ALBONA, the first and only Istrian restaurant on the West Coast, boasts a cozy dining room bathed in a rosy glow, accented by the mahogany woodwork and reflected in the beveled mirrors. Intimate seating and background music add to the ambience.
Albona Restaurant’s uniqueness is derived
from it’s distinctive roots in the European town of Albona, Istria, built
on a high hill overlooking the gateway of the Adriatic Sea, sharing cultural
and political soils with Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.
The culinary infusions are mostly from the
Italians, but also from the Austrians, Hungarians, Slavs, Spaniards, French,
Jews, Greeks, and Turks. While cumin, pasta str
udels, sauerkraut, etc. are
usually not associated with Italian cuisine, in Istria they reflect the unusual
dishes and recipes of that region.
The dominant Venetian cuisine excels with
“Brodetto Istriano”; hearty polenta garnishes the dish of braised
fish with calamari and shellfish, glazed with a velvety sauce made with fish
stock, tomato, and a hint of balsamic vinegar. The Istrian appetite for lamb,
rabbit and veal shanks is savored by authentic recipes.
Since 1988, owner Bruno Viscovi, a native of
Albona, has welcomed his clients with personal service and charm.
It is no wonder that Albona Restaurant has been
rated among the “The Best Ethnic Restaurants in the Bay Area” by
Sharon Silva (Hidden S. F. and Northern California). Michael Bauer, S.F.
Chronicle’s Food Editor has incuded Albona Restaurant in his list of
“The Bay Area’s Top 100 Restaurants” for eight consecutive