I’m passionate about a few things. Food is one of them. My cultural home (birthplace of both my mother and father) of Croatia is another… when the two come together I’m in heaven. Outside of my own mother’s kitchen, Restaurant Dubrovnik is as close to authentic as it gets. New Rochelle you have a new player in town and it’s straight from the Adriatic.
Aerial view of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Most of you have seen the coastal city of Dubrovnik as the back drop in Game of Thrones, but it goes further. Dubrovnik is the back drop of southern Europe. It is one of the world’s gems.
As usual food is highly regional. People eat what is local. To understand Croatian cuisine, you need to understand geography. With a coastline stretching over a thousand miles seafood is at the heart of Croatian foods. The Adriatic Sea has been very good to it’s people.
Our meal started with an Octopus salad. This is my all time favorite. It’s a cold salad made of big pieces of steamed octopus with capers, potatoes, red onion, herbs, drizzled with olive oil and served on a half shell. You need the bite of red onion to balance the potato. There is a saying from that region “Meat is food; fish is pleasure.” Octopus salad is a pleasure! I also enjoyed Fisherman’s Soup “Riblja Juha.” This is a light fish broth soup served with shrimp and white rice. Fish soup is very complex. The saltiness of seafood mixes with the rice. It’s comfort food at it’s best.
Let’s move on to the meats. The Dalmatian Platter (named for the region of Dalmatia not the dog. The canine comes from the region.) Pršut (Prosciutto), smoked beef with Paški sir (Sir is the Croatian word for cheese, It hails from an island called Pag) olives and pickles. In terms of entree we split the “Dalmatian Przolica”- a seared Filet Mignon in a garlic sauce over a dollop of mashed potatoes. We also had my personal favorite Cevapcici. I love cevapcici! These are little grilled minced meat logs served with a vegetable spread, called Advar, and a warm pita. When I make cevapcici home, I tend to like them a little more charred than Dubrovnik makes it, but their way is right.
Other notable dishes hear was Lamb Chops.“Lopud” pasta was phenomenal. I tried these last time I was at Dubrovnik.
When in Westchester, even in Queens take the Throgs Neck to New Rochelle. Crack open an Karlovacko Pivo (A staple beer in Croatia) listen to a Klapa group (an a cappella group) and enjoy a hearty domaci (homemade) meal. Cap it off with a couple of Palacinke (crepes), try it with rose hip jam.
Karlovacko Beer and Palacinke