Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dubrovnik’s Best Kept Secret

I struggled whether to write this review or to keep the secret to myself, but in the interest of my readers I decided to share it. In the small town of Gruda, in the region of Konavle, 30 kilometers from Dubrovnik, is a hidden gem of a restaurant: Konoba Koraceva Kuce. This restaurant introduces fresh farm-to-table dining in a chic but rustic setting. Formerly a small winery, the property has been in the Mihatovic extended family for centuries and its history is on display in the old family photographs that line the walls of the dining room. Diners would get the feeling of being transported back in time if not for the stylish interior that is dominated by stone and white-washed walls, well-hewn wooden beams, and flickering candles, but somehow still manages to pull off a modern aesthetic.

Fantastic setting aside, the true strength of this restaurant reveals itself in the food. 80% of what is served is home-produced on the farm that surrounds the house, and most of the remaining 20% is sourced from other Konavle farms, making Konoba Koraceva Kuce a locavore’s dream. On a recent visit we dined on freshly harvested spring asparagus bruschetta and homemade prosciutto and cheese to start. We followed with 2 pasta dishes: a “dirty macaroni” (a Dubrovnik specialty that resembles an Italian Ragu or Bolognese, but with tender, shredded meat) and a tagliatelle with chicken, fresh cream, butter, and sage. Also on the menu are various grilled meat, fish, and game dishes, including lamb and veal “under the iron bell”, which must be ordered a day in advance as it is slow cooked for 3 to 4 hours. And with no dish costing more than 100 Kuna, prices are low enough to make the drive to Konavle well worth it. My only hope is that the secret does not get out or we will have to be prepared to wait for a table.

Konoba Koraceva Kuca is located just off of the main road in Gruda, in the region of Konavle. They are open daily from 12:00 to 23:00. For reservations call +385 20 791 557 or +385 98 428 225. You can also visit them on facebook at: Konoba Koraceva Kuce

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fate of Coastal Ferry Uncertain

I paid a visit to the Jadrolinija office in Dubrovnik to find out if the coastal ferry would be operating this year. In previous years, the ferry ran twice per week from Dubrovnik – Vela Luka (Korcula) – Stari Grad (Hvar) – Split and then made the return trip as well. Jadrolinija has not yet posted the schedule on their website and have not commented on the fate of the schedule to date. The Jadrolinija employee I spoke to said that they have not yet decided whether the ferry route will operate this year. She said that they are unlikely to make a decision until May, and the route usually begins operating in June. She did say that they are considering discontinuing the service in the future, but that they may operate the route for the last time this summer.

The lack of available information makes it difficult for travelers to plan their holidays. If the ferry does not operate there are always other travel options available including local car and passenger ferries, high-speed catamaran service, and bus service. Information for these other services can be found on this blog and I will continue to update it as the summer season nears.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Travel from Korcula to Hvar

The best way to travel from Korcula to Hvar is by daily high-speed catamaran service. This service is available only to foot passengers; those traveling with cars will have to take the Jadrolinija ferry which operates just 2 times per week.

The catamaran service departs Korcula town everyday between 1 June and 30 September at 6:00 and arrives in Hvar town at 7:40. It then continues on to Split where it arrives at 8:30. The return ferry departs Split every day at 17:00 and arrives in Hvar town at 18:10. It then continues on to Korcula town where it arrives at 19:25.

For a detailed schedule and the off-season schedule, please visit the following website: Korcula Catamaran Schedule.