comes to trying new foods and he definitely takes the cake for trying and liking this dish. I’m talking about tripe, y’all… the lining of cow stomach. I took one bite and just couldn’t finish it. It had such a great flavor but I just couldn’t get over the texture. It was in a nice little soupy dish with fava bean, duck jus, cave cheese, fried nettles, and rib leaf which were all amazing together. It paired wonderfully with a Krapez Merlot, our first red wine of the night.
The only description we got for course 7 was Mountain Rabbit 2.0 on vacation in Mexico. It was the most tender, fall apart in your mouth meat we’ve ever had – A M A Z I N G. This also paired with our merlot and we savored every. last. bite.
Our last course was our dessert and boy, it was scrumptious. We had two different courses within our dessert course. The first was a delicious mixture of blood orange ice cream, black tea, granola, carrot ice, and salty almond mousse. The second was cookies, two chocolates and a little bowl of kiwi ice cream topped with rose mousse.
Not only was this one of the most delicious meals our palettes have ever tasted but it was also a really cool to experience something we had dreamed about visiting from Chef’s Table. It was kind of special to be the youngest patrons of the restaurant from little ole Reno – just a hair stylist and tattoo artist enjoying the most expensive dinner we’ll probably eat for while! The only problem is that now we might be accustomed to more fancy dinners every now and again. 😉
Have you been to Hisa Franko yet? If not, what dish would you most like to try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!