Gourmet Hvar: Sea Urchin Caviar, 3-Island Burgers, 1999 Bogdanusa, Discover the Island’s Culinary Secrets

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I don’t eat out as much as I used to (or as my figure would suggest), but it is always nice to get a luncheon invitation from Ante Lacman, director of boutique agency, Hvar Tours. Never one to do things by halves, when Ante invites you, there is normally a reason.

And so it proved.  

I could talk about the ambiance, the excellent company, the great setting. But that would detract from the food…

First course – Morski Pjat (Seafood Plate) – tuna in fig sauce, sea cucumber salad with capers, grilled shrimps, tuna sashima in wild orange sauce pasta with sea snails, shellfish in salsa sauce with oregano and Pag cheese.  

And what better accompaniment than a rather unique bottle indeed? The last bottle of the 1999 Bogdanusa, a grape variety indigenous to Hvar which translates as ‘a Gift from God’, and whose taste was described as akin to ‘walking along the Adriatic at 6 am.’ 

As an intro selection, it was stunning, but the highlight was undoubtedly the sea urchin caviar. Having never tried a sea urchin before, this was not only a culinary first for me, but also a sign of what is easily on offer by a creative chef looking to move beyond the standard Dalmatian fare.  

Next course pasta, with three delicious home-made sauces:  homemade pesto, salsa with capers, and oilve pate with potatoes.

From fish to meat, and an imperious beef carpaccio on a bed of rocket and Pag cheese.  

The wines were sensational, and the owner pulled some special treasures from a special cellar, the highlight of which was this 2003 PlaMeNo, so-called after its quality Plavac Mali – Merlot blend. 

The main course (or at least one of them…) – The Three-Island Burger would be a loose translation, but not one which would do it justice. Famous Brac lamb, highly sought-after Hvar wild boar and award-winning Pag cheese. As they say in Manchester, an absolute stonker.  

All the normal compartments were full, but we were forced to find one extra, to accommodate some outstanding Brac lamb in demi sauce. Just when you thought you couldn’t manage another morsel…

And there was dessert, but I cannot describe that far. As I noted above, I don’t eat out that often, and this was one gourmet treat that will live long in the memory. That lamb… To get the very best, and the very unique Hvar gourmet experiences, contact Hvar Tours


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