A truly memorable ten days back in Jelsa. Easter really is my favourite time of year in that gorgeous town.
Easter of course is a time of joy, hope and rebirth, and walking around the town, one could sense that the majority of the works are now close to completion, and Jelsa should begin to shine as early as this season.
One place I always enjoy popping into for a little inspiration is Artichoke Wine Bar and Restaurant on the main waterfront, which was opened a couple of years by Dino Pavicic, the man behind Mojito cocktail bar on the other side of the harbour.
Mojito of course goes from strength to strength, and it has become established as the top cocktail bar in the area, with an innovative range of events for the season, to go with its idyllic waterfront setting. It will reopen shortly for the 2017 season, but with a complete renovation inside – we will bring you pictures and an opening date as soon as we have them.
And just as Mojito brought a little quality to the Jelsa cocktail scene, so to Artichoke has done much for the Jelsa upscale gourmet offer. Here you will find an excellent range of traditional dishes with a modern twist, as well as some truly innovative dishes – how about the truffle ice cream in the lead picture above?
Whereas many Hvar restaurants sadly (and rather incomprehesibly) have little Hvar wine on their menus, Artichoke has gone the other way, offering not only the most comprehensive list of Hvar winemakers on the island, but with many of them by the glass, allowing guests to truly become acquainted with the fabulous Hvar wine story. And so too with the food. With the exception of high quality Croatian products such as truffles, 80-90% of the ingredients in the Artichoke kitchen are sourced locally.
And it is great to see Artichoke open so early in the season. They opened jsut before Easter and are now open daily from midday, and Dino has already reported a strong start to 2017, which is great news.
And while there are plenty of new things happening in Artichoke, some things stay the same; the same staff from last year’s successful season are back, having worked hard together to prepare for this season over the winter.
So what’s new for 2017? In addition to the traditional lunch and dinner, Artichoke is now offering bar snacks for guests who want something a little more casual to compliment the wines they can taste by the glass. They will also host dedicated wine evenings, as well as guest chefs coming to cook in the restaurant. And one thing I am looking forward to seeing, which will open shortly, is their new gourmet deli shop, where you will be able to buy many of the ingredients that contributed to your enioyable meal. Full details coming soon.
The menu is seafood and traditional Mediterranean with a good selection of meat, with a gourmet innovation or two to whet the taste buds. Why not check it out on your next visit to Jelsa, or follow the Artichoke story this summer on Facebook?