The Quality Series

Vodenica-Mulino, the Apex of Skopje Dining

Fine Italian restaurant in the Macedonian capital at the precipice of fame

The restaurant Vodenica-Mulino in Skopje, Macedonia.

Macedonia, a landlocked country centrally located on the Balkan peninsula, is a slice of rustic charm wedged between Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Much of its land is covered in beautiful and diverse countryside, with snowcapped mountains, charming lakeside villages, and plentiful vineyards growing the native vranec and stanashuna grape varieties. Skopje, as the capital and largest city of Macedonia, is the natural home to much of the country’s economic activity. With its sprawling old bazaar linked by a 15th century stone bridge to modern Macedonia Square, with its imposingly large statue of Alexander the Great, the country’s greatly multilayered history is apparent at every turn.

Skopje is noted for its wealth of 15th century architectural gems, often reoriented as public-facing institutions and museums. The National Gallery of Macedonia, for example, is built inside of a 600 year old Turkish bath complex. Visitors are able to dive into a rich history, defined by Macedonia’s position as a cultural crossroads, caught between the major forces of the region’s history. This spirit of digging through a complex past, sorting out the pieces, and building a picture of a magnificent past is nowhere more apparent than at the nearby Stobi ruins. Once a city of over 20,000 residents, Stobi was destroyed by an earthquake in the 6th century. Excavations have revealed stunning basilicas, ornate mosaics, and the remnants of a mighty gladiatorial amphitheatre.

Macedonia is full of treasures like these because it has been a part of so many empires, societies, and countries over the thousands of years that people have lived here. Now, for only the past few decades, Macedonia is an independent nation, and it is finally in the position to create a future of its own design. Developments so far have been more than promising.

Over the past 10 years, tourism has simply exploded in Macedonia. Year over year increases since 2008 regularly eclipse 25%. This means that, projecting from the most recently available statistic, the annual number of foreign tourists that will visit Macedonia is likely well over 1 million. Visitors are coming from all quarters, and the word about Macedonia’s beauty, culture, and fascinating historical landscape is spreading rapidly. Skopje, as the most clear and natural entry point into the country, will at some point host the vast majority of tourists filtering in out and out of the country.

Stojan Filiposki (right), Owner of Vodenica Mulino with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (left), former Secretary General of NATO.

Opened in 2003, Vodenica-Mulino is a fine Italian restaurant located in the central Kapistec neighborhood of Skopje. The restaurant has been a mainstay for years, but recently it has been gaining prestige within the tourist market. Revered for its peaceful atmosphere amid the city’s hustle and bustle, Vodenica-Mulino’s quiet courtyard, gardens, and covered patio provide respite for diners from both near and far. Its food, service, amazing wine list, and atmosphere are all reasons why this amazing restaurant is universally regarded as one of the absolute best in Skopje.

Vodenica-Mulino, managed by Toni Aritonov and Misko Anic, achieves its quality in several ways. First, every detail is carefully considered, from the placement of the tableware, the composition of the menu, the sourcing of the ingredients, to more subtle considerations such as the volume of the music and the arrangement of the decor—the cozy interior seems ripped straight from a rustic Italian villa.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Owner and Head Chef Cavaliere Stojan Filipovski. Filipovski, with over 30 years experience working under some of the best chefs across Italy, has taken his expertise to Macedonia where he has crafted a standout menu based on the classics of authentic Italian cuisine. The grilled seafood, as eaten along the shores of northern Italy, and the signature salt-baked sea bass, some of the best in the world, come highly recommended, as do the array of lovingly created pasta dishes and desserts. The cooking, combined with Aritonov’s crafting of a world-class dining experience, has made Vodenica-Mulino the gem that it is.

Misko Anic (left) and Toni Aritonov (right), Managers of the Vodenica-Mulino with the famous actor Rade Serbedzija (center).

For those looking for the full Italian experience, a bottle of wine is a must to accompany the food, and here is where Vodenica-Mulino takes full advantage of its Macedonian heritage. Its incredible wine cellar (surely one of the best in Macedonia) is stocked with the finest vintages from Italy, France, and beyond (as to be expected), but it also has some of the finest examples of Macedonian wine at the ready, as well. Macedonia, once the preferred wine growing and production region for generations of Roman emperors and foreign kings, is quickly reestablishing itself as a central player in the wine production world. With its unique varietals, ample sunshine, and array of microclimates, Macedonia is a new playground for wine connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Vodenica-Mulino’s expert staff excel at pairing options, and even the most clueless of wine drinkers will surely end up with the perfect bottle for their meal pulled from the restaurant’s impressive stock.

With all the amazing food, incredible service staff, great indoor and outdoor spaces, and amazing wine selection on hand, Vodenica-Mulino is the perfect place for hosting fabulous events. With capacity for up to 160, the grounds make the perfect place for wedding receptions, awards ceremonies, corporate dinners, film wrap parties, and any other event that calls for incredible food and fun.

Vodenica-Mulino is a must-visit for anyone passing through Skopje, and it stands to reason that with increased marketing and communication efforts, and a continued commitment to the tenets of Quality Management, the restaurant’s profile will only rise from here. BID, the leader in recognizing international organizational Quality, wishes to recognize Restaurant Vodenica-Mulino with its 2016 BID Quality Award. At this juncture, truly anything is possible.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.

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