Hearty Deer Medallions with Polenta
On arriving in Bovec , Slovenia, just outside Triglavski National Park, we had a long ride from Venice earlier in the day and it was cool and a bit overcast. On wandering around the quaint town center, we could feel the energy of the town and the surrounding natural beauty, begging us to explore. But we were hungry. Right in the center of town is a restaurant called Gostilna in Pizzerija Lenti VRT. We ambled over to it, the bike parked just across the street on the sidewalk attracting more than a few interested eyes. Turns out we were part of the scenery as well.
We wandered in to the restaurant not sure what to expect in this gateway town to the mountains. We found a table in the front of the restaurant with a view of the center of town and were greeted by a middle aged man who was to be our waiter. He turned out to be a stoic guy but with a deadpan sense of humor. In his good English with a strong accent, he showed us some good items on the menu. For some reason Rebecca wasn’t feeling so adventurous and just ordered a pasta dish. I wanted to try a good local meat dish and the waiter directed me to a few choices. I settled on the deer medallions with polenta. It seemed like a good, hearty, mountain man meal in this town in the shadow of such impressive mountains. I felt like a mountain man. The deer made me feel like I was going to enjoy something from the very mountains by which we were surrounded and the polenta made me feel that I was having something that goes way back in time to a very basic grounded staple of the local diet.
The order arrived and it looked as good as it sounded. There was a nice helping of large medallions of deer and a few admittedly unattractive yet clearly hearty slices of polenta. I was ready for some mountain climbing! On this somewhat cool, cloudy day, it was just what the doctor ordered. There was just the right amount of sauce to complement the deer and enough to be mopped up by the polenta. I don’t eat polenta or deer very often, but this was an excellent meal, clearly one of their specialties.
Soaking up the atmosphere and the sauce, we were ready for our trip into the high mountains on our search for adventure on our first day in Slovenia.