Lately, many local taverns have taken a turn towards much better service and polished interiors. Not only old, but there are several newly built that are stepping forward with their service and variety of meals that are rooted in our traditional cuisine but improved and, not always good, Italianized…
One of the latest newly built places is Konoba Griblja, tavern in Sukošan, near Zadar. It got it’s name after a traditional tool of local farmers but that’s where the connection with tradition ends. Yes, it is a beautifully restored traditional building (former ruin) and yes, the menu is rooted in the traditional offer of the region but the place is just “too nice” and it is simply a “restaurant” and should not be called a tavern or konoba as we refer to taverns locally.
Taverns used to be small places with seats for merely 20 people and everything evolved around wine since the wine barrels used to be the most important part of the tavern. Food was basic and traditional: salted sardines, pršut – smoked ham, cheese… nothing cooked.
Now we have “taverns” on two floors…
The important thing is that the food is good!
A bit on a pricey side (pastas from 70 kn…), the dishes are nicely arranged, ingredients fresh and each plate comes full so one dish may be the only you will have since you will not have room for more!
I would recommend to go with seafood being really good and tasty.
The bill for three was reasonable – 50 Euros with water and beer. Their selection of wines is great but a bit overpriced. Other than that, Griblja is highly recommended for family lunch and even going for a business lunch/dinner. There are two separate rooms in addition to the main dining area and the bar on the first floor, where one can have private parties or business meetings. Quite a smart move to have rooms that can provide total privacy!
With room for about 100 guests, Griblja is a lovely restaurant with many traditional and rustic details that give charm and make it a lovely addition to otherwise quite dull offer of restaurants and taverns in Zadar area. Griblja is perfect for corporate dinners and parties as well!
UPDATE, October 2011 – the quality of the original Griblja is simply gone… The dishes are pale, non interesting. I don’t see a reason to go there any longer unless something really changes for the better. Too bad for a place with such a potential but the new chef is simply making too many mistakes thinking that he can serve anything he wants.