Archive for the Croatia Category

Eating out in Tisno

Posted in Croatia, Tisno with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2016 by gannet39

Having been to Tisno five times I’ve got quite a good handle on the local dining scene.

Below are my favourite restaurants in order of preference and here is a Google map with everywhere mentioned on it.

This Rough Guide article is a good description of Croatian food and drink.

Restoran Carmen (Intermediate A), Pod Garmom 33

This is the best place in town for a mixed seafood grill, a classic dish of the Dalmatian coast.

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It has changed slightly from year to year, but it’s always good.

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A nice starter is melon with Pršut (cured prosciutto ham), an obvious steal from their neighbour on the other side of the Adriatic.

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The Italian influences probably come from the time when the north of Croatia was part of the Venetian republic.

They do a mean octopus salad as well.

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I also like Carmen because it has an outside terrace built over the sea.

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It can get a bit windy sometimes but sitting inside by the big open windows is nice too.

All the white wines I’ve had here have been excellent. The Malvazja Itarska (Istrian Malvaisa) ‘Alba’ by Matošević has always been a crowd pleaser.

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Kozlović also make a good Istrian Malvazja.

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A shot of Julishka plum and pear liqueur is a nice way to finish.

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Konoba Tereza (Intermediate A), Put Jazine 78

Traditionally this is where we have our last meal of the holiday.

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As well as seafood, Croatia has excellent meat, and Konoba Tereza is the best place in Tisno to have it as they have a big outdoor charcoal grill.

This can mean that your food can take a while, especially if they’re busy (which they always are, so reserve), and the courtyard can get a bit smoky (which at least deters the mosquitos), but these minor annoyances are totally worth putting up with.

All the steaks are great (especially the 450g rib eye.

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They do great lamb chops as well.

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‘Bosso’ made by the Senjkovic winery from red Plavac grapes is a good choice to go with meat.

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You could opt for a Karlovačko beer but I don’t rate the draught here, or anywhere really (C).

Tereza also do a good seafood grill here but not quite as good as Carmen’s above.

If you do go for this option, a bottle of their Krauthaker Sauvignon Vidim (Sauvignon Blanc) is a good accompaniment.

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Watch out for their guard tortoise.

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Restaurant Gina (Intermediate B+), 9 Put Jazine www.gina.hr

Another good choice, and they have a very big outside terrace. We’ve always received great service here and the food has invariably been good. They cook pasta well (it’s rarely al dente elsewhere) so I tend to go for that, especially with seafood.

Gina also rents out rooms but I can’t comment on them. I’m sure they’re fine though.

Restaurant Toni (Intermediate B), 13 Put Brošcice

Toni’s is another solid choice for food, especially steaks.

We’ve rented out the entire apartment block behind the restaurant (five flats for fourteen people) for the last four years of the Electric Elephant festival. Tony Corkalo the owner is a really nice guy and has always been flexible and generous. The first year we came we were fleeced by a more unscrupulous apartment owner so it’s good to know that not everyone is on the make.

Konoda Brošćica (Intermediate B), 12 Put Brošcice

A friendly place next door to Toni’s. They have a rep for their mackerel. I enjoyed it but it can’t compete with the Norwegian line-caught I’m used to (A).

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Hotel Borovnik at 3 Sime Vlasica is a more expensive option for somewhere to stay and it’s often booked up a year ahead for the festivals.

There is is no place like Tisno

Posted in Croatia, Tisno with tags on March 25, 2016 by gannet39

Although it might seem like it from my blog, I’m not actually on permanent vacation! Most of the time I’m abroad I’m working but when I do take a holiday I go to the same place every year, the Electric Elephant festival in Croatia, now in its eleventh year.

For the first four years the festival was held in Petrčane (see separate post) but in 2009 it moved down the coast to Tisno, another even more charming small town by the sea.

Sunset

Each year a big gang of us from Sheffield goes to the festival to party with friends from Manchester, London, Dublin and several other corners of the planet.

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The highlight for us are the boat parties on the good ship Argonaught(y) which sails twice a day for the four days of the festival.

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It’s a good excuse for all of us to let our hair down, not that we need any excuses.

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For the last two years my music promotion Kabal has hosted one of the boat parties, with tunes provided by Kabal residents DJs Pete ‘Pipes’ Donohoe and Winston ‘Funk Master General’ Hazel.

In 2014 we had the honour of having London’s Ashley Beedle play with us (on the left).

Ash & Winston

Alongside Dino from Sheffield who is a regular guest DJ at Kabal.

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In 2015 we played with festival founder and honorary Mancunian, Luke Unabomber.

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Here’s a video of the last tune on Kaboat that year. Golden memories never to be forgotten.

And in 2016 we are looking forward to sharing the decks with our old friend George from Nightmares On Wax who hails from our neighbouring city Leeds.

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Please see my next post for restaurants in Tisno.

Craving Petrcane

Posted in Croatia, Petrcane on August 4, 2011 by gannet39

At last a real holiday, my first in three years, and definitely needed after travelling for work virtually non-stop since March.  I went back to the same place as last time; Petrcane, a small Croatian village half way down the Dalmatian coast.

Petrcane sunset

The nearest major town is Zadar which has its own airport, about 40 mins drive from Petrcane if you know where you are going. I don’t and get lost every time! The signs aren’t great, Zadar, Zagreb, it’s all the same…

Petrcane is the location for several festivals over the summer but I come for the disco, house and rare groove vibrations of the Electric Elephant, now in its fourth year. The festival is the brainchild of the Unabombers, Justin and Luke, whose legendary Manchester club night, The Electric Chair, was a pilgrimage for northern lovers of underground dance music for well over a decade.

A crack crew from Sheffield went to party with our Mancunian mates and had one of the best times ever.

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The festival site is on a peninsula owned by the Hotel Pinija. Right next door is Barbarella’s night club, an original 70’s disco with a decor style true to its retro features. It consists of a large circular room with a big dance floor for a couple of hundred, served by a hefty Function One sound system.

Inside Barbarellas
There are also two dance floors outside under the trees, one at the beach bar for booty bumping at sunset and another larger one by the club where the proceedings get particularly intense later on.

Beach bar sunset

There are also boat parties twice a day on an old sailing ship called the Argonaught. The DJ highlights for us this year were Horse Meat Disco and Derek Carter playing outside under the stars and the Unabombers on the boat on the last day of the festival.

Argonaught

The temperatures in Petrcane were in the high 30s when we were there but in our apartment along the coast in Punta Skala, we were never too far away from the sea. The water is lovely and warm but the beaches are quite rocky though so bring your aqua shoes.

In terms of eating out Croatia is much cheaper than Spain or Italy and they have good ingredients but it can be hard to get a well-cooked meal here for some reason.  The national cuisine has two strong influences; the seafood-dominated vibe of the Med and the heavier schnitzel and strudel fare of Central Europe.

The Italian influence is particularly strong both in terms of the language and the food (they used to be part of the Venetian Republic), for example the excellent cured Prosciutto ham (Prsut in Croatian).

Prsut
You can also get good coffee and mediocre pizzas and obviously there are a lot of good wines and cheeses too. For beer drinkers, Karlovacko is usually okay (B) but Favorit is to be avoided. First stop for me was Plondino, the local supermarket to stock up on all these things.

One morning I had these dense lamb sausages for breakfast in a cafe. With the fried eggs is some diced raw onion and a delicious paprika sauce on the side, which hit the spot (A).

Brekky

And to drink; a very frothy Cappuccino (B+). It’s a great start to a day of doing nothing.

Cappo


Kod Jure
 (Intermediate B+) didn’t get the address but with your back to the hotel, follow the sea path round to the harbour, it’s the first restaurant you come to.

There are plenty of restaurants in the centre of town but the quality can be quite variable. Kod Jure has been consistently good for me though and I like the large outdoor terrace.

Kod Jure


Seven of us had the Seafood Grill, which is basically all the other seafood dishes on the menu on one platter and so great for large groups.

Seafood platter

You get a couple of whole Orada (gilthead sea bream)…

Orada
…and several squid, langoustines and mussels, grilled with olive oil and parsley, which was so good (A), most of us went back the next day and had it again!

Squid Langoustines, Mussels

You also get some overcooked veg (spinach, beans, potatoes) but they are probably best left (C-).

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To wash it down we had a few bottles of Vrbnicka Zlahtina (from Vrbnik on the island of Krk), which is one of the better Croatian white wines (B+).

Vrbnicka Zlahtina


Orahovacationers
Milan the owner might appear to be a bit monosyllabic and gruff but he’s actually quite friendly and very hospitable. At the end of the meal he plied us with several glasses of his homemade Orahovaca (walnut brandy) which was good (B) but quite hardcore.

Orahovaca

Terazza (also known as Marco Polo) (Intermediate C+), on the main road coming into town, Tel. 023 364 744.

On my first visit I quite liked Terazza but was a bit disappointed this time. I had the Seafood Spaghetti where the pasta had finished cooking in the sauce but it was soggy and nowhere near al dente. However the mussels, clams, langoustine and hoops of squid it came with were poorly presented but fine (C+).

Seafood Spaghetti

I had this with a bottle of Grasevina, another popular white from an ancient grape variety which is usually pretty good (B). The terrace is a nice place to sit though, and service is friendly, so I’d come again, but maybe order something it’s hard for them to get wrong.

Grasevina

Lots of other places in town, some good, some not. I think you just need to nose out the individual dishes they do well and go when they’re not too busy.

More next year when I go again!

Thanks to Jo for some of the photos and the gang for being the best! x

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