Excellent food spots, exquisite wine spots

Sipan tavern Kod Marka belongs to one of the esteemed taverns among yachtsmen, so during the nautical season it is pointless going there without making a prior appointment, the best would be a day ahead of arrival since seating capacity of forty places is mostly occupied. Always fresh fish, discreet though impeccable service and unique terrace ambience right by the sea are reasons skippers and captains always come back to Marko. The host also prepares mooring buoys for guests and if the occasion arises even picks them up with a small boat. Some thirty years ago, Marko Prizmic from Korcula founded the tavern, and even today cooks there regularly; hence, his son Dino has taken up the business. ’Mainly we offer fish, and we get fresh fish supplies from §ipan fishers, crabs and shrimp we buy from fish trailers; nevertheless we offer meat dishes and vegetarian menus as well. Fresh food and ingredients prepared carefully with a dash of imagination are the essences of our business. The menu is changing all the time, depending on the catch. The fish season is taken into consideration. Guests are used to this custom and always return with confidence’, emphasises Dino. ‘Le polpettine di' octopus, risotto, shrimp, fish milk, fried squids... are appetisers that can be tasted at tavern ‘Kod Marka' in the summertime, followed up by grilled fish or Korcula popare, tavern's trademark. Priimié family brought from Korcula popara recipe passed on from generation to generation. Apart from popara, another speciality of this house would be ‘le polpettine di' octopus prepared according to a rather simple recipe that demands patience, time and experience. ‘When an octopus is cooked and skinned, it tastes neutrality, so the taste is defined by spices. The preparation process is the same as for meatballs, only no eggs. Only olive oil and fresh spices. Obligatory to know is cooking time, how to skin it... It depends on its size and season. It takes the experience to make good ‘le polpettine di' octopus’, explained Dino. ‘All vegetables served derive from §ipan, the backyard of the restaurant is rich with rosemary, mint, sage, rocket, saffron... vegetables are supplied from local gardeners. Tavern opens the door in Easter time and closes around mid-October when sea enthusiasts sail away home.


At the beginning of our office sea excursion as soon as we spotted a note saying ‘There is nothing left!', we knew right away that our host Jakov Begovic - known as fisher expert, but also a great joker - has prepared a special evening in the honour of our arrival expecting us in the only and unique tuna bar on Adriatic. That same day Jakov has returned from a few days fishing tour and brought fresh grouper and tuna, and local fishers supplied him with some sea spiders, so he proudly emphasised we can enjoy the tastes of caviar of golden grey mullet, the most precious and expensive fish food on our coast. Locals say any mother would give everything to her child accept butarda! That is caviar taken out of only one kind of golden grey mullet female species, people call it here batas, this female fish lives in Neretva, and it is caught only two weeks in a year when it is time to spawn. From my point of view, that is food number one, and number two would be sea spider... My favourite is crab meat taken out of the crab's body shell, a part of the meat is spread on bread, and the rest is left inside of crab shell with a few drops of oil and then left to boil. Later enriched with only a pinch of pepper, though this bar is the only one using ‘pepper from Pacific island Pohnpeia, the best in the world’, claims Jakov, and continued the only reasonable wine choice pairing with that food would be plavac mali, the only question is which sort. In ‘Tuna Bar’ it still has not been decided whether their favourite is Grgicevor Vicelicev or the one from the wine cellar Korta Katarina. We left Jakov debating about the best choice of plavac mali sort, and as the day was fading away, with an amazing sunset view behind Hvar we let our senses enjoy creations of young chef Tadej Kovac-Andric, explaining to us that the menu of Tuna Bare is rather flexible, they prepare seasonal food - never more than five or six meal courses a day. The only condition to be met is fresh food, prepared slowly, diligently and creatively. Tadej had a grouper and tuna that day, so the first course consisted of grouper tartar seasoned with fennel, salt flower, pepper and oil, followed by tuna tartar enhanced with pepper and olive oil, capers giving it a tart flavour, with next sequence of grouper Carpaccio, soured with juice of two bitter oranges, pepper, salt and oil, lying on bed of fresh cucumber salad. Raw, hence extremely tasty was the next meal: tuna sashimi with a pinch of wasabi and soya sauce, guided by Neretva shrimp soup and topped up with delicious dessert: homemade ravioli filled with golden grey mullet caviar prepared by his wife.


Two fireplaces, stone and wood tables, a yard with a huge almond tree, surrounded by attached stone houses and smafl stone huts, endless olive groves... with unique Vis vista — scenery of domestic household Tonci Miletic-Gulin, a Vela Luka guy, who ten years ago after being laid off from shipyard Greben, first planted olives on his ancestor’s land, then reconstructed and rebuilt old stone huts and finally started family catering business offering autochthonous Vela Luka food, following centuries-old recipes. ‘Mostly we prepare what we grow, l catch fish, make my own wine and oil, vegetables grow in our garden, everything prepared according to traditional way as it is still done in every Vela Luka house. We cook on gas, refrigerators are supplied by electrical generating unit, and water comes from the well. We do not need electricity for music and songs’, says Tonci, for years first tenor of famous klapa Osjak, and now sings only when his klapa friends come to see him, which is not such a rare occasion because guests enjoy old klapa song. ‘Americans are crazy about it, so many apart from good food, also come for a good song.’ Even though a bit isolated and ‘out of hand’, five kilometres away from Vela Luka on the road leading towards motor camp, domestic household of Tonci Miletic is inevitable Korcula gastro spot; one can always enjoy their fresh grilled fish, delicious brodetto, cooked food, vegetables and potatoes. ‘Every morning, around five-six, I start my fishing expedition, l love fishing with a fishhook Ikanrfanica, I am a master of it, l must say. I always catch red scorpionfish or common sea bream, nice pieces that end up on my barbecue the same evening. There are no secrets when it comes to the preparation method, most important is fresh fish seasoned with quality olive oil’, says Tonci. The wines Gulina family serve are exquisite; it is a blend of plavac, i.e.rukatac, Babic, autochthonous Korcula combination of a special aroma. A prevailing element of this household is a unique ambience. Tonci reconstructed old stone huts with his bare hands, following traditional construction methods of a drystone wall, so the entire household looks like a postcard from ancient times.