Croatia is well known for it’s delicacies – from wine, over wonderful prsut up to fish and olive oil. Vienna has a large Croatian population – so why not try something beyond Cevapi ?! So we visited the small, family-owned restaurant Sopile that holds up high Istrian tradition and kitchen in Vienna for many years now.
The restaurant is situated in Vienna’s 4th district, very near to the city center. It is run by Ivo Surlina-Poropat and his family.
The inside looks rather old and a bit dark, but it has a very nice touch from yesterday. Sopile is specialized on fresh fish (which they get from a great supplier from Italy), and homemade pasta – both Istrian classics. Coming here means first of all to take a lot of time for your dinner. When we visited the restaurant, only the chef’s wife and another waiter (son?) were serving all the tables, which meant a lot of delay until we got to order our drinks. They were friendly, but rather decelerated 🙂 We asked for a wine recommendation and got the answer that „all of them are good“. Well…ok.
We started with homemade bread, that was very nice and took a selection of starters:
A very nice starter and a huge portion. The polenta was creamy and mellow, giving a nice contrast to the firm texture of the tripe. The tripe itself tasted really excellent, very clean and was nicely seasoned.
One of my favorites this evening: Tender tepid calamari together with fennel and a wonderful marinade of olive oil and lemon – that was pure summer on a plate!
Also very nice, the fatty fillets of the sardine got a nice and heavy touch from the red vine (there was some vinegar involved too…). The rosemary and laurel fitted nice with this intense taste.
Nice, clean taste of stock fish – very fluffy vor a spread, with a perfect touch of salt. Toghether with the Istrian olive oil a real delicacy!
After this great start we had some entrements,. The time between the courses was quite substancial, so it was nice to have good company 🙂
A beautiful, thick and intense tomato soup – definetely homemade with a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. While the presentation was rather old-school, the cheese fitted very nice with the soup!
From my last visit some years ago, i remembered those a little bit more sensational. Still, they were great: Homemade tagliatelle with beef and again the croatian version of parmesan. The pasta was just perfect and tasty, for the sauce I would have preferred more rosemary and maybe a hint more tomato.
A sopile classic: Fresh fillets of mackerel, perfectly grilled and aromatized with laurel and garlic. The mackerel skin was amazingly good and the juicy meat had the pleasent smell of the spices. This fitted perfectly with the eggplant spread (fresh, with a smoky aftertaste). Just the one little potato on the side craved for some company…
An unexpected high point of the evening: This wonderful lamb salad had just everything – a huge portion of juicy, fatty, wonderful lamb meat together with perfectly marinated shallots who gave a fresh touch. On the side some wild herbs for a green twist. A great dish!
And finally again some pasta: This time classic noodles with sepia and tomato. I liked those actually a little bit more than the ones with meat, they were jucier and the grilled sepia tasted just amazing – it had bite, thogh being very soft and tender.
Since I didn’t like desert that much on my last visit and we were full anyway, we skipped the desert this time. As a surprise we got some short pastry, that was not too sweet but very tasty.
Sopile offers great homemade food, in a vintage-family atmosphere. I would rather go for the starters and seafood there. Bring some time and don’t expect a lot of service, but you will get more than decent food and big portions. Altogether we paid approx. 35€ per person including one nice bottle of wine.