Last year, as I was sitting on my favorite park bench at the old harbor gazing at the blue sky and our emerald sea, I noticed some construction going on across the water. Hmm, I thought to myself, a perfect place for a restaurant just outside of the city walls. Several feet above the water, this location was just below the busy road which is hidden from view by a wall. Under some large shade trees, the place has a great view of the old port and the city walls. I began to inquire around town but no one seemed to know anything and I actually forgot about this place until a few weeks later.
Ivo announced he was taking me someplace very special for my birthday lunch. My thoughts began to think about which fresh fish dish and white wine I would consume with gusto and joy. This was a great day, besides being my 34 ½ birthday (times 2), I would not be doing cooking and washing dishes! We began our trek down to the old town; I still had no idea where we’re heading. I enjoyed window shopping as we slowly stroll down the Stradun, lingering longest at my very favorite jewelry store.
We exited the town through the Ploca (plo-cha) gate and we continued past the outer gate and over the old drawbridge. Ivo escorted me down the steps to the old “Komarda.” Not so many years before this was an area for the farmers bringing their locally grown fruits and vegetables to the early morning plaza market to corral their magarace (donkey). The old trees have grown tall and now give much-needed shade to tables scattered throughout the terrace. Nature has graced this area as the ideal location for a restaurant, the view of the old port is stunning. With a slight tilt of my head I could see the island of Lokrum, our natural preserve where legend has it that Richard the Lionhearted was shipwrecked on his way home from the crusades in 1192.
What could make this day any better, I pondered as we were seated at the best table just above the soft lapping sounds of the glorious blue Adriatic. I looked up at the smiling face of Drago, my old friend who manages this restaurant. We greeted each other with the ever so warm local greeting of hands coupled together and a kiss on both cheeks, I so love this; it’s a warm personal hello of folks who are dear to one another. Tears of joy and happiness trickled down my cheeks for I have not seen Drago since my arrival two years ago. Memories began to flash through my mind and I realized the last 37 years has passed quickly.
To say our service that day was flawless and the baby Adriatic squid was tender and grilled to perfection would not be justice. I enjoyed in several glasses of Postup wine, a white from the Island of Korcula, just a few hours up the coast. Lunch ended with one of our Dalmatian treats called Rozata, a type of pudding or flan covered in melted sugar. It was a perfect day, visiting with an old friend and lunch at a lovely outdoor restaurant and view which captures my heart and soul.