Reborn Renesanca offers more of the same

by Prishtina Insight24/10/2014 - 12:44


A family-owned business, Renesanca—known to many as Renaissance—has been a Prishtina institution for more than a decade. With taverns popping up in every corner, it feels like the town is saturated with traditional food. Yet, Renesanca is different. Where others try to entertain their patrons, Renesanca is all about privacy and enjoying your meal. This is most definitely ensured by the very professional staff, which is quick and almost unnoticeable. The original restaurant, which recently closed, was known for its food and relaxed atmosphere. Things got a little bit crazy on the weekends, when live music would erupt unexpectedly (nothing like drums to accompany your meal).

The new location, in an alley just across the street from Grand Hotel, preserves much of the same bucolic feel and elevated, yet still traditional menu. The concept remains the same, but the room is larger. The grotto feel isn’t exactly a change, and here too, the wood paneling and bare-bricks, combined with low-ceiling and dim lights create an intimate atmosphere. For a more exotic experience, one can always book the Albanian sofra, a traditional dining table, which is low and requires one to eat cross-legged. We ate at a normal table, and seeing that no joints were numb or tingling at the end of the night– that was probably a smart move.

Renesanca has a fixed-menu deal: three to four courses accompanied by local wines and raki (and beer for the blasphemous). The menu is set by the chef, but specific dishes can be ordered beforehand. Despite the fact that their main course is all about meat, they offer great options for vegetarians too. The night we were there, the meal started with excellent appetizers or meze: yoghurt based spreads such as tzatziki, small plates of zucchini salad, tuna salad, pickled peppers, olives and cheese. This was followed by a farmer salad, which was both fresh and boring. Renesanca is known for keeping it simple and respecting the ingredients, but one wishes they would spice things up with the dressing and go out of their lemon and olive-oil comfort-zone

The main course was two types of tavas: beef and chicken ‘Elbasan tava’. The beef was accompanied by leeks, a combination which was both subtle and complementing. The beef was very tender and well seasoned. The other dish was Renesanca’s own take on the Elbasan tava, which is traditionally a heavy lamb and yoghurt-base dish. Substituting the lamb with white chicken meat, and the heavy yoghurt base with a lighter version (less garlic, for example) is a success and works well with the other courses. Finally, sarma, the traditional grape-leaf dumplings with minced meat was also part of the main course. It was salty and delicious, and we ordered a second plate. The dessert on the other hand was a complete let down. A tiny piece of chocolate and coconut sponge cake – which tasted like a biscuit covered in chocolate, was the end of what was until then a very nice meal. But, this is the fundamental problem with Renesanca’s set menu – some parts are just better than others. Nevertheless, the place still remains a great place to eat out. While the food is never exhilarating or surprising, it is amazing how the fixed price hasn’t skyrocketed yet– with only 15 euro per person, you are still getting the best deal in town.

24 October 2014 - 12:44



Johan V. Hahn Street (alley across from Grand Hotel, behind Metro) Prishtina.


Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11am to 11pm/


Phone: 044 118796

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