Ljubljana's JB Restaurant ranked among the top 100 in the world

Chef Janez Bratovž. Photo: Borut Rubinič

July 2010

JB: local food, world knowledge, global success

“Old-world charm, a hybrid Slovenian-Mediterranean-French menu, a top-notch wine list and very stylish decor have made this restaurant one of the most popular in town for a fancy meal”, is how the Slovenia edition of the famous travel guide Lonely Planet describes the Ljubljana restaurant JB, run by Janez Bratovž. Now the latest edition of the popular guidebook would need to add that JB is the only restaurant in Slovenia to be selected in 2010 as one of the 100 best restaurants in the world. More precisely, the Janez Bratovž family restaurant secured 89th place in the ranking of the 100 best restaurants in the world this year, as published by the British magazine Restaurant.

Although he was already known to be one of the best chefs in Slovenia, the fact that he is also officially ranked in the world culinary elite has undoubtedly given rise to interest in his restaurant lately exceeding all expectations. The deciding factor, or rather what most pleased the tasters, who spent the past 18 months anonymously frequenting the restaurant in the centre of Ljubljana and gave its menu such a high mark, is not something we can pinpoint with any certainty.

Alongside the high-class service - calm, discreet atmosphere

JB is the only restaurant in Slovenia to be selected in 2010 as one of the 100 best restaurants in the world. Photo: Borut Rubinič

Indeed Bratovž does not just provide self-evidently superior and tasty food, good wine (the wine cellar is stocked with more than 500 wines from all over the world), excellent service, high-quality silverware and crockery and a great atmosphere, he also believes that a restaurant needs to function integrally.

In his art nouveau-retro restaurant he pays close attention to literally every detail.

“We have a calm, discreet atmosphere. Alongside the service, which must be high-class, it is also important that there is not too much noise or movement in the restaurant. I think that this has the biggest impact on the final assessment, but of course the food is always in first place”, says Bratovž.

He is one of the rare chefs in Slovenia who circulates among diners, occasionally serving them himself, chatting with them, sharing a glass, talking about the dishes and then retiring to the kitchen.

In his opinion, being ranked on the list of the best restaurants is not just confirmation for him, with his years and years of hard work and sacrifice behind him, but also for the whole of Slovenia, which in this way has been “put on the culinary map of the world”. 

“This year, my dreams came true, but this is also a major success for Slovenia itself, since this is the first time something like this has happened”, says Bratovž.

 Read the whole article: Sinfo July 2010

Photo: Borut Rubinič

About San Pelegrino ranking

The San Pellegrino ranking is a system whereby restaurants are placed on it after being anonymously assessed by more than 800 critics. The academy of assessors comprises wine and food journalists, professional chefs and restaurateurs, which is a special feature of this assessment, but of course they cannot vote for their own restaurants. Restaurants cannot apply for assessment themselves, they can only be selected by members of a jury who inspect and assess in 26 culinary regions.

First place went to the Danish restaurant Noma run by René  Redzepi, second place to the Spanish El Bulli of Ferran Adrià, and third to the British restaurant The Fat Duck run by Heston Blumenthal. Another restaurant from the former Yugoslavia, Plavi podrum of Volosko near Opatija, stands gallantly in 81st place, but JB has managed to outstrip such great names as Heinz Beck and his La Pergola in Rome (97th place) and Alain Ducasse with his two restaurants: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (95th place) and Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo (98th place).