Sofia Restaurant Week Ends with Eco – Gourmet Tour of Vitosha Mountain Volkswagen Electric Cars
Sofia Restaurant Week marked the end of it’s second edition with a different kind of restaurant experience. The unique restaurant tour, organised together with Volkswagen cars, took a select number of food lovers on a trip around the most exciting restaurants on Vitosha mountain. Because we love the out of the ordinary we added an extra thrill – chaffeur driven electric cars from Volkswagen’s new collection.
What more fitting way to get around the stunning natural phenomenon that lies at the edge of this very fortunate city than in a comfy and environmentally friendly vehicle, safe in the knowledge that you are not adding to one of the city’s major problems, that of air pollution?
On a beautiful sunny morning 27 adventurers met at Porsche Sofia Iztok, where they were treated to coffee, refreshing cocktails made with French apperitif Lillet and snacks while they had the chance to look at the electric range and ask questions about the cars in detail.
Asked why they had chosen to join the tour, the guests shared their motivation: all were eager to try out our recommended restaurants, hoping to find a new favourite for future trips ‘out of town’. Modern city dwellers and professionals, they were tempted by the idea of expanding their range of restaurants and being able to plan family days out in the clean air of Vitosha’s foothills but unsure which restaurant to choose. SRW’s recommendation means a lot to them.
Many of guests were also tempted by the novelty of trying 3 restaurants in one day and the chance to be included in a fun, new experience. Many had heard of our chosen restaurant and had been waiting for an excuse to try them out.
We were spoilt for choice with the full range of VW electric cars:
the compact e-Up, e-Golf and the hybrids Golf GTE and the luxury Passat GTE 2017, both with two engines,
Taking off for the first restaurant – Sage Bistro in Bistritsa – even though we had been told it in advance, we were able to experience the first surprise of an electric car – with no engine noise they are totally silent. If you are used to a diesel engine, this is a real eyeopener. Our convoy of gleaming white, brand new, silent and powerful VW electric vehicles headed to our first stop in the village of Bistritsa.
Sage Bistro is “Bistritsa’s best kept secret“. An intimate space on the village square with rustic decor, using original elements from the family village it is the work of two brothers – Niki and Ivo. While one gathered culinary experience around the world on both sides of the kitchen counter, the other was head chef of the Kempinski Panorama Restaurant, Sofia before setting up their own restaurants. The menu features traditional and Italian favorites combined with the freshest available products.
At Sage the group was greeted by Kristian Yovchev, owner of Moulin, SRWs wine partner, who introduced the superb Miraflors wine. A lightly sparking wine, Miraflors Blanc is perfect for a lunchtime drink. Coming from vines located near the Mediterranean, planted on deep terraces of sandstone and alluvial gravel. Even on the hottest days the winds from the nearby sea keeping these vines cool, preserving their acidity.
The perfect menu met with all round approval and not a crumb left on any plate:
Starter: a selection of bruschetta: tomato, marinated salmon and capers, marinated olives with alici and roasted goat cheese.
Main: Risotto with fresh asparagus and porcini mushrooms
Relaxed and happy, the group moved onto the Simeonovo lift station to one of the most popular gourmet destinations in Sofia – Lazy. With it’s super-modern design, the name Lazy seems a misnomer, yet the restaurant’s philosophy is to help you slow down and unwind from your hectic everyday.
Here the group was seated at one big table, providing the opportunity to bond and meet the other participants. There was a lot of laughter and chatter through the starter of hummus, roast aubergine and a delicious green herbal roll, but when the excellent main course of seabass fillet and pad thai noodles with the surprising addition of moving tuna skin (Katsuobushi) there was only silence and clinking of cutlery on plates as the guests savoured the excellent flavours. A cocktail with French apperitif Lillet, tonic, strawberries, cucumber and mint provided the perfect light accompaniment to the meal.
The last station, Arabia in Boyana, was earmarked for dessert and coffee. A totally different experience to the understated charm of the previous two – one rustic and one modern – Arabia is all about oriental luxury – gold, velvet, drapes and magic lamps. The group was served two classic desserts, Baklava and Tiramisu, coffee and Arabic tea. A shisha consultant came to each table to offer a selection of flavours and carefully took into consideration each group’s preferences. The perfect relaxed ending to a day full of surprises, delicious food and new friends.
Photos: thanks to Webcafe.bg and Galina Petrova