Charming, family owned restaurant on the Croatian Island of Hvar
Mediterranean is a charming, rustic and family owned restaurant on the Island of Hvar which is approx an hour by boat from Split, Croatia. It is recommended by Michelin (plate awarded) and the summary is that I was very pleased to have tried. The speciality and home-made honey-grappa welcome shot using a family recipe was a wonderful start and was delighted to have again as a digestif. This and the lovely touches of a serious balsamic vinegar, crustacean-shell preparation at the table for all and the lovely open air restaurant that it was in a little island street enclave made this a lovely lunch experience. Whilst at the more premium end of options on the island, the €68 per person for some sharing plates and bottle of rosé represented good value for money overall, albeit with careful and toned-down selections made. Well recommended if you are on this island and looking for somewhere very pleasant and worthwhile.
The Simmental beef tartare made with French Cognac, tobasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, sweet pepper powder, butter shavings and Quail egg came together very well, albeit very rich. Lighter and more successful for the whole table was the octopus ‘carpaccio’ (akin to ceviche) made with a freshly caught Adriatic octopus that morning was served with capers, cherry tomatoes, sea fennel, tomato concasse, lime and extra virgin olive oil emulsion, black olive ash and dry tomato powder. This was a superb dish to share with extremely good flavour combinations and a superb dressing to glaze over the very fresh and succulent octopus.
I opted for the scampi Buzzara for my main. Not only because I love anything scampi (langoustine tail) related, but I am also a fan of linguine which this was served with. Adriatic scampi was prepared and de-shelled at the table by two chefs (one doing my scampi, the other chef preparing the traditional Gragada on the other side of the table). My linguine was black with squid ink and served with extra virgin olive oil, parsley and garlic. I had high hopes for this dish which was pleasant, but the pasta was more like tagliatelle rather than the thinner linguine I was hoping for, the scampi itself was quite flakey, showing its age since caught, but overall it was pleasing as a dish, served with a very reasonable, light and fruity bottle of Croatian Galić Rosé, using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir grapes.
It was also very good that the restaurant was able to accommodate a bowl of children’s pasta for the youngest diner and showed the family-orientated feel of the restaurant. For dessert the whole table shared the Kolac dana, a form of Croatian cheesecake made with Pistachio which made everyone wish they had actually ordered one each as it was that good and portion-sized. The staff were also very kind to brig out another honey-grappa for everyone at the end of the meal as a digestif as a lovely touch and Major Foodie had absolutely no problem assisting those that did not want their bonus shot after lunch. A lovely lunch to have for the gorgeous situation and occasion it was.
Food Grade: 71%