The place is famous for its extensive wine list and the "slow-food" (which is a popular marketing term for those places in Slovenia that want to be fancy at any cost). It is also one of the most praised restaurants in the region. Well, our experience couldn't be more far away from a fancy gourmet lunch.
We booked a couple of weeks in advance yet they didn't have a table ready for us. They managed to drag one on the terrace, but were obviously preoccupied with a wedding lunch going on at simultaneously.
We got a "fried squid and schnitzel" menu. When we told the waiter that we would prefer a tasting menu, he replied that "well, we can make that as well". He was totally unfit for the job. His comments like "Oh, you did well with this one!", "You are fast eaters, aren't you?" and "Another one (plate) bites the dust." were out of place. His knowledge about wines was not in-line with Rakar's reputation. Perhaps the owner (and chef and sommelier) would have to take care about that but he was too busy chatting with a group of guests that he obviously knew well, and then with a couple that got married there a couple of weeks ago, then... He only briefly stopped at our table (mind you, besides the wedding party, there were only three tables occupied that day) to take the plates with asking if he "can take the plate from the young lady" (my wife was not happy about that; it sounded pretentious and a desperate try to be upscale, which they are not).
Rakar is supposed to represent the "nouvelle cuisine" of Dolenjska region. What we got in our tasting menu was far from that. My guess is that we were simply served some of the dishes that they had ready for the wedding; they certainly weren't creative, but more of something that an average Slovenian guest would want to have served at an "gourmet" wedding lunch. Angler fish with truffles, pineapple (as a pre-dessert!), "powdered truffle oil",...
The amuse bouche was there because they had to bring something. A potato slice, a slice of bacon and beetroot sauce. Not harmonious, not whimsical, nothing. The only representative of what we were expecting was a brioche topped with pork cracklings, filled with sauerkraut, a bit of horseradish and some pork neck. It was the first dish and the best one.Mushrooms were oversalted, especially when accompanied with a (nice) mousse made of aged cheese. Buckwheat popcorn seems to be popular everywhere, so Rakar added it as well. The plate was almost empty. The trio of desserts brought nothing new, nothing local, but passable. Creme brulee was literally plain vanilla (well executed), cheesecake was saved by a precise dose of rosemary in it, tarragon ice cream was good.
The grand finale came with the bill and pralines with it. When we asked the waiter about what is in there, he replied "three ones", referring to a bill of 111 EUR, not the praline fillings. He couldn't tell anything interesting anyway. The pralines, despite made by a nearby artisan, were all the same, without any specific taste; a 5-EUR set purchased in Hofer or Lidl would have tasted better.
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