Our party of four dined at Albona last night after reading all of the stellar reviews on TripAdvisor. We were able to walk to the restaurant from our Fisherman's Wharf area hotel, tucked into a quiet neighborhood probably a 10-minute walk south of the waterfront area.
Our overall impression was that this was a very nice dining experience, but a few of the dishes fell a little short of "great." It's a small place, and I think we had every member of the restaurant staff greet us warmly or serve us at our table at some point during the evening. This was our first experience with Istrian cuisine so we weren't quite sure what to expect, but it's not your typical Italian menu.
The salad with the carmelized figs and cheese wowed everyone at the table, but the gnocchi struck us as just okay.
This writer very much enjoyed his rack of lamb, prepared a perfect medium-rare with a delcious sauce. One diner was disapponted with the small portion of veal shank, and thought that the polenta was a little spongy. The seafood linguini had a generous assortment of shrimp and mussels, but tasted a bit heavy on the salt.
This being a small establishment with a handful of staff, this is the kind of place you want to come to settle in and enjoy a leisurely-paced dinner, not a place to come grab a quick meal. We were at our table just shy of three hours.
The wine list is not extensive but has something to appeal to most tastes and to pair well with their menu. We had a terrific Barolo which they thoughfully decanted for us early in the meal to give it time to breathe before drinking.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal and the experience but didn't feel that we could give Albona an "excellent" based on the food.
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