Posted by: viewfromtheriva | May 16, 2015

Mazzgoon, a symphony of flavor in Split!


Mazzgoon’s shady outdoor courtyard just inside the West Gate of the Palace is the perfect place to be on a sultry Split summer day.

This year there are something like a dozen new restaurants opening in Split and one of them is Mazzgoon.   Tony, the owner, started out in the same spot three years ago with a labor of love called Element, the city’s first gourmet coffee shop.  Alas, where locals spend hours drinking $1.50 cups of java,  Element was forced to morph into a full blown restaurant to make ends meet and this year Tony and his talented crew have really proved that the third time is the charm.

Hand made chocolate truffles, one of a daily quartet or moreof luscious desserts whipped up fresh by Mazgoon’s own pastry chef. 

We began with octopus salad, a standard staple of Mediterranean cuisine.  But Tony’s wizards decided not to opt for potatoes with the sea creature, but went with garbanzos instead.  The result was wonderful–the delectable chewiness of the octopus balanced against the firmness of the chickpeas was perfect.

Home made pasta, rabbit terrine in grapefruit marmalade, dry aged beef–Mazzgoon goes for the adventure and delivers the thrills

The second starter was a terrine of rabbit with a grapefruit marmalade served in a glass preserves jar with a rubber stopper and two slices of homemade toasted bread, whipped butter on a plank of wood strewn with ruckola.  Oh my!

The mains were a brudet, a traditional fish stew, but Mazzgoon pushed the envelope again finishing it with a sweet local wine to give the broth a delicious something extra for those chunky pieces of sea bass and grdobina (monkfish) to enjoy.  My wife lapped it up like a pussycat in heaven.

I chose the risotto, a deceptively simply rice dish that really tests a kitchen.  If the texture isn’t just right and infusion isn’t just right, well it’s just a gloppy mess.  Wow, Mazzgoon’s was the best I ever ate–seriously.  A symphony of raisins, apple and other wonderfulness–rich, delicious and unforgettable!

Since we had the car and couldn’t hang around, we did not get a chance to sample Mazgoon’s very terrific wine card–all of the best as well as tough to fine regional wines from lesser known but beautiful winemakers.  We need to walk here next time so we can enjoy some of this nectar of the gods!

A great lunch, clearly made with love by a husband and wife team and their very savvy chefs (Sara runs No Stress, just a stone’s throw away in the Pjaca) who have really made their mark here creating the kind of bistro’s where preparation, quality and attention to detail comes first.

So much more to enjoy here–we can’t wait to come back!

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