Croatia Eats: Restaurant Peteani Labin

Restaurant Peteani (ex. Riva in Plomin Luka), opened in 2016 in a lovely, family-run design hotel Peteani in Labin. The same family run a restaurant Riva in Plomin Luka for many years, but closed it prior to opening their new venture in Labin. 

Restaurant Peteani (ex. Riva) in Labin Croatia | Croatia Restaurant Guide
Restaurant Peteani (ex. Riva) in Labin Croatia | Croatia Restaurant Guide

Below is our review of restaurant Riva in Plomin Luka. We’ve visited restaurant peteani upon its opening in summer 2016, and it basically offers the same menu as Riva. Even the waiters are the same. And obviously the owners.

Plomin Luka, a small seaside village not far from Rabac, I’ve known only for one thing: a coal fired power station. And when a village is only known for a power plant (coal!) nobody really rushes to visit it.

When you take an old coastal road from Istria to Opatija, after you pass a hilltop town of Plomin, a wonderful view opens in front of your eyes: a view over the long narrow inlet of sea with a village at its end. This is maybe the only time you might feel it’s worth descending down to Plomin Luka (regardless of that power plant).

Anyways for ten years here, we have never descended down to Plomin Luka. Until recently. So, what has really happened? This year Vera’s birthday came on Monday and we really haven’t done anything special on that day. Instead we have planned a day out the following weekend. The plan was to go for a swim to Rabac, and to have a late lunch at the Martin Pescador, one of our favorite restaurants in Istria. But beaches in Rabac were super crowded. And we are too spoiled to swim at the super crowded beaches.

To make a long story short, we didn’t feel to stay in Rabac, or to go back to Martin Pescador. Instead a friend of mine, native to Rabac, told us about this good restaurant in Plomin Luka. We took his advice and headed straight to the restaurant Riva.

A glass-enclosed terrace at the restaurant Riva Plomin | Croatia Travel Guide & Blog
Restaurant Riva Plomin | A glass-enclosed terrace

The restaurant is set at the ground floor of a yellow painted house, almost at the end of the village. We thought it would be a casual place by the sea. Well, it wasn’t. The restaurant Riva is an elegant, upscale restaurant with crisp white tablecloths, and proper table setting. The restaurant has a glass enclosed terrace, and indoor seating. There is a small garden with couple of large pine trees; just enough greenery to make a pleasant surrounding and to block a rather ugly view over the large asphalted plateau and a road in front of the restaurant.

Our experience at the restaurant Riva Plomin

Our waiter was very gentle, professional and friendly. We knew more or less what we wanted to try out here, as my friend has already briefed us on Riva’s offer. However we doubled check with a waiter to make sure we were doing a good choice.

While we were waiting for our first course, our waiter brought us two different extra virgin olive oils and some homemade bread. Olive oils in Istria are excellent, and if you visit the region, you should try to taste as many as possible (and perhaps bring some home as a healthy and edible souvenir).

Restaurant Riva Plomin | Calamari & Fennel Salad
Restaurant Riva Plomin | Calamari & Fennel Salad

For starter we both order calamari and fennel salad. It may sound too simple and unexcited, but that was actually the best dish we had in a long, long time. Calamari and fennel were finely sliced, and then stir-fried. Sprinkled with drops of local extra virgin olive oil and a touch of tomato sauce on each corner of the plate, the plate looked beautiful, and the dish tasted sublime.

For a main course, I ordered shrimps filled gnocchi with a crab sauce, and Vera ordered grilled tuna. My gnocchi were OK, I would say that a dish was a bit too ambitious, and didn’t turn quite great. Gnocchi to be filled with shrimps had to be made huge, and to hold together, they had to be a bit more floury than they really should. But nevertheless the sauce was amazing, and totally made it up for imperfection of gnocchi. I enjoyed it, and could eat it again.

Restaurant Riva Plomin | Shrimp-filled gnocchi with a crab sauce
Restaurant Riva Plomin | Shrimp-filled gnocchi with a crab sauce

Vera’s tuna, on the other side, was impeccable. Locals start tuna fishing in late August, and throughout October you’ll find tuna on almost every menu. And Adriatic tuna is simply the best. In Croatia majority of the restaurants doesn’t serve large tuna steaks, but rather sliced tuna steaks (or tagliata as they call it here). It’s basically a thick tuna steak that’s first grilled and then carved before being served. Sliced tuna steak was served on a bed of reduced, homemade tomato sauce, and aside grilled veggies. It was absolutely yummy.

Restaurant Riva Plomin | Sliced tuna steak
Restaurant Riva Plomin | Sliced tuna steak

For a dessert I went with a chocolate ice cream, and Vera went with grilled scampi. Yes, grilled scampi for a dessert. She claims it’s the best dessert a girl can have. I don’t know about that. Anyways, her scampi were excellent, shortly grilled, the meat remained soft and really easy to clean.

We drank a white wine Malvasija Istarska, and had a coffee at the end of our meal.

The total cost was 450 Kn (around 60 €). Not cheap, but considering the quality of food we had at the Riva, we found that the price was rather fair.

Restaurant Riva Plomin: Contacts

Contacts | Address: Luka Plomin bb, Plomin | t: +385 52 863 404 | Website

Further reading: If you are looking for the best restaurants to eat in Istria, head straight here. If you like seafood, but also you like to experience something different, we highly recommend the restaurant Batelina near Pula. Another great seafood restaurant close to Plomin Luka is Martin Pescador (maybe the best seafront terrace in all Istria). We also like food at the Stari podrum, Tavern Toncic, Morgan, and the restaurant Sole. For everyday restaurant, we highly recommend the restaurant Orca in Rovinj. If you plan your holidays in Istria, you can start with our Istria Travel Guide, and then dig deeper into our content. We live in Istria, and share quite good amount of information about this wonderful region. Let us know if we can help you plan your trip here.

How do you like restaurant Riva Plomin? Do you prefer a seafood or meat dishes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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1 thought on “Croatia Eats: Restaurant Peteani Labin”

  1. Many of my neighbours go to Plomin Luka to swim in the summer – there’s a small beach at the far end which is impeccably clean. Now I know there’s a good restaurant there too! The small old town of Plomin is also worth a visit. And I love the road which climbs up towards Opatija — it’s one of the most scenic in Istria!

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