In a sea of similar restaurants offering copy/paste menus there is one that is an island, a Dubrovnik eatery that stands out for all the right reasons. Now, it might seem strange when I uncover the characteristics of this restaurant, because you’d probably be thinking “well, isn’t that normal?” A main course of passion, a side dish of experience, a big helping of tradition and for dessert an attention to detail, these are the ingredients that make Heritage of Dubrovnik the new star in the culinary scene in Dubrovnik.
The name probably gives you all a big clue – Heritage of Dubrovnik – as to the concept of this elegant eatery. And this has a concept with a capital C! And not any concept but a local based Dubrovnik one that really highlights the very best of authentic dishes that may have been long forgotten. Now, I don’t know about you but whenever I travel I always search out a local bistro that offers the food connected to that country or region. I mean if you are just going to eat international food the whole time then you’re missing a chapter in the story of that destination. For food, along with culture, history and language gives you a unique insight into how the country lives. Somewhat sadly many of these homegrown dishes and recipes were swept under the carpet and forgotten about. That was until now. “Our menu is based on traditional local cuisine, with meals and drinks that date all the way to the time of Republic of Dubrovnik, when our city was one of the major maritime powers of the Mediterranean Sea and a trade hub that connected Ottoman empire with the rest of Europe. Thus Dubrovnik was the place where new spices and new flavors were brought and from them great tasting delicacies were created, which our guests can experience and enjoy today," stated the owners.
So here comes the passion part, because without passion there isn’t really any point! This husband and wife duo radiate passion like the sun emits warmth. You can just see in their eyes that their love for this restaurant and the service they provide is as important as their love for the city. “Many of these dishes have been lost, these are real dishes from our history and should be treasured and nurtured,” said the pair. And I have to agree with them.
Now that's a starter - Photo Mark Thomas
So let’s get down to the food. Firstly, it is a short menu, and you know that I adore short menus. Why? A) Because you know that with a limited number of dishes a chef has taken his/her time to really think through what to prepare, and hasn’t just thrown everything on the menu. B) It all going to be fresh. So, choices, choices. Having lived in Dubrovnik for over 20 years many of the names were familiar, you just don’t tend to see them often on restaurant menus. And another big plus was that every dish had its own little description, a small insight into its history. Fish or meat? From the fish side I would have probably gone for the Fish Stew or Popara as the locals call it, maybe next time, and there will be a next time. Meat this time and I opened with the Dubrovnik Plate, or as the menu stated “Wealthier residents of Dubrovnik enjoyed cheese daily, especially during the midmorning snack or as an appetizer before lunch.” One thing to bear in mind if you follow my advice (and you absolutely should) and visit Heritage of Dubrovnik is that the portions aren’t small, far from it.
Traditional main course from Dubrovnik - Photo Mark Thomas
Fully appetized it was time for the main course, and although Šporki Makaruli caught my eye (this one is on my must try list) I listened to the advice of the friendly waiter and ordered the Lamb Leg made in Traditional Style, or as the menu stated “Fresh lamb leg slowly cooked with dry figs, roasted potatoes and caramelized carrot.” Another bonus I forgot to mention and that is that a large portion of the produce is homegrown, in fact the owner showed me a photo of his potato fields located in a village above Dubrovnik. The lamb was like butter, just delicious! And at 190 Kuna it is far from overpriced.
Even though I was full to bursting (did I mention the large portions) I pushed on to the dessert menu, another trip down the memory lane of Dubrovnik’s desserts. The traditional Rozata, or crème caramel, was on the top of the menu but my eyes drifted to Dubrovnik Cake. I don’t really want to give the game away too much but if you finish your meal with this you won’t be disappointed.
A cake with a rich history - Photo Mark Thomas
Incredible food, and all whilst sitting next to the proud stone façades of the ancient Old City of Dubrovnik. For although this eatery is in the very heart of the hustle and bustle of the city it is somehow tucked away at the very end of the street, giving you a taste of the local atmosphere but without having to constantly have your chair banged by groups of tourists. I honestly can’t recommend Heritage of Dubrovnik high enough. If you want to try real, local dishes all served with love and passion in an authentic location then head here today! (you can thank me later).
Cheers to Heritage of Dubrovnik - Photo FB
Address – Prijeko 32, 20000, Dubrovnik
Telephone - 099 801 4565