Once you have enjoyed an exciting road trip through a winding and hilly road to Ilok, you’ll take a turn to a tree lined road ending next to the Danube River. A small family hotel is located on the very shores of this mighty river, and offers an impressive view and unusual serenity. From spring to autumn you can enjoy your food in big wooden patios with the Danube River right in front of you, in your plate and in your sight.
It maybe that very view that urges guests to ask for fish dishes. The Kovcalijas, Zeljka and Renato, took over this ruinous building and started from scratch. Today, they employ ten cooks and waiters, and the chef title is held by both Marija Ljubic and Ljubica Bozic. The offer is based on the region’s best – wild fresh water fish is bought from few local fishermen, and they dry it and smoke it on their own. Almost all year round they offer sturgeon fish, and the word of their boneless cat fish stew has traveled many miles. Pike-perch and pike rein the menu, and they come in a couple of versions, fired and served with fried onions, or fillet fried in bread crumbs. At the moment when you place your orders, catfish and carp will probably still be swimming in a pond next to the terrace. However, all this doesn’t leave the meat lovers without rich servings of grill meat.
Guests vary from locals who use this place as their family get-away, to foreigners, mostly Italian, who come here for quail or bore hunting and wine tourism. The hotel has had more and more bicyclists visiting. The place is at an increasingly popular Danube biking rout, springing all the way from Hungary through Baranja and Ilok down the river to Serbia. It’s not only a restaurant and 16 bedroom hotel. You may also visit an old house with a stable and Lippizaner horses. In the summer season, take a tourist boat trip from Ilok to Vukovar. But, first pay a visit to Ilok wine cellars and make sure you taste indigenous wine sorts to start your appetite.
Take a boat trip, take a walk, go for a bike ride, then come back and order a boneless fish stew with homemade noodles. Order a fried sturgeon, boneless pike sticks for your kids, and a carp serving to complete your meal. For dessert choose between pancakes with wine eggnog, or, even better, dough cushions, a Slavonian version of ravioli, filled with plum jam and sprinkled with poppy seeds and walnuts. Make sure you top it all with a local wine from an exuberant selection.