Restaurant: Konoba Nevera
Location: Firula Road 17, 21000 Split. Tel: 021/388-736
Date: July 17, 2012
Our first stop in Croatia was Split, a seaside town in Northern Dalmatia. During the third century AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian “retired” to Split and built a great pleasure palace by the sea. He had toured all of the known world and pronounced Dalmatia to be the loveliest part of it. It sure seems like a pretty choice spot. The Adriatic is sparkling blue, the weather is warm, but seasoned by a brisk maritime breeze.
As we were fresh off the transatlantic haul, we chose a casual place not far from our hotel. Konoba seems to roughly translate as “tavern” in English and appears to mean a traditional and informal eatery.
Despite the casual vibe, Konoba Nevera rates #3 for split on Trip Advisor. Nothing like a good kitchen!
This is one of those huge multipage menus. I was lazy and only photoed about a third of it. As latter travels would prove, the contents are archetypically Dalmatian. Menus don’t vary a lot here, but execution does.
Posip (pronounced Poshipa) is a popular Dalmatian white varietal mostly from the Island of Korcula. It’s medium bodied, maybe even full bodied, and not unlike a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Fuller, less sapidity, and more fruit perhaps. A very nice food wine and not boring like many international whites.
“Treasures of the sea.” This is a mixed appetizer plate. We have some marinated octopus, sardines, anchovies, fish carpaccio and a bit of salad. The balls in the scallop shell are an awesome tuna salad cousin that is sweeter and more briny than the American standard. This was all nice stuff, all fresh and light.
“Dorade, grilled.” Salty and succulent, fresh white fish doesn’t really get much better than this. Very very similar to the same dish in Italy or Greece — and probably much of the rest of the Mediterranean for that matter.
This was a great first taste of Croatian cuisine. I found it flavorful, yet light. There isn’t a lot of butter or animal fat in most of these dishes. They lean toward seafood and olive oil. Somewhere between Italy and Greece, literally and a culinary way. I’m liking it so far.