Our gastro-reporter Radovan Marcic ventures through Croatia in search of prime diners and exquisite food concepts. His travels brought him to a small fisherman village of Zavala, where he opted to visit Restaurant Davor, a much-talked about dining spot on the Island of Hvar. After visiting it for two days in the row, Marcic has just words of praise. Here are some of his impressions.
“I visited the restaurant in early September, harboring my vessel on the small dock in its immediate vicinity. Initially, my plan was to have only one meal there, but the food was so great that I decided to have another visit the following day.”
“It was immediately clear that owners had a crisp idea of what their diner will be about. From fine interior to prime food preparation, everything is associated with local culinary tradition, yet with layer of individuality and authorship.”
“The restaurant has a rather long history. It was a family diner back in the eighties, serving food to visitors of Jelsa. In late nineties, the owners moved their business on the sunnier side of Hvar, adding changes to the menu and transforming the place in what it is today. The kitchen is run by two brothers, Krsto and Grgo Barbic. They are both professional chefs who inherited Restaurant Davor from their parents, also notable culinary experts.”
“For the first time in my life, I tried ‘Riba na Suhom’. A clumsy translation in English would be “The Fish cooked in the Dry Way”. It is all about cooking the ingredients on a mild flame for two hours, without any liquid whatsoever. One just needs to add onion, garlic, olive oil and some traditional spices. The final result is fascinating. The meat actually releases its own juice during cooking, and it is very soft and delicious. Ray is commonly used for this meal, but as it was not caught recently, I opted for blacksmith fish. A kilo of this meal costs 400 HRK / 55 €.”
“The sheep is roasted in a specific way. Chomps of meat are pierced with a twig of local cedar and put above burning ember. The taste of mutton combines with resin aroma of the plant, while fire and smoke add their share to the flavor. The meat is soft, seasoned with large grains of salt. The price of the meal is very acceptable, merely 80 HRK/ 10 €.”
“Octopus is also a meal one will certainly enjoy in Restaurant Davor. The food is roasted on gradele grill, where it gains a tasty crust, while retaining the softness from the inner side. Along with the octopus, cooks also roast sliced vegetables, which are later combined with rocket salad. The price of this meal is 100 HRK / 13 €.”
“The wines can be ordered from the family’s cellar, and include a number of local blends. The price range is between 80 and 350 kunas (10- 45 €).”
Restaurant Davor can be visited on address Zavala 178. The diner’s working season is between May and late October. It is closed during September. After December 1st, the restaurant works every weekend between 4 p.m. and midnight. It has free parking spots for visitors. If visiting Hvar, don’t forget to reserve your spot in this fine spot, and enjoy the tastes of Croatian Mediterranean.