San Servolo is a well renowned independent craft brewery in Buje, in northern Istria, producing excellent beers and pale ales. I’m not a beer fan, but have been known to have a bottle or two of the gorgeous red beer, so that’s a recommendation in itself. As well as the brewery, if you are a fan of all things meat, they have their own steak restaurant. If you fancy a spa experience, why not try the Beer Spa? Yes, this really is a thing. And to further add to the experience, since lockdown, a fabulous wellness campsite has opened. Forget soggy tents – this is a five star rated family, premium or luxury pitch, some with a private hydromassage bathtub.
Even though we live less than 20kms from this resort, we have tried to stay a number of times, to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation, but it’s so popular, it always seems to be fully booked. Never mind, though, we’re not ones to be put off and we’ll keep on trying. What we have experienced however – on more than one or two occasions – is the new pizzeria. As expected, it’s top notch and way, way above the standard of most of other pizzerias we’ve eaten in. It’s contemporary in its interior design, with glass sliding doors, opening out on a balcony over the pool and a terrace with additional seating to the side. Attention to detail is on point. There’s nothing that doesn’t seem to have been thought about, from the wall art to the menus to the lighting. Staff are perfect – knowlegeable and friendly, but not over the top, and cool, but not so cool as to be off-putting.
But the stars of the show are the pizzas. They really are exceptional – by far the best we have had so far in Istria, and I’d go as far as to say they are up there with the best we’ve had in Italy. Very thin bases and light on the toppings. Not in a measly kind of way. In the way that shows that they know how to create a fantastic pizza. The menu is not extensive – which is always good because you know then that the food is fresh, not frozen – but it’s excellent. There are traditional choices such as Margherita, Bufalina, Napoletana, Quattro Formaggi and Capricciosa, along with more unusual pizzas from the Gourmet selection. These include Pera e Gorgonzola, the San Servolo and the Mortadella. Often, a special is on the menu – we’re not huge meat-eaters at all, but the Beef Carpaccio was once tried and given a huge thumbs up.
The pizzas are quite filling, so in order to leave for a dessert – again, only two or three ever on offer but beyond delicious! – so we pass on the starters and opt for the olives. These are just amazing – big, fat juicy green olives and salty black olives, in a chilli marinade. And, served warm. If you’ve never had a warm olive before, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!
San Servolo Pizzeria, in its contemporary surroundings, and modern menu, is very good on price, too. When we first visited, we expected to pay more than we would in a “normal” pizzeria – as we used to back in the UK. But that’s not case here – or Italy, either. Every bill we’ve had has been comparable with other places we eat at – and all, are much less expensive than we ever paid back at home. So, excellent food, in beautiful surroundings – you also get to see the sun setting over the Adriatic – at a very fair price. What more could you ask for?