About Cotton Club
When the famous Cotton Club first opened in Harlem, New York in the twenties of the last century, probably no one predicted that this club would one day proud itself with a century-old tradition and that it would be synonymous with a place of good entertainment, enjoyment, music, and excellent food. Everyone wanted to get in, only some of them succeeded, the most important ones. The name of the club was resounding with admiration, crossing the borders of Harlem, New York, America, on all of the continents ... The Cotton Club in New York is still active today, and its fame glitters with the same glory as in those past times when walls were pouring with jazz sounds.
It is by that legendary place, our sophisticated restaurant in Poreč got its name and memorable experiences from. A visit to our place will soon turn into a top quality personal gastronomic festival for any visiting guest. First of all, because of its top quality and standards, as much as because of a specific atmosphere. Those qualities soon turned the place, which initially was only a pub, into a place everyone loves and come into sincerely relaxed and thankful for its unique menu offer. And just in the same way, enthusiastic and openly, Cotton Club invites its guests to raise quality to a whole new level each day, providing an intense brewing of scents and flavors. Located at the beginning of the entrance to Decumanus Street, the restaurant is a witness to the tradition of these places and caringly combines a modern approach to quality with the best of the Istrian past.
The restaurant and bar Cotton Club was founded by Istrian people with a basic postulate in mind: to cook the tradition of Istrian gastronomy in the restaurant kitchen and to preserve old, authentic Istrian dishes. With the notion of a contemporary approach, they succeed, so always fresh ingredients of top quality are chosen for the preparation of meals. That is why restaurant guests frequently, with full confidence, leave to the staff to suggest and choose food and drinks, especially the specialties for which the restaurant is well-known. This mutual trust results in the absolute pleasure of guests returning to the warm, and at the same time refined Cotton Club atmosphere.
The staff of Cotton Club is a team of catering professionals, long-time employees with rich experience. The local population is well acquainted with this team as a set of professional and expert people who are skillful in preparing and serving food to a level of art. This has been largely contributed by the continuous training of staff at prestigious courses, and it is worth mentioning that they are professionally trained for gastronomy with Boškarin meat, sous vide cooking (cooking in a vacuum), gastronomy of Istrian meat or preparation of aromatic Istrian truffles. In the famous Italian company IRCA, whose tradition of preparing food dates back to 1919, they were trained in pasta and cake making. At Cotton Club, guests can also enjoy the finest ice creams, for whose craftsmanship our professionals have been educated at the renowned Italian company MEC3. All staff has passed the coffee preparation course, and waiters serve guests according to the guidelines and high standards of the American Bartender School. The quality of their approach has also been complemented by a modern food service course.
Everyone who stepped into Decumanus Street has made a step in the rich history of Poreč, where the old city core tells the story, with a whisper, of the ancient past that still feels and breathes. The first historical records mention a small fishing village with a harbor from the 6th century BC before the present day in the town of Poreč. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans arrive in this area and occupy the entire Istrian peninsula during their many conquests. Poreč then gets the Latin name Parentium. Today's city core is a network of streets that slice at right angles and form a square. It still keeps its antique form, and the main street is today called Dekumanova street, the Latin Decumanus. Go step by step through Dekumanova Street and the view of the magnificent Euphrasius Basilica opens. This lifelong monument of Christianity was erected in the 6th century, during the reign of the Byzantine Empire, Bishop Euphrasius. Built of stone and decorated with marble columns, the basilica is, amongst other things, famous for amazing mosaics still preserved on its walls. All this is just a fraction of the rich history of Poreč, which is still called the pearl of the western coast of the Istrian peninsula. Since the middle of the 19th century, Poreč has left tourists delighted, and its beauty was especially appreciated by the Austrian aristocracy. This city was often changed by rulers, starting with the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians, Napoleons, and Austro-Hungarians. After the First World War, Poreč was part of Italy. Every government left deep traces and influence, so Poreč is a whirl of rich cultural and architectural features. During the Middle Ages, the stunning Gothic palace was erected and today stands as a proof of ancient times that leaves all tourists in awe, and it’s Round Tower is a delightful place for visitors to visit, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the town's shore. For years, Poreč has become one of the main centers of Croatian tourism, which is active in every season. And along with culture, architecture and beautiful sea, the specificity of this area is certainly the food through which history and tradition are carefully nurtured.
The restless Istrian past has left a great mark on the gastronomy of this area through the intertwining of different traditions in the folk cuisine, which has its base in nature. Wild herbs, aromatic spices, and seasonal vegetables have always been an integral part of the local cuisine. The most influential of Istrian gastronomy has been Venice with its imaginative and ancient dishes. And they were such because, in Venice, known for trade, they got a hold of spices and groceries from around the world. Poreč was the first city to come in contact with pepper, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg... The trade worked great in the reverse direction, sending venison and superb olive oil from this area. Typical Mediterranean cuisine that was prepared in the coastal area were thick soups, stews, rice, roast... The people in the interior of Istria, mostly farmers, baked cornbread on the fire under the bell, and ate chicken meat, cheese, "ravioli", "gnocchi" and "fuži" for special occasions. One of the most common dishes was the "maneštra" which everyone still loves today in Istria. Food through history has shaped the gastronomy of Istria today, and the modern generation of Istria has gratefully accepted the inheritance of their grandparents. This is the guiding thread in Cotton Club, where old recipes and original Istrian recipes are exceptionally valued and modernized to meet the finest palate. Because all of this, the Cotton Club staff is well-trained and has completed the prestigious courses of food and beverage preparation.
Those who truly love and live art will find it and feel it even out of the area where they work. So, the famous Istrian painter Josip Granić found art, with all of its sophistication and beauty, in our restaurant, writing for Cotton Club:
"When the body seeks rest, and soul seeks peace,
When the eye sees the beauty of the facade and the interior design,
When the harmony of parts is perfection, then it is the beauty in it’s PUREST,
the COTTON CLUB and its people are pure GOODNESS!!!"
Chefs and waiters
Starting from Željko, the eldest in the club, and best-known name when it comes to pizzas levels up to the already high-quality food at Cotton Club.
From the first pizzeria in the city of Poreč, with 18 years of experience, he says "he did not move out of those 2 square meters". After he "raised to life" several of the iconic restaurant names in the city such as "2 Murve", "Bistro Materada", “Konoba Hrast", "Stari Saloon", "Pizzeria Nono" and others, his efforts remain well-known and respected , so at last he becomes an integral part of Cotton Club's team.
An inspiration to young pizza masters and "gelato masters" across the region, a man who, with all his experience, looks at the bosses as they leave while he remains in the business he loves, since 1984 he has remained faithful to the kitchen with incredible numbers of pizzas and cakes.
He came to Poreč as a tourist soon fell in love with the city and decided to stay till today, where he decides to show his skills, experience, and knowledge to CottonClub CEOs. It soon became clear he is a caliber worthy of the Cotton Club name, that as he says, is an honor to work for.
A man that enjoyed in his work for years by raising the pizza production count where he worked from 20-30 to 500 baked daily, surely raises the already all-time high standards to you provided by Cotton Club. Cotton's kitchen provides new sights on preparing imaginative combinations of carefully selected fresh ingredients to him. Paired with pasta made exclusively from the finest yeast ("lievito madre"), Cotton Club gets an ace up their sleeve even when it comes to pizzas, that are getting appreciated even more day by day.
Cotton Club's staff has long been known to all the "headhunters" of surrounding big companies and restaurants for a number of reasons. Aside reasons like courses for MEC3 ice cream, sommelier courses, then courses for preparing cocktails under the flag of PlanetOne Perugia, HausBrandt coffee preparation course, gastronomy with meat from Boškarin beef, Gastronomy with Istrian truffles, Sous Vide courses, Creative Kitchen of Janez Bratovza and many others , we are most proud for one reason: that the guests are returning to us because of, among other things, our staff members.
Everyone knows that the waiter who is professionally trained to cater to the guest is an inevitable addition to the world of gastronomy. So when a guest returns in a years time, and greet them by their names with a smile on their face, we know that our staff members are a pure success. Best location, the most beautiful interior, the best dishes with the best wines can all fail together if they are not accompanied by friendly, professional staff members. Staff is one of the reasons we are proud of the quality that few bars have in our little piece of paradise that makes it the city of Poreč. One of the indicators of love for the kitchen, the restaurant, and their job is also the fact that some of our staff have been working in CottonClub for 20 years. We understand them completely. Everyone wants to be part of our name, but only the best fits with the best.
Some of our waiters are known to the public that keeps coming back to our refined ambiance for years. They come back for the food and drinks, as well as because of the refined atmosphere, but it's proven they also come back 'cause of our staff members that welcome them with a friendly greeting, and always wearing a smile that inspires trust. Trust comes from a raw level of pure confidence. Their confidence comes entirely from what the name CottonClub is offering. They know that they are bringing only the finest plates, wines, cocktails and delicacies to the table, and the reason for it is a collective awareness inside the pub's walls, constantly pushed forward with an immeasurable amount of hard work, effort, discipline, and diligence.
A special web-like cooperation of all employees starts all the way from the management. The top of the management in a place like CottonClub must be an infinite source of constant education, self-improvement, and a fine-tuning, non - stop optimization of the organization and work strategy.
There is no magic wand that makes Cotton Club famous and successful: there is only hard work. Hard work on propper marketing, on the guest's comfort, design of the glass, a stable cleaning and maintenance routine, on relationships between employees, but atop of it all: on the quality of the products and services. Those are the reasons only the best, most successful of the employees but at the same time, those who understand they still have a lot to learn may enter behind the kitchen and personnel doors of Cotton Club.
Thankfully, they do have where to learn from. They can choose from a vast variety of special skillsets and then polish them to a diamond shine by working at Cotton Club.
We are exceptionally proud of our youngest generation of personnel, that is usually still a lack of in the rest of the country, and thus many other restaurants and bars. Not only we dispose of an envious - worthy young workforce, but at the same time, that very same workforce has some experience most people won't have after 30 years of hard work.
That workforce had their hard skin done at names such as:
- "Monarch" (NL)
- "Hanibal" (CRO)
- "Ser Giles" (SRB)
- "Peking" (SRB)
- "Prive'" (SRB)
and many others, where our cooks got their experience from under titles of Executive Chefs, were collecting gold medals for their culinary creations, and mastered the tricks of the trade at places that ran under several Michelin stars. Some of them worked at the "Amethyst", others and the "Passenger" and similar high-end locations that end up giving the best candidates for the Cotton Club kitchen.