Dubrovnik and Split in August
traveling to Croatia this summer, on a bike trip for much of our stay but will have 3 nights in Dubrovnik and 1 night in Split on our own. Would love some good Chowhound recommendations for some NY foodies in both Dubrovnik and Split. thanks!
We just back back from two weeks in Croatia.
Here are three place you might want to consider in Dubrovnik: Posat, Proto, and Kamenice.
En route from Korcula to Dubrovnik, we stopped for lunch in Ston and fell in love with those delicious oysters. That put us on a quest to eat more Ston oysters and we did so at all three of these Dubrovnik restaurants.
Kamenice: located in the farmer's market. There are several restaurants there, but you'll recognice Kemenice's tables by their bright blue and white striped seat cushions. We began lunch with a dozen oysters from Ston. Amazing. (Incidentally, a local recommended this place and said we could have confidence in the raw oysters.) We also orders some fried calamari. World class -- very light batter with no oily taste and very tender calamari rings. We ate dinner there another night after having had a large late lunch. We repeated the fried calamari with success but also got a portion of the poached mussels. I was not particularly happy with the mussels. The mussels themselves were not well cleaned; I had to pull the beards off lots of mussels . In addition, the poaching liquid was not as well flavored as it could have been. It needed more wine or more onion or more something. We had fresh strawberries for dessert and these were just delightful -- full of intense, strawberry sweetness. We could have gotten the strawberries served with whipped cream or, I think, even chocolate sauce but why ruin a good thing. The strawberries were obviously local and tasted the way strawberries are supposed to taste. Very reasonably priced with huge portions.
Posat: located just outside the Pile gate (We got home just hours ago so my brain feels quite foggy. Someone please correct me if I've got the gate wrong.) Lovely oysters, but the restaurant was down to its last nine so my husband and I also split an order of salmon and tuna carpaccio served over a bed of arugula/rocket. The tuna is from the Adriatic but the salmon was flown in from Scotland. I can't imagine why salmon was even appearing on menus throughout all of Croatia, but it was. Warning: balsamic vinegar was drizzled over the carpaccio. Had I known this, I would have asked that the balsamic be omitted. Instead, I asked for a wedge of lemon and cut the sweetness of the balcamic. Wonderful fresh fish, simply grilled. Nice location, especially for dinner when you can see the lit city walls from the terrace dining area.
Proto: At the Pile end of town on the widest cross street that intersects with the Stradun. Lovely oysters. This menu offered a bit more variety than many other menus not only in Dubrovnik but also throughout Croatia. You'll see the word "Bouzara" or "Boussara" or some variant of that word on most menus. When linked with mussels, that means a white wine and onion poaching liquid. When linked with scampi that can mean the white version already described or a tomato version.
Both Proto and Posat were more upscale and expensive than Kamenice, but for dinners felt like better choices.
The best red bouzara version we had was in Lovran at Restaurant Kvarner. Will you be biking the Istrian peninsula? My husband and I ate lunch at this restaurant and in doing so violated all the rules about finding delicious, non-touristy restaurants. It was located on the water and the menu was printed in at least three languages. If we had followed the "rules," we would have missed out on the best scampi bouzara dish of our two-week trip. The red sauce was lick your plate good, with a vibrant tomato sauce blended with garlic and scampi flavors. Also the octopus salad was delicious. We got into a delightful conversation with the waiter about the quality of the food. (He was lamenting that too many of the tourists who eat there order from a very narrow range of the menu.) At the end of the meal, we were offered a lemon sorbetto. What came to the table was in fact, a drink that seemed to be a mixture of limoncello and cream. We saw this item appear on several other Croatian menus, and it always bore no resemblance to what I think of when I read the words lemon sorbetto.
The best white bouzara dish we ate was in Split at Konoba Varos. This restaurant was the site of another best: the best creme caramel. Just perfect texture.
According to our guide, Nostromo is the best seafood restaurant in Split. Our experience there di not contradict this verdict! My husband and I ate an incredible lunch at Nostromo, sharing the octopus salad and the Nostromo platter. The octopus salad was the best version we ate during our two week-trip: huge chunks of tender octopus flavored with just enough lemon and good quality olive oil so that it didn't mask the flavor of the meat. The platter included a small grilled fish, several grilled scamp, grill prawns, and an assortment of several types of clams. My husband and I received very warm and smiling service. We left the wine selection up to the waiter with no mention of price limits; however, we were given a lovely and not-particularly expensive bottle. The fish was impeccably fresh and the timing of the cooking was perfect.
I just discovered that Bota Sare, a restaurant we really enjoyed in Ston has a branch in Split. We loved our meal at the Ston restaurant. We had the oysters three ways: raw, grilled and fried. I wasn't a fan of the fried oysters. The oyster inside was lovely and the frying was deftly done but the breading with too heavy for my taste. We also shared a grilled sea bream. Again, I don't know how the Split branch compares with the Ston original.
Just spent a few days in Dubrovnik. Tried 4 places :
1) Taj Mahal (Nikole Gučetića 2 ) : Gets a number of deserved mentions. I had the house specialties : a platter starter of meats, cheeses and salads together with with some delicious warm bread and a main course consisting of a veal, mushroom and cheese pasty. With dessert and a couple of large beers this cost about 240 Kuna. Worth the effort. Get there early.
2) Lady Pi Pi (really needs to change it's name :-) : High up on Peline with great views of the city if you can get on the upper level. Open grill cuisine : I had grilled sea bream with vegetables washed down with local Posip wine. Simple but very well done and good value for money .Not a big place so suggest getting there before 18:00 (when they start dinner). Cost about 130 Kuna but didn't have three courses. Recommended.
3) Cafe Royal (Part of the Pucic Palace) : Nice location and more upmarket ambiance than other restaurants I frequented but very expensive for what was not much more than slightly above average food. The Black Risotto I had was actually a bit gritty from (presumably) clam shell. 3 courses with two glasses of wine over 400 Kuna. Lacked the charm of the two places above
4) Captain (Prijeko 12) : Set in a street of restaurants I half expected what I got. Appetising looking dishes on the menu were marred by poor quality ingredients. I had a mixed fish platter with mussels the size of peas, scrawny sea bass, miniature prawns etc... Wouldn't recommend this.
Hope you enjoy your trip. Hope the above might help
Just got back from a few days in Split and Hvar, haven't had time to update my request for help with my reviews of places we went (too much freakin work in my inbox)... but I can heartily recommend both Konoba Marjan and Konoba Matejuska. These two were about 30 meters away from each other just inside the residential area at the bottom of the hill that overlooks the Split harbour.
We had nothing but fish/seafood at these two places. Matejuska had the best fried shrimp and little fishes, while I thought the fresh grilled fish was better at Majan. All in the best dish of the holiday was the fried shrimp from Matejuska... they were super fresh, really light crisp batter and cooked to perfection.
If fish/seafood isn't your thing then I'm no help :-)