(Poljana Grgura Ninskog 4)
When a friend of mine uploaded an image of him enjoying a Croatian microbrewery beer in Split, I was quick to pop into Konoba Korta, a new tavern on a quiet square in the palace.
I was positively surprised to see that Konoba Korta did not try to replicate rustic tavern interiors and instead had more retro-country accents such as flowered tablecloths, polka-dotted pots, and fresh herb pots along the kitchen windowsill.
Their authentically Dalmatian menu also had a little more flair with loved classics such as squid with barley, cuttlefish with broad beans and homemade pasta, a chickpea side dish with a Dalmatian spin. The desserts were a little more American inspired such as a vanilla-bourbon mouse, a parfait with vodka and peach, and somewhat mediocre signature Korta cocoa-pancake.
Obviously, I had to go right ahead an order my San Servoli Svjetlo Pivo from Buje in Istria. It’s been a while since I have had a micro, and the first time I’ve tried a Croatian one so I was glad to try this Istrian brew; an unfiltered lager re-fermented in the bottle. In my glass was a cloudy yellow-brown liquid with tiny (but many) sizzling bubbles…a grassy, soft malty bitterness made it a perfect drink on a warm pre-summer day. San Servoli also make an amber beer (Crveno Pivo) however, they are currently out of stock but Korta promises to get their hands on them soon again.
Beer aside and over to the food. Before our starters we got the amuse bouche on the house; a chickpea pate (hummus) with bread on the side. As a side dish salad with went with chickpeas and motar (a special wild herb that grows along the coast) seasoned with Dalmatian herbs and olive oil; a great refreshment which could be enjoyed as a light lunch too.
We opted for the authentic Dalmatian dishes rarely found in konoba menus nowadays; squid with barley and a cuttlefish with broad beans and homemade pasta. The squid with barley dish has been made famous in the Pojoda Restaurant on Vis so it was nice to see something similar in Split; Korta’s version is a little more wholesome and ‘thick.’ The hearty cuttlefish dish came with homemade green macaroni and I liked that the dish wasn’t over soaked in ink (as I often find in many places). Although tasty and with admittedly large portions, I found that a price tag of 95kn per main dish was a little over the top for a casual eatery.
My dining partner didn’t need to convince me to try some dessert although I was completely full. Always eager to try an eateries ‘signature’ dishes, I opted for their “Black Bag Korta,” a cocoa-pancake with vanilla ice-cream and marmalade packed like a parcel; not sure what is so ‘signature’ about it other than the addition of cocoa as every restaurant in the city has pancakes on the menu. We also had a slice of parfait with vodka and peach; a refreshing bite with a slight tang of vodka, but I was disappointed that the peached were canned; perhaps a Dalmatian twist could be rakija peaches…
All in all, I was glad to have discovered a new eatery in Split that has put a focus on retro Dalmatian dishes from yesteryear and a quirky addition of local microbrewery beer. The charming courtyard setting and its cute décor makes it a clear favorite of the two eateries on the square, which is the home of the grand Church of St. Phillip Neri.