Recently, we have been invited to inspect Hotel Apolon in Stari Grad on Hvar Island. It was a pleasant surprise over a year ago when I first visited but, what intrigued me even more, was the restaurant that everyone was raving about. So, we used the opportunity to visit and taste some of their favorites.
There are several great hotel-restaurants in Croatia but not so many in Dalmatia which is a pity considering all the riches we have: from seafood to fruit, from herbs to meat. But, several attempts are already making a big difference. One of them is Apolon.
I have to admit that, when I first saw their menu, I was not impressed. Used to modern cuisine in better restaurants, their offer looks sort of boring with only typical classics you can find in, pretty much any tavern or regular seafood restaurant.
But I was seriously wrong…
The manager Rico explained their/his philosophy and he is spot on! Why reinventing something that is so superb? Dalmatian cuisine has it all and all it needs is a modern touch and someone creative to put it on the table. Of course, there are GREAT chefs all over the coast that are bringing that fresh air to our culinary scene.
We started with a bruschetta and every single dish was nothing short of superb! Not only in their taste but also in quite creative presentation by young chef Duje.
Some will immediately notice similarities with Grašo restaurant (in Split) menu. The chef spent some time cooking there but everything at Apolon is seriously better that at Grašo. Somehow feels fresh and modern while the tastes are superb! Everything is simply delicious and each one of the dishes that were brought out is worth coming back. Seafood, of course, is the main reason to come as it is very fresh. Most of the vegetables are grown in the restaurant garden or they buy them from organic producers on the island.
Needles to talk about the wine list as Apolon is on Hvar; famous for Tomić, Duboković, Plenković… and many other great wine producers.
Again, a VERY pleasant surprise and well worth stop on either your cruise or a getaway from Hvar town crowds. Stari Grad feels like stepping back in time. Thanks to Restaurant Apolon, not in culinary way.