Adriatic, the sea of hedonism


In Duce, close to Omis, some twenty kilometres south of Split, a genuine pearl of Dalmatian tourist offer is located: Damianii hotels - boutique hotel with l2 spacious rooms in art deco style, furnished with designers furniture of impeccable lines and materials, not only special for its luxurious interior features, but also for interesting gastro-eno offer. Restaurant Gold Code provides only 35 places in a modern and pleasant ambience one can experience culinary adventures created by young chef Spiro Pavlic, enthusiast with impressive experience, inspiration and hunger for growth. While you are waiting for Spiro's visual and sensual creation, you cannot remain impassive to personnel's effort to make your stay pleasant, atmosphere and view overlooking the swimming pool and distant islands Brac and Hvar. Surrounded by palm trees and sea scent with soft jazz and lounge music playing discreetly, you can immerse into enjoyment you will always remember. Blackfish with fruit in olive oil, honey and citrus fruits emulsion or octopus in tempura, good starters before fish or meat delicacies paired well with wines from a rich wine list. Food is fresh, homemade including noodles and homemade ice cream. Those brave and open-minded ones can experience chef's surprises: four meal courses with carefully selected wines... with the last sweet touch according to a recipe of confectionary school in Montpellier, where §piro learnt secrets of preparing high-quality treats. For those guests staying at rooms with jacuzzi a real revelation is breakfast a la carte, apart from standard croissants and different spreads, a specially created card opens up the whole world oi wild choices like meat, cheese or fish plate, different milk sorts and yogurts, cereals, salads, desserts... all customized, including food for vegans and vegetarians. Those curious cats and fans of extraordinary design and top quality service, along with creative food of high gastronomy, shall manage to find their hedonistic oasis behind the doors of Damianii hotel and Gold Code restaurant.


First of all, the restaurant is a philosophy, ponder and creativity - it should be taken as your own home and presented as such to quests! All rules applied to warm family feast have to be applied to a restaurant business as well... with a small difference, a feast sensation lives in a restaurant every day. The same sensation of a feast fisher used to feel when finding a hut as a shelter during a tempest while waiting for the wrath of God to calm down. Back then all it took was a sip of home-made Teran, a piece of cheese or quickly made polenta. The hut turned into a tavern, and passersby discovered fine refreshments there. The very first clients of this tavern were Pula Austrians, and so the tavern gained German name: F iseherhutte. Soon that ordinary tavern became ‘in-destination’, heaven for gentry eager to run away from the city hustle and bustle and daily routine. New Year's parties were celebrated there, weddings, scenes of sorrow, nostalgia dance... inspiration for those who have decided to inhale life into the fisher's hut again. Today's owners have embarked on an adventure, though not an unpredictable one: everything is meticulously planned, starting from visual identity to gastro philosophy combining tradition and courage offering guests exactly what they are looking for and educating them as well. This is not just an etno-gastro flash event: philosophy of this restaurant is of a lasting character and serves to give pleasure to those yearning for a good old feeling of a restaurant. Homegrown tomatoes and vegetables, Istrian olive oil, homemade wine treasured in an adjacent cellar, potatoes of Pazin... rosemary, laurel and basil, all fresh from the garden, accompanied with impeccable preparation of basic food, meat, fish, seafood - washed in seawater from the tap - represent the backbone of the offer. Sea bass and vegetables Pula soup served in flatboat moulds stand for a trademark of this house. Ln France chef is the star, and here the star and chef title goes to - food! The governing law is season: menus are based on seasonal food adorned with a dash of theatre and mystification. Kitchen stir can be observed through a glass barrier; hence it is not the only surprise - the price of this joie de vivre experience is less than expected for such level, providing guests from the terrace Vertigo, as the name implies, a splendid view over the most protected marina on north Adriatic. One can enjoy ‘aroma-therapy’ ambience, a combination of perfume and smell of high-quality cigars, in Marsal hall - a perfect match with its name. If you wish to invigorate yourself during hot summer nights, go down to the sea level to Perla, during tide flooded for a few inches. Empty seashells are thrown here back into the sea: pearl shells glitter from the sea bottom creating a naturally designed interior.


Vineyards of west Istria have always been a synonym of the best Istrian wines, though the recently south region of Istria can also be complimented for top-quality wine sorts of the house Medea. On account of enthusiasts, using the element of mild climate a new step in winemaking has been set named malvasia Medea — of exquisite character, defined by the sun and area it grows on. People of wine cellars Medea in Vodnian are doing their best to understand soil character and their own creativity, to blend experience and knowledge with nature and its fruits. We are talking about wine made of grapes of basic autochthonous malvasia, hiding in its title Montiron, a place where this preserved variety has been cultivated. Vineyards are spread on l2 hectares, but for this sort, only the best grapes are selected. The dominant aroma of white acacia flowers and scented vineyard peaches, lime and yellow grapefruit enrich wine taste with sweet-sour aroma. It is a tight wine and can be served as an aperitif, a perfect match with light fish dinners. Those who expect from red Istrian wine something light, portable and ‘casual’ do not have to experiment. One more in the line of these pearls is Medea merlot, produced from grapes deriving from Campanoi near Medulin. Deep south Istrian red soil, only three kilometres away from the sea, has garnished this wine with the ruby-red colour of purple tones and bouquet of strawberries and raspberries with the discrete aroma of white pepper and chocolate. Sommeliers recommend it along with Istrian fuzi in chicken gravy. South mild slopes of semi-island facing the sea are the right selection for growing merlot. ‘Degustibus non-disputandum esse' - l suggest you taste it yourself: come to Istria, visit Fisher's hut and let your taste buds be the judge of our story.


Until recently, neither Split nor Dalmatia had a wine bar where a guest could enjoy exclusive wines by the glass, while at the same time sampling more than one type of cheese. Even though one would think that offering wine and cheese would be at the heart of the region's wine and gastronomic culture; however, such a pairing has been largely overlooked. This was one of the reasons why Kotor-born Zoran Pejovic and his longtime friend from Split, Marko Sucic, decided to dub their wine and cheese bar, opened just a year ago, Paradox.

The guiding principle behind their project was to offer wines made from autochthone Dalmatian grape varieties. Therefore, the majority of the wines on their extensive list, which features some 120 labels, are Dalmatian wines from grape varieties such as Posip, Debit, Marastina, Kujundiusa, Plavac Mali, Babic, Lasin and Crljenak. ’l believe that guests in Dalmatia should be enjoying Dalmatian wines and food in order to experience the region fully. That's why we work mainly with small, family-owned wine and cheese producers. Also, we put a special emphasis on the service side of things, which is what makes the difference’, says co-owner Pejovic. Who has a versatile hospitality background. He graduated in hotel management at the American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, worked at five-star hotels in California and China, and worked at the world-renowned resort chain Amanresorts. He also worked for the prestigious Silver Sea Cruises as Head Sommelier. Pejovic says that ‘After ten years in the luxury hospitality segment, the only natural thing was to start a business of my own where l could implement the experience and knowledge gathered while working around the globe. Split seemed like a great choice, as l believe it is the city with the greatest tourist potential on the Adriatic. Currently, probably at no more than thirty percent of its potential, I see Split as the Barcelona of the Adriatic - the Mediterranean wine and food capital, but also the centre of sports, music, culture, and historical heritage... That is what we need to strive for, and that is what we do, at a smaller scale at Paradox, by offering the best and most representative Dalmatian wines and cheeses.‘ Paradox combines two very traditional Dalmatian products, wine and cheese. They offer almost 60 wines by the glass, of which at least 50 are from Dalmatia. ‘The way l select the wines for the wine list is extremely subjective’, admits Zoran. He chooses wines and moreover winemakers that he personally respects and makes his final selections after visiting their production units. During the winter months, Paradox offers some imported Old World wines, but come summer-time, the focus is truly local. As tourists know very little about Croatian wines, and certain varieties are difficult to pronounce, Zlahtina or Crljenak for instance, the wine list at Paradox is not sorted by grape varieties or regions but based on the wine intensity. Wines are listed in 9 categories, with l0 to l2 wines in each category. That way, a guest who likes full-bodied reds gets to choose from a list of l0 to 12 wines instead of looking at a list of 100 wines. Professional, highly trained staff is one of the trademarks of Paradox as waiters are there to guide the guest by offering cheese pairing and other suggestions.

Their education is ongoing, sometimes just by sampling new wines, listening to the winemakers and being part of the organised consumer wine tastings held in the bar. ‘Wine is a rather complex subject, and the French are large to be ‘blamed’ for that. By mystifying the wine and using complex vocabulary, they have tried to keep the secrets of the wine world to themselves, only to be understood by wine connoisseurs. Our goal is to try to demystify the wine and bring it closer to the general public’, explains Zoran Pejovic. Wine culture in Croatia is not at the desired level, somewhat due to bureaucracy. For example, in the Croatian classification of restaurants and bars, we still do not have ‘wine bar’ as a separate entity while there is ‘beer pub’, even though Croatia should be, because of its thousand-year-long winemaking tradition, wine and not beer country. Also, up until a decade ago, you couldn't serve wines by the glass, only by the bottle. However, local guests have voiced very positive feedback to Split‘s first wine and cheese bar. ‘Guests cherish the possibility to sample three or four different wines at a time. They very often listen to our recommendations as well. During the past few months, we held l9 wine tastings, and we have already developed a regular clientele. They come for a glass of wine, fine cheeses, a pleasant atmosphere and great service’, says Zoran Pejovic. Internet and Facebook play an important role in bringing Paradox closer to their foreign guests. TripAdvisor, the world's most popular travel site, has Paradox listed at the top of its list of Split restaurants. Guests mainly comment about the waiters who are very knowledgeable, about the pleasant ambience and the great wine and cheese selection. ‘l do what l like and what l believe in and do it sincerely. My wish is for the guests to leave Paradox and Dalmatia with the feeling that they have experienced something unique, as that experience will be the reason for them to come back’, concludes Zoran Pejovic.


We have already shared our experience with you on the subject Catovica Mlini tavern, but since we wish to bring before your feet an overview of a wide variety of gastro spots on the Adriatic, we simply could not omit this unique facility that neatly indulges taste buds, heart and soul. There is a wide spectrum of ambiences that pamper sea lovers’ sensations, starting from Kornati landscape, over traditional stone structures to glittering pearls of catering business. Nevertheless, located at the mouth of river reachable by a dingy, Lazar's place featherbeds you with its genuine scenery of animals and vegetation that can only be found on Plitvice Lakes, though tavern ambience can be depicted as traditional Dalmatian. A small private paradise is situated in Morinj in the heart of Boka surrounded by tall mountains. Even Hollywood celebrities are enchanted by its splendour. Yet, each guest feels welcomed. A highly requested quality, however a rare case on the Adriatic. This heaven on earth provides fresh food and probably the best wine selection we have witnessed so far. Wallow in hedonistic pleasures of traditional delicacies surpassing with its quality creative fusions and ‘nouvele' culinary inventions. This place furnishes a blend of sensational experiences. It is a magical oasis that gives rise to inflammation guests carry in their hearts for a long time and certainly comes back to it. The secret of such quality lies in the owner's passion for Mediterranean cuisine that has even made him grow his own vegetables, but also in his attitude towards guests sharing with them food and drinks gusto. So, if you ask us, enough reasons to put this pearl on our cruising itinerary.


The oldest town on the island of Brac with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world-famous Zlatni rat - as of this summer can boast about with a perfect night hang out spot: YOLO, an exclusive night club that shall certainly launch Bol into the centre of summer events. Brad has been aching for such a modern club, refreshing tourist offer and new set of guests, so YOLO brings a new wave of hedonism to Brat. YOLO stands for ‘You Only Live Once’ - this title served as the seed of interior design theme and expected spirit of guests to come. Owner, excellent chef and entrepreneur Vinko Marinkovié from Bol named the club. YOLO - You Only Live Once, is a little bit adjusted James Bond slogan that inspired designer for creating James Bond-ambience. The centre of the bar with vaulted barrel ceiling was the heart of inspiration and designer respected and preserved its origin. This summer Y0l.0 will be a host to DJs of House, Latino and RnB music. Vinko Vice Marinkovic, owner of this exclusive night club YOLO has been presenting his culinary arts and skills in Bol for years: passion and 12 years of experience derived from his endless trips and visits to the Bermudas, Cayman Islands and the USA, so he simply transferred it all to his birthplace on Brat. Restaurant Vagabundo grew from seeds of enthusiasm and experience, rapidly accepted and esteemed for its fresh quality food and kind personnel, highly recommended on TripAdvisor, a place where guests rate service and the food they have experienced. Vagabundo's splendid summer terrace offers a breathtaking view of the sea and Hvar. A pleasant atmosphere at the restaurant adorns piano player Filip with ear and soul indulging music. Vagabundo provides meals of high-quality ingredients, healthy food, fresh herbs, impeccable olive oil, seasonal fruits, all genuine Dalmatian nutrients. A carefully selected wine list contains top-quality domestic and foreign wines always enriched with new brands. Vagabundo is famous for excellent catering services in case of weddings, special occasions, corporate dinners or team building events. Food is prepared under the surveillance of the skilful chef Vinko Marinkovic. Kind personnel, experience and passion are only some of the work motivation elements for his crew. Expect nothing less than perfection!


Korcula's restaurant Tramonto is a famous oasis for epicureans and hedonists, whose delicacies, refined atmosphere and the unique view of Dubrovnik and the Peljesac Channel have in these past fifteen years attracted numerous jet-setters - this is place that lured Giorgio Armani, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Caroline of Monaco, John Malkovich, Morcheeba and many others. If you hear a celebrity is cruising the waters of Southern Adriatic, you can be sure they will sooner or later visit Tramonto. This exclusive restaurant with excellent service wows with delicacies prepared with fresh, organic, locally grown ingredients, just the way local grandmas have been cooking them for centuries, but with a modern twist. Tramonto has a cocktail bar as well, which is popular for young people and every one that feels the same way, and VIP guests will as of this summer get a chance to enjoy the gourmet offer of another restaurant owned by the same family, adjacent to Tramonto - a garden restaurant Eden. Chef Ivan Skrobo prepares every meal out in the garden, for all the guests to see and to choose exquisite locally grown ingredients brought fresh from the market every morning. Eden's VIP guests can enjoy the Velvet pea soup with amuse bouche, French onion soup with toast and cheese, Crepes and tuna cake with Mediterranean herb yogurt dip, avocado jelly and tomato caviar, Steak Caprese with mozzarella, zucchini and truffle dumpling on celery foam, or Sage and vanilla creme brulée with dried fruit. Both Tramonto and Eden have excellent wine cards, with fine local wines such as Grk, Posip and Dingac. ‘Eden is ideal for guests tired of the crowds and noise, but also tired of predictable menus. Located in the garden of our centuries-old family home, surrounded by old walls, this restaurant is as intimate as it gets. The atmosphere is wonderful, the setting perfect for a go at our delicious food and wine, as many of our guests will gladly confirm’, says the owner of both restaurants, Mr Borko lvancevic. LF Tramonto or Eden sound like just the place for your palate, find them in the heart of the city of Korcula, on the western city gate, atop the stairs near Hotel Korcula.