This year we start our family holiday in Dubrovnik where a friend of mine has a rental place. I am excited- Dubrovnik is beautiful, restaurants are plentiful and the wines of Dalmatia are delicious.
Upon our arrival, I start making plans where to eat during the week. My friend is a tall, naturally skinny and luscious curly hair kind of woman. The kind which is always relaxed. I am sure that comes from never having had a bad hair day in her life. I, on the other hand, am a little OCD, my hair is crap and I need reservations.
After some research on the internet- looking at pictures of restaurant food and getting hungrier by the minute- I call 360•
“Good morning, I would like a reservation for 8 people on Thursday.”
“We can’t take reservations over the phone. You must do it online as we need your card info as security.”
“Can you take my card info over the phone?”
Doing the reservation is not hard. I pick a time slot and the number of people. I am done. Or am I?
Ping- You have got mail- your chosen time slot is not possible. You can get a different one. I try to confirm a different timeslot. Try to call again but nothing helps. The next day after having no confirmation and no call back I decided to cancel. Too much adrenaline for me.
We go to a restaurant outside of Dubrovnik in Zaton. It is called Gverovic Orsan and has been there for a while. When we arrive I am immediately taken even before the food.
The tables are basically on the water overlooking the bay. Lovely views lovely setting. I am so hungry. And I am not disappointed- oysters, lobster salat, fish carpaccio.
The sea is beautiful and the Dingac excellent. The main event is an Amber Jack prepared to perfection. The ambient and the food are excellent.
I still want to try a restaurant or two in the centre of Dubrovnik and call Above 5 the next day.
“Can I reserve a table for 8 on Thursday.”
“Yes, but the restaurant will not be open if it rains.”
“Reserve it anyway, please.”
I arrive expecting fabulous views and divine food. Unfortunately I arrive to find out reservation lost. I am not a happy bunny. I go a bit balkan at them- this is a verb my husband invented to describe croatian woman loosing it and shouting whilst waving their hands in the air. My curly hair friend is completely calm. I wish I had hair like that. I swear I would never get upset. Even if they lost my reservations all the time. I would just wave my hair arround like Harry Potters wand and smile at people.
I remember a restaurant my aunt used to take me to in Dubrovnik. Konoba Rozario. I call.
“Do you have a table for 8?”
“Now, they lost my reservation…”
It all spills out of me and the man on the other side of the line clearly senses my desperation. He says – I will make you a table.
The restaurant is in the Old town which currently stars as Kings Landing in GoT. It is just nestled in between steps and little narrow streets. Charming. It hasnt changed since I have been there years ago.
The waiter immediately sees how upset I still am and hands me a Travarica (a herb Brandy shot) which would calm down a horse. We have a variety of dishes. The brodeto is a highlight. Mussels and black risotto are really good quality and not some tourist trash with random black ink.
We drink Grk made by Brie. It is a domestic grape which grows locally on certain islands. White wine divine. My seabass is moist and lovely. I am happy my reservation fell though. They bring creme caramel for dessert locally known as Rožata. They claim it comes from Dubrovnik although I have been to more than one place that claims to have invented that dish. I try it. I am convinced- the creme caramel is from Dubrovnik.
So far Dubrovnik restaurants are great albeit some can’t take reservations. Maybe they can’t cope with so many tourists and should invest more in their front of house.
I buy tickets to go to the Opera. No less. The Dubrovnik summer festival is really cool if you are even a little bit into culture. Concerts, plays, opera, mostly done open air in an unusual setting. I watched Murder in the Cathedral by TS Eliot set in front one of the beautiful churches of Dubrovnik.
The opera Orlando we are watching is going to be on a little Island Lokrum off the Old town. You go by boat from the little old town harbour. Time for dinner before. Restaurant Dubrovnik for an early dinner it is. The setting is great, something between a terrace and a courtyard surrounded by old buildings. It just calls for champagne. We try a Croatian sparkly from Tomac. We try a few glasses just to make sure of its quality and that the traditional method has been applied properly.
I share a Gregada with my friend. It is a soup with whole pieces of fish, scampi and shells. And it rocks like the Opera.
Dubrovnik your food is divine if one is able to get a table.