Since 1870 and for 5 generations Lokanda Devetak has provided hospitality in the Karst, a land where Slovenian and Italian languages are spoken without apparent distinction and where food culture takes over from the Austro-Hungarian heritage with both hands. In the last four decades, Augustin Devetak and his wife Gabriella managed their Gostilna—Slovenian for trattoria—with a big deal of passion and the precious help of their daughters.
Fam. Devetak today, 5 generations hosts in the Italian Karst
Tatjana and Tjaša are in the dining room with their father. Mihaela, the youngest, works in the kitchen with the mum, while Sara and her husband Pavel, are looking after the family vegetable garden granting the restaurant with the freshest produce and herbs.
Gabriella and Mihaela Devetak
Respect for the season and the traditions are the mantras in the kitchen: Gnocchi with rabbit ragout, Mlinci con la Supeta, an oven-roasted pasta with chicken stew, and Selinka, celery and pork soup cooked in a wood oven are some of the unmissable classics before trying the local cheeses and indulging in a Ghibaniza, a timeless Imperial dessert layered with apples and puff pastry and enriched with poppy seeds, rum, ricotta, and pine nuts.
Augustin’s wine cellar counting 14k bottles is a veritable treasure featuring almost 200 producers from around the world, and a remarkable selection of local wines next to a sharp collection of spirits, which can be paired well with Devetak’s 15 coffee varietals.
Tjaša and Augustin Devetak
– jellied beef –
Christmas at Lokanda Devetak could not be without Zouc, an ancient dish from the Karst that was prepared in the coldest months of the year. A convivial snack, good at all hours, as people went to the Trattoria to eat it from 9 in the morning till 11 at night. Always accompanied by a glass of wine.
One beef knee, one pork foot, a piece of veal shank, and a whole pork shank, water, salt, bay leaf, and black pepper.
Place all the pieces of meat in a large pot filled for two thirds with water and cook everything over low heat for about 6 to 8 hours.
Use a ladle or spoon to skim the fat as it rises to the surface and season to taste with salt halfway through the cooking.
Drain the broth, set aside all the pieces of meat. Put the broth back on the heat and continue cooking for another couple of hours.
Arrange pieces from the different meats on the bottom of some cups and cover them with the broth. Finish off by decorating the dish with bay leaves and peppercorns.
Let it cool and rest until the jelly is firm.
When ancestors prepared it, they would cool it down on the stairs to the loft or wherever was the coldest place in the house. The bay leaf served both as a decoration and to show when the jelly was ready, when it no longer came off. The perfect outcome for such a dish was its transparency – when one could see through to the pieces of meat.
Località San Michele del Carso – Savogna D’Isonzo (Go) – T. +39-0481-882488
Closed Monday and Tuesday all day, Wednesday and Thursday dinner only.