Rarely you can find a blend of art, love, dedication and lond working hours as you can in restaurant Pepe Nero in Rubeši, near Kastav. A longtime dream for chef Marijo Brnečić and Goran Šarafek for their own restaurant was reached after many years of study and effort in various Kvarne hotels, restaurant, and even on the market place, all with the purpose of offering simple and delicious meal and returning a kind of culture to the tabes that is so rarely seen this days. And they are proud of it. Namely, chef Marijo is recepient of multiple awards; he won fourth place in the CRO TOP 10 competition in 2006 and in 2007 he was awarded for his speciality fish cream soup. That's folowed by the second place in the GAST competition in 2010. After that comes the prizes for main dishes best flawor and a reward for creativity in putting meals together. Rastaurant, with its parking space in pine forrest and a terrace with flowers, won the prize for the most beutiful yard award, from the city of Kastav. Although it was not made with a hint of Kvarner taverns, it respects traditions and the old ways of cooking. And praise just keeping comming from satisfied guests.
Simple interior is tastefully decorated, and the same philosophy is recognizable on the plate. Groceries are purchased daily so each dish is always fresh made and the owners are especially proud of the fact that all food derives from purely domestic Croatian products, all organic and healthy as well as all Croatian wines. The meat is very carefully picked so it is always only the best quality ones that get to the plates, and fish, as avid fishermen, they often catch themselves and offer it as as speciality of the day. Chef prepares his meals with special attention to fresh ingredients and with minimal use of spices, so as to bring the fullness of flavour components of each meal. Less oil and total absence of industrial seasonings, as the restaurant has its own herb garden as well as their own vegetables, all at very reasonable prices, certainly specific in Croatian context.
Represented on the menu are specialities of local cuisine, daily fresh fish, barbecue, fioretina steak, wok dishes and dishes suitable for children. Among them, certainly by the appearance and taste, distinguished are meat and fish plate, interesting combination of fuži with scampi and truffles, mixed stew, Kvarner scampi, award winning dishes like fish cream soup, and for the dessert you should certainly try semifredo krokant with hazelnut or chocolate cake without flour. In addition to these delicacies in daily offer there are also seasonal dishes.
Unmistakable choice for a early brunch, lunch with colleagues or dinner with friends or loved ones in Pepe Nero is supplemented with the adventures in the culinary imagination by Mario&Goran. Do not be surprised at the insistence of the owners to offer only visible components of food on the plate. Request for spices will often be denied, but with a reasonable explanation; industrial spices will kill specifics of Mediterranean tradition that chef Marijo cherishes.
Changing habits of resorting to pepper, parmesan or vegetate will pay of many time over because of the richness of taste without it, and that can be occasionally enriched by a few drops of olive oil or aceto balsamico. Pepe Nero is a surprising crispness to the Kvarner and all Croatian territory, and certainly will interest many foreign connoisseurs of gastronomy.