Restaurants in Split – eating out in Split

So this was an exciting summer for all of us who like eating out from time to time. There are many newly opened restaurants in Split following the booming of tourism and increase of number of travelers who choose Split as their destination.
Most of the restaurants are trying to have something other than boring, classic offer like grilled meat and fish and one major new trend is “Dalmatian tapas”. The finest example of small bites with good wines is Pikuleca by Dino Galvagno. We simply love that place although the portions are small and not exactly inexpensive but this is my favorite choice for late night, light food. The tastes are simply superb and unlike anything you can eat on the coast but still respecting the tradition and local ingredients. I would only prefer that it is more Dalmatian and without Istrian wines.

Octopus - at Pikuleca
Octopus – at Pikuleca

 

So, this summer we had opportunity to eat at:
newly opened F de Mar on the western promenade which was ok as the service was sloooow,
Bokeria – God knows what that was. The interior, however, is stunning.
Brasserie on 7 – EXCELLENT burgers (served only till 7 PM grrrrrr)
Uje Bar – quite ok. Will eat again.
Villa Spiza – great as usual
Chops Steak & Grill – Superb steak selection and great service!
Korta – always great!
…and few others.

We particularly enjoyed newly opened Paradigma as the  best (the only?) choice for fine dining in Split with superb dishes and great wine selection. This is their version of octopus!

Octopus - at Paradigma

Turbot - at Paradigma
Turbot – at Paradigma

One of our favorite lunches was served at Restaurant Dvor, Firule neighborhood of Split. Located in a finely restored classic Split  house by the sea, Dvor offers one of the most romantic settings in all of Split. 
The food is always good but the staff seems to be a bot more relaxed than they should. It does not bother me but would prefer more professional attitude. We always enjoy their ginger and carrot soup! 

Ginger and carrot spicy soup at Dvor restaurant
Ginger and carrot spicy soup at Dvor restaurant

And I also like how they serve classic soparnik for couvert.

Soparnik with olives and olive oil
Soparnik with olives and olive oil

The best seafood we ate at Matejuška tavern. Just a tiny place for locals has been made quite popular due to top position on Trip Advisor. Not sure if they will be able to maintain the quality, but everything we had (tuna and flaunder) was simply superb! This place is also quite inexpensive as the 5 of us ate for 100 Euros (three courses with house wine).

Seafood lunch at Konoba Matejuska
Seafood lunch at Konoba Matejuska

There are definitely many great additions to Split restaurant scene and I am glad the town is slowly becoming an interesting place to eat out. Split  – and its guests – deserve it!

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Hercules of Brac – in search of ancient quarries

Few weeks back, a friend of mine organized a group to go to Brac Island and learn more on the Roman quarries of Brac. The group was led by an authority on Roman quarries, Dr. Mate Parica who is THE person to go to if interested in ancient quarries. Not only that he has seen the most of the quarries in the region, he also did a lot of research on rock quarrying and ancient techniques. Brač is still the best place for getting quality stone and the tradition is ancient. Only a short ferry ride away, Brac  makes a great place for historic research and what better place to start from but the Museum of Brac at Skrip village.

The Museum of Brac at Skrip
The Museum of Brac in Skrip

We started at the museum as it has a lovely collection of Hercules reliefs – something very closely connected to ancient stone masons and quarry workers.

The thumb of mother of Constantine the Great.. at least a theory
The thumb of mother of Constantine the Great.. at least a theory

The workers  – usually slaves and prisoners of war – working at the quarries had to be tough and strong: just like Hercules. Thus so many representations and altars dedicated to this ancient hero.

Hercules
Hercules

Skrip Museum is a lovely place telling the story of the most ancient times on the island. There is also a megalithic construction behind the actual building. Probably an ancient fortress. All those unique layers, make Skrip simply a must see for everyone visiting!

And then we moved on in search of actual quarries and more Hercules statues…

The quarry of Rasohe
The quarry of Rasohe

The quarry of Rasohe was particularly impressive and it was interesting to see that local community made an effort to actually clan everything and put signs to it. This is the place where stone for Diocletian’s Palace was actually taken from. Hundreds of slaves must have worked at this place and quarries were probably the worse places to work at back in those days… I could think of few worse ones (like mines and underground aqueducts) but this was very difficult and demanding work. The Rasohe quarry is quite impressive but Mate told us of a quarry on Vrnik island near Korčula being much bigger and far more impressive than this one! A place to visit!

Mate Parica explaining basic techniques for excavating stone
Mate Parica explaining basic techniques for excavating stone

Mate also explained a lot on how the stone was taken out and transported to the sea and on the vessels to modern day Split. We were also explained the techniques and methods of getting the best stone. Quite fascinating as Roman engineers did not take any chances and were using only the best stone for the most important buildings. But we were not alone! Beautiful  four-lined snake (Kravosas in Croatian) was hiding and waiting for us to go away.

Europe's largest nonvenomous colubrid species
Europe’s largest nonvenomous colubrid species

Before we left, we had to see  Hercules of Rasohe Quarry. The image does not give a proper feeling of the beauty of this great relief and it simply has to be seen in real life to be appreciated. The art work is not the greatest and it is generally considered that this was done by one of the slaves, with basic tools and not too much time. . But the Hercules also suffered from the weather in all this 1700+ years it has been out there…

The Hercules of Rasohe
The Hercules of Rasohe

Our next stop was at beautiful Lovrečina bay. Not just another of many beautiful bays and inlets of Brač Island.

Lovrečina bay
Lovrečina bay

The remains of an early christian church (5. or 6th ct)  in this bay are one of the most interesting in the country for it’s baptistery and nicely preserved wall paintings. Nothing fancy – just a simple color pattern – but still a valuable evidence of original traditions. Brač is also known for numerous ancient churches and chapels scattered all over this beautiful island but we are leaving those for another visit.

Remains of an ancient church
Remains of an ancient church

Brač is a great destination for both culture and nature lovers. It is like a small continent with amazing wealth of all sorts of sites dating back to the first inhabitants of our Adriatic coast and continuing with Romans, medieval settlements, villages hidden deep in the interior hiding from the pirates and danger. It is also a place of great culinary traditions so we stopped at quite popular Kopačina restaurant, before getting back on a ferry, for some traditional food and great local wine.

Kopačina Restaurant
Kopačina Restaurant

Only 50 minutes back. Enough for a nap. The ferries connect Split and Supetar many times a day year round.

Ferry back to Split
Ferry back to Split

Another great visit to this beautiful island…

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Villa Ruza Restaurant – Kolocep Island, Dubrovnik

Villa Ruža has been on the list of top Dubrovnik area restaurants for some time now. It is located on the island of Koločep and not easy to get to unless you are chartering a boat or having a private motor boat transfer to the island. But, it is a stunning place worth visiting and eating at!

Villa Ruža - from the sea
Villa Ruža – from the sea

The location is superb for romantic dinner or events like weddings or private parties. If your group is not too big, then you can only book “glorijet” with great views. Especially at sunset!

Glorijet
Glorijet

The rest of the tables are either under the pine trees or overlooking the water. Pretty spacious place!

Seating by the sea
Seating by the sea

Villa Ruza was built in 1930 by a rich merchant from Dubrovnik. The villa was dedicated as a symbol of love to his wife. The property is located a the very entrance of  Donje Celo bay. With the most beautiful terrace in the Dubrovnik area, the Villa is certainly one of the most romantic places on the Adriatic Coast.
We visited out of main season so it was very quiet. Which was perfect: just a maestral breeze and the sounds of nature with us.

Since this was our first time, we opted for chef’s recommendations. The manager/chef – Rudjer – is a great guy who really knows how to please his guests and we had some of the most demanding clients loving the experience at the Villa Ruza. Rudjer recommended to go with several appetizers: mix of seafood and vegetables.

Carpaccio
Carpaccio

But for the main, chef usually recommends any of the traditional classics: great fish or steak for meat lovers. We opted for fish and we did not choose bad: a freshly caught kernja (grouper) was superbly grilled for us! And great combination with Senjković Bosso

Grilled grouper
Grilled grouper

We always leave room for dessert. And, at Villa Ruza, that is simply a must! A collection of great desserts is served for those who have hard time deciding what to have.

Desserts
Desserts

And the time flies when you are having a great time with great people over a superb dinner. Villa Ruza is still one of the best places in the region for exceptional settings and meals.

The night is falling---
The night is falling—

Until we return…

Croatia Travel