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360 Degrees – Dubrovnik, Croatia

6 Nov

For our last night in Dubrovnik (and our entire Croatian trip) we decided we wanted to go all out. We heard that this was “the place celebrities dine” and thought, if it’s good enough for Beyonce, it’s good enough for us. They don’t take reservations and the night that we went there weren’t that many people dining there. This place is quite romantic and I think Gail and I were both thinking that the couple next to us was on the verge of getting engaged or something.

We ordered a bottle of Posip from Korta Katerena. Great wine. We actually had the same bottle the night before, and of course it was nearly twice as expensive at this place than the previous night. We started out with some amazing fresh sea scallops and a ravioli with a goat cheese sauce, which interestingly enough came in a little travel-size toiletry bottle. For my main dish, I opted for the sea bass. It was really amazing, but a small portion. This place is definitely going for taste and presentation. It was the perfect end to our wonderful trip. The dessert menu looked a bit too exotic for us, so we opted for cheap gelatos on our way home instead.

http://360dubrovnik.com/

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Taj Mahal – Dubrovnik, Croatia

5 Nov

Based on the name, I bet you’re assuming that Gail and I went to an Indian restaurant during our stay in Dubrovnik. Don’t be fooled, Taj Mahal is a really great Bosnian restaurant in Old Town. We found this gem through TripAdvisor searches, and thankfully, the people who reviewed it were right. We had some spotty luck on our Croatian travels with other people’s recommendations, but this place was just what we needed.

It was very hot when we arrived in Dubrovnik, and after a 15-minute walk from our lovely hotel, we were in dire need of cold beverages, and wine! We made a reservation through our hotel, and thank God we did, or we never would’ve gotten a table. Even with a reservation, we had to wait about 30-minutes to be seated since it was so busy. Taj Mahal is located in a small alley and has about 12 tables outside. Given the heat, we were very happy that we did not get seated indoors, that place must’ve felt like a sweat shop!

We started out our dinner with a bottle of posip (lovely local white wine) and an order of vegetable burek. Basically, this is vegetables (spinach) in filo dough. Gail ordered Ćevapi, a traditional Bosnian dish of small grilled rolls of ground beef served with chopped onions served in a flat bread. The bread on this was amazing. There were so many little sausages we couldn’t finish but pecked away at the bread. So good. I had the kebob which was served with a potato and also very good. We shared the vegetable plate as well which had a small selection of grilled vegetables. Since we very quickly went through our first bottle of wine, we switched over to a red. Bad decision. It was so bad, we could hardly finish the bottle. Lesson learned. Overall it was a good meal, but the service wasn’t amazing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone passing through Dubrovnik.

http://www.tajmahaldubrovnik.com/ –  Nikole Gučetića 2  20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Giaxa – Hvar, Croatia

4 Sep

Gail and I arrived in Hvar after a beautiful day at the Plitvice Lakes ready to party as hard as we heard people partied in Hvar. In order to prepare for a long night/morning of boozing, we thought a nice dinner would be the perfect preamble. We relied on our fellow TripAdvisor friends for a recommendation and landed at Giaxa. The website states “Have you ever tasted art?” With a name like that, it has to be good, right?

We arrive and the place happens to be fairly busy, giving us an indication that we chose the right spot. Right? Wrong. We sit down and have a friendly waiter (this is something to note since it doesn’t happen all that often while traveling in Croatia), and immediately decide to order a bottle of rose. Our waiter comes back and says that they don’t have the bottle that we ordered but that he has brought us an even better bottle, from “the best winemaker in Croatia” at no additional charge. The bottle (pictured), has no label and is just called Number 11. Eleven happens to be my lucky number, but this wine was not lucky. At first sip we though, hmmm…this is different, but its not bad. As the wine opened and we kept drinking, I kept thinking that it tasted like something. That something we came to decide was a watermelon Jolly Rancher. Not exactly the taste I am looking to pair with my dinner, but I’ve had worse wines in my life, I’m sure.

We started out with the homemade gnocchi stuffed with scampi and prosciutto over asparagus sauce. This sounded interesting at first blush (and some others on TripAdvisor had recommended it), but it was bland beyond belief and strange. As you can tell from the picture, it looks a lot more like ravioli than gnocchi and was served moderately warm. I expected the asparagus sauce to be flavorful, but it was really lacking, on the whole it really didn’t taste like anything. Failure number one.

For a main course I opted for the sea bass. The dish came beautifully presented, but that really was the highlight of the entire experience. Again, the food was not overly warm and was completely bland. The sea bass was supposed to be seasoned with Croatian herbs, which must be like disappearing ink or something because I couldn’t taste them. The vegetables were also very plain. Gail ordered the Hvarska gregada, which as our waiter explained was the fisherman’s traditional way of preparing fish on the island. The dish consisted of fish, sliced potatoes, olive oil, onions, white wine and spices. Gail said the dish was also not very flavorful and extremely difficult to eat given the massive amount of fishbones in the dish. Overall, if heading to Hvar, there has to be better restaurants than Giaxa. Find them and report back!

www.giaxa.com – Petra Hektorovica 3, Hvar, Hvar Island 21450, Croatia
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