THE HISTORY OF VINODOL
Our guests often ask us why the name Vinodol? Or why the horse sculptures at the entrance to the restaurant? To answer these questions, we have to travel back in time to the 19th century.
The building at Teslina 10 in which today’s restaurant is located, once belonged to Dr Vladimir Nikolić, the great prefect of Modruš-Rijeka County and a Croatian viceban, after whom Teslina Street was previously named.
Vladimir Nikolić had a daughter, Vera. The restaurant was probably named Vinodol after the town in which she was born – Novi Vinodolski. Baroness Vera Nikolić Podrinska was a famous painter, a philanthropist who often set aside her income for war orphans, and was also involved in photography. She spent most of her life in the village of Prekrižje, where the Presidential Palace is located today.
Back then, the location of our present-day restaurant served as a stable where horses that pulled trams and post coaches could rest and recover. Our restaurant inherits this Zagreb tradition and the long history of today’s Teslina 10, which is why sculptures of coach horses, the work of the famous sculptor Hrvoje Dumančić, greet guests at the entrance.
The history of Restaurant Vinodol dates back to the 1940s. Although there are almost no documents from that time, it is assumed that the restaurant was called ‘Bijelo Janje’ (The White Lamb). There is plenty of documentation about the restaurant from 1965 on, attesting to the name Vinodol, which it has preserved to this day.
Our grandparents remember Vinodol as a favourite spot not only of Zagreb residents, but those who were simply passing through. In those days, Vinodol offered specialities of local cuisine, with young lamb being particularly popular. Local dishes are still the basis of our cuisine, as is the preparation of young lamb from the island of Pag, which is one of the favourite dishes of our guests.
Vinodol has successfully maintained its reputation by offering traditional Croatian dishes every day, but it also successfully attracts a newer, younger clientele by combining tradition with innovative and original recipes.