The best of Restaurant Week in Split (Croatia) – October 2017

Restaurant Week is a bi-annual event, not only in Split but in all of Croatia. For this one week, some of the fanciest restaurants in the country offer a 3-course meal for 100 kuna (that’s about $20 Canadian, or $16 USD) per person. It’s a great concept intended to make fine dining available to the local population while also promoting restaurants that would usually only attract well-heeled tourists.

Restaurant Week this Autumn (2017) was held the week of October 13 – 22. There were 9 restaurants taking part in Restaurant Week here in Split. We ended up eating at 4 of them. Restaurant Week introduced us to restaurants we otherwise would never have tried.

Lots of photos of restaurants and food in this post – and a summary of recommendations/tips/thoughts on Restaurant Week at the bottom of this post.

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Hotel Park, restaurant “Split 1921”

Hotel Park is a 5 Star hotel, Split’s oldest hotel and an institution in town. It was to be our first Restaurant Week experience. We had reserved the previous day and when we walked in they recognized us immediately and called us by name without even referring to the reservation list. Wow.

The special Restaurant Week menu had a meat option, a fish option, and a vegetarian option (in fact all the restaurants we visited had options in all these categories).

The menu at Hotel Park

Menu 1 (meat menu)

Entrée – Potato rolls stuffed with Swiss chard and smoked cheese, covered in Hollandaise sauce
Main – Dalmatian pasticada (stew) with pumpkin puree and black truffles
Dessert – Dalmatian Rozada

Menu 2 (fish menu)

Entrée – Fish soup with gnocchi and broccoli
Main – Gregada of Squid (fish stew) with orzo and potatoes
Dessert – Banana cake

Menu 3 (vegetarian menu)

Entrée – Cooked avocado with 7 types of cheese
Main – Marinated ravioli with artichoke, capers, sundried tomatoes, black olives and parmesan.
Dessert – Chocolate tart with dried apricots

We chose menus 2 and 3. Some photos.

Above: Cooked avocado with 7 types of cheese

Above: Fish soup with gnocchi and broccoli

Above: Marinated ravioli with artichoke, capers, sundried tomatoes, black olives and parmesan

Above: Gregada of Squid (fish stew) with orzo and potatoes

Above: Banana cake (looks kind of boring – but it was absolutely incredible. Fantastic!)

Above: Chocolate tart with dried apricots

Above: Restaurant 1921 at the Hotel Park

Hotel Park can be summed up as a “fine dining experience”. Service was top notch, white glove treatment. Courses were nicely spaced out, we were never rushed. It reminded Lissette and I of the fancy company Christmas parties we would attend when we lived in Montreal. We had a glass of wine, a bottle of sparkling water, and 2 coffees with our meal – the total bill came to 360 kuna (about $72 CAD or $57 US).

Split 1921, Park Hotel
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Augubio Congo

This top-ranked restaurant is located in what used to be a villa within the palace walls (it’s just a few steps away from the Peristyle). It has a cosy, warm atmosphere.

The menu at Augubio Congo was a bit different from other menus in that you can mix between meat, fish and vegetarian options.

Starters
1. Sweet potatoes, ginger soup (gluten free)
2. Black truffle soup
3. Adriatic shrimp and parmesan salad

Mains
1. Home made gnocchi with spinach and feta cheese
2. Smoked Adriatic mussels risotto (gluten free)
3. Duck breast with caramelized red onion and accetto reduction

Dessert
1. New York Cheesecake
2. Chocolate Congo Cake
3. Keyline Pie (glutten free)

We decided to both have the Adriatic shrimps for starters, Lissette had the smoked mussels and I had the Duck breast for mains, and she had the Congo cake while I had the Cheesecake for dessert. Photos.

Above: Adriatic shrimp and parmesan salad (that shell is actually fried parmesan)

Above: Duck breast with caramelized red onion and accetto reduction

Above: Smoked Adriatic mussels risotto

Above: New York Cheesecake (the best cheesecake I’ve had in my life).

Above: Chocolate Congo Cake (also excellent)

Above: Augubio Congo interior

The food was fantastic and the portions generous. We would for sure come back here for a special occasion. Everything, including 2 glasses of wine and sparkling water, came out to 299 kunas (about $60 CAD or $48 US).

Augubio Congo on Facebook.

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Para di šoto 

Another high end restaurant within the palace walls. We were warmly greeted, in fact the service was excellent throughout our meal.

Menu 1 (meat menu)

Entrée – Goose liver pate with pine nuts paste
Main – Pork loin in pancetta wrap on pea cream
Dessert – Cheesecake with strawberries

Menu 2 (fish menu)

Entrée – Gratinated scallops
Main – Sea Bass with Dalmatian herbs in baby potatoes in a paperwrap
Dessert – lavender and honey semifreddo

Menu 3 (vegetarian menu)

Entrée – tomato cream soup with basil pesto
Main – yellow risotto with toasted pine nuts and almond flakes
Dessert – Panna cotta with red berries dressing

 

Above: Gratinated scallops

Above: Goose liver pate with pine nuts paste

Above: Sea Bass with Dalmatian herbs in baby potatoes in a paperwrap 

Above: Pork loin in pancetta wrap on pea cream

Above: Cheesecake with strawberries

Above: lavender and honey semifreddo

Above: Para di šoto interior

Para di šoto is one of those restaurants where the portions are small (like many high end restaurants) BUT come with great taste. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of these restaurants. But although portions were small we in fact didn’t come home hungry. Maybe the size was deceiving. And the food was very, very good. For all the people out there who enjoy an “amuse bouche” (and I know many) you’ll love this restaurant.

Para di šoto is part of Hotel Slavija

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We went to a 4th restaurant. It was a disappointment. Menus were only in Croatian, service was gruff, food was unremarkable. I don’t think they made much of an effort.I decided not to review it here. The goal with this post is to highlight the best restaurant experiences.

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Summary


How we chose the restaurants we visited
: I went on the official Restaurant Week website to see what restaurants were included. We chose the higher end restaurants, the ones the we most likely wouldn’t ordinarily visit if paying full price (ie. restaurants where we felt we would get the highest value for our 100 kuna).

The 3 restaurants up above featured great food and put thought and effort in their Restaurant Week menus. All impressed in different ways and we felt that we came away from each with a ‘food experience’. Besides that, what we really enjoyed was the meat/fish/vegetarian options available at each restaurant. There was something available for everyone. 

Restaurant Week is a great concept. It happens twice a year and we already look to seeing what restaurants will participate the next time around (which should be sometime in the spring of 2018). Whether you’re a local or a tourist, or especially if you’re a foodie, we really recommend having at least one Restaurant Week experience when in Croatia.

 

Have you experienced Restaurant Week in Croatia? What were your experiences?

 

 

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Comments

  1. The dishes they have there seem truly mouth-watering, Frank.I would love to try each one of them!

  2. Cheesecake in two restaurants from three. Well, well, I understand you.
    What was the 4th restaurant (the worst)? People must know.
    Victor recently posted…The Traditional Village of Stanisici or Life Is a Miracle in the BalkansMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      And they were BOTH fantastic cheesecakes, right at the top of what I’ve ever eaten.
      Nah, I don’t want to criticize the 4th restaurant. If I was paying full price I would. I would rather be positive in this case, just mentioning the ones that were a success. Maybe I’ll take your advice on that in the future though, I debated myself wondering what my approach should be…
      Thanks for taking the time to comment Victor.

  3. Samir and I attended an event at Augebio and were extremely pleased with our meals and service. I will concur the cheesecake was fantastic, as was the Key Lime Pie, and that we would return again for a special occasion. We also went to De Belly which was decent enough (we loved our pumpkin soup) but overall not as memorable as Augebio. The most memorable part of that meal was our terrific waiter.

  4. What a delicious post Frank. So much good food! Yum!

    And the Restaurant Week sounds like a great thing to experience when in Croatia. Maybe I’ll plan my next trip around this event.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Mike. Yes, they have it right before high season and right after it ends. We’re not “foodies” but it was a break from cooking and we had a really fun time trying out new places. I would really recommend it to anyone.

  5. The Congo menu is my favorite. The food looks absolutely mouth watering so it was good to hear that it tasted as good as it looked 🙂

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Kemkem, all was excellent and we got to practice taking food pics which isn’t our usual thing.

  6. great concept – such a great price for a quality meal! More countries should adopt!

  7. What a great way to try new restaurants you would ordinarily dismiss as too pricey and get out of the restaurant rut. So many great choices that I can imagine it was difficult to choose and I love how each dish is presented like a work of art.

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated!

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