Story: He is “passionate” about food. It’s a life-long thing. Cooking at home when younger, then starting his own fast-food spot, and now Vladislav Jabučanin owns and operates one of the leading national food restaurants in Montenegro. Operating on the outskirts of Cetinje, a city with ongoing historical importance, Restoran Konak is able to serve some of the who’s who in the country and internationally. Guests they have served include Montenegrin dignitaries, Ban Ki Moon–head of the UN, presidents of neighboring countries including, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia, and a deputy of the pope. According to Mirijana, the restaurant manager, Vladislav cares about more than just food. The restaurant works with the local monastery to feed those in need in the area. They are seeking to make good food and do good in their community.
Vibe: In spite of the elite list of diners, the restaurant has a casual, we know each other feel. Neighbors eat here. Like the spirit of Montenegro, it is comfortable and inviting. There is a large open patio area making it possible to enjoy the clean mountain air and there are large tables inside by several fireplaces. These are pretty at this time of year, but they are not just for appeal as the weather turns colder. The service is attentive and gracious. Good job guys!
Recommendations: The čorba (creamy soup) with vegetables and veal was the best we have tried. The staff was tight-lipped on what goes into this. It is a must.
The meat and cheese plate has pork and beef prosciutto and cheeses all from the Cetinje area except for the olives that are imported from Bar, less than 60 km away. Both the pršt (prosciutto) and Njeguški cheese is from the village by the same name located in the area.
The roasted veal and pork were also superb. One of the national dishes often talked about, but not served so often is raštan. You may know them as collard greens. If you like collards, their take is worth trying. And yes, we did like them.
Notes: Lots of the culture of the country comes from the Cetinje region. Several of the national treats and dishes are from this area. While we couldn’t sample all the local fare on this trip, I look forward to future visits for more chorba and to try other dishes like the Njeguški steak.
Konak staff will do special menus by request. This includes kosher, vegetarian, vegan and pescetarians. Mirijana seems to enjoy talking new menu challenges.
Place: Zabrdje bb, Cetinje; +382-041-241-241