After a pretty non-stop pace since I started the trip, it was beyond time to ease up on a throttle a bit. This was made easier given the lousy weather. I hadn’t had a true high end meal yet and after being told Stara Loza had a great tasting menu, I thought a nice, long, leisurely lunch was just what I needed.
The decor was eclectic at best and I was the only one in the small dining room, which I didn’t mind at all. Usually the tasting menu dining room is a few floors up overlooking the Old City but it was closed due to the bad weather. I ordered a glass of Plavic Mali and soon after my first course arrived – Stracciatella di bufala with tomatoes.
The smooth slightly salty cheese was nicely complemented with the brightness of the tomatoes. The accompanying homemade bread was a nice touch as well.
Next up was a huge seared scallop with salmon caviar and a parsnip foam. The scallop was perfectly seasoned and very tender. The salty bites of the salmon caviar worked well with the slightly sweet parsnip foam. Delicious.
The third course was a real stunner – octopus gnocchi with Arabiata sauce, bone marrow (!) and a local cow’s cheese. The pieces of octopus were incredibly tender and the gnocchi were light and soft. But it was the Arabiata sauce with the bone marrow that made the dish – the spicy tomato base made much richer with the addition of the marrow. And the cheese helped mellow some of the spicier bites.
The last savory course was fantastic as well – olive oil poached turbot with potatoes and fava beans in a clam sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked as were the vegetables. However, the real star was the amazing clam sauce, which made me finally actually enjoy fava beans for a change. A home run.
The final course, for dessert, was a basil semifreddo with rock candy. The semifreddo was bursting with basil and the rock candy helped add some needed sweetness. A great way to finish a world-class meal. And all of that plus the wine for $70 – not too shabby.
After lunch I went on what proved to be a fruitless search for a wine store, which turned out to be just a small store for some winery that didn’t seem to be very good. The rain started up again so I headed back to my apartment for a bit. Since I had enjoyed my time away from the crush of tourists, for dinner, I decided to leave the Walled City and go somewhere I had spotted when I had picked up my rental car.
Gusta Me was just on the other side of the walls and across from the marina, which provided a nice view for dinner.
Since I been pretty much all seafood, all the time, the idea of a nice steak dinner sounded very appealing, especially one with a Plavac Mali based sauce. It wasn’t fantastic but a nice comfort food kind of meal.
I walked back into the Old City, which was relatively quiet for a change, walls illuminated along the path.
For a night cap, I decided to go back to D’Vino Wine Bar for some more Croatian wine goodness. This time I tried a Dingac reserve, a regular Dignac and the same Posip I had in Split that I loved. I chatted with the owner for awhile as well as Vanessa, a very colorful recent college graduate who gave me great perspective of how her Serbian/Croatian background conflicted with each other. We also commiserated over the awful cruise shippers who invade on a daily basis “some of them I swear to God don’t know where they are.”
After just before 2AM, I said my goodbyes, promising to come back one more time before I left. The Straudn was almost completely empty and I relished walking back in the cool night air in such a picturesque setting. Tomorrow would be my final full day in Dubrovnik, and I looked forward to once again escaping the mob for some island fun.