That’s the local Dubrovnik equivalent of ‘bon appetit’ for the unaccustomed. With the seafood spoils of the Dalmatian Coast on it’s doorstep and the neighbouring nation of Italy playing such an epicurean and cultural influence, it’s little wonder Dubrovnik’s visitors leave with tingling taste buds as well as fond memories of this red-tiled jewel of the Adriatic. And whilst there’s plenty to see and do in Dubrovnik, it’s hunger inducing work and therefore let’s dig our forks in and run through what you can expect to find in a typical Dubrovnik dish.
“Predjelos” OR Appetisers/Starters
A popular choice to begin any Croatian feast is a selection of cold meats, you’ll most likely see Prsut on the menu. This is a cousin of the world famous Italian prosciutto ham but produced Dalmatian style; smoked and cut incredibly thinly, served with local cheeses and olives, I guess Italy is closer than you think!
“Glavno Jelo” OR Main Course
Ok, where to start! Fish is a staple, obviously guaraunteed freshness due to the harbour enveloping the town. It’s the ‘done thing’ in most traditional restaraunts to ask the waiter to bring over a tray of raw fish, which you then select from (or point if you don’t speak Croatian) and he or she will have the chef grill it for you. The chef will then either marinade, dress or rub your fish, usually with olive oil, garlic and lemon, simple but incredibly tasty. Expect to find sea bass (bizarrely given two names – Lubin and Brancin) for a fraction of the price in the UK. The locals really ‘go to town’ on the seafood dishes, frequenting most menus are Octopus salads, Grouper, Scorpion Fish and perhaps most intruiging of all is ‘black risotto’ which essentially dyed through the ink of a cuttlefish.
“Slatkis/Dessert” OR Dessert!
Whilst you’ll find most Dubrovnik eateries offering the usual sugary suspects of ice cream, gateaux and other ‘cake’, the stand out local dessert of choice is unquestionably ‘Dubrovachi Rožata’, a Dubrovnik speciality similar to crème caramel though it does have a little twist that comes via the Dubrovnik Liqueur Rozalin (rose liqueur) that it’s produced with, giving it a fragrant floral aroma. The Croatians do like a pancake too, so look out for ‘palacinke’ on the menu and ask for oodles of marmalade to mirror the locals.
If you’re watching a budget, which readers of globocation usually are, then Proto is a good choice, you wont find many global fast food chains in the city (which we think is a blessing) so perhaps take yourself away from the central area and try Spaghetteria Toni or Dundo-Maroje Tavern.
The Wanda Restaurant has been receiving stellar reviews and has recently been voted Time Out’s Best Restaurant in Dubrovnik – signature dishes are osso buco (veal shanks) with saffron risotto and exemplary pasta dishes. Spend £15 or upwards on the fixed menu’s and prepare to be fed the best of the chef’s repertoire.
For a seat by the sea whilst you eat your breakfast, dinner or tea try http://www.restaurant-orsan-dubrovnik.com/ (located in Lapad on the peninsula) or the incredibly popular fish restaurant http://www.mea-culpa.hr/.