Gastroadvent at Hotel Salona Palace Explores Flavors of Roman Cuisine, Rosemary, and Goat Cheese

Daniela Rogulj

Andrea Bilandžić

December 22, 2019 – The fourth Gastroadvent Sunday was held on December 22, 2019, at Hotel Salona Palace, inside the Tusculum restaurant in Solin. This time, rosemary, goat cheese, and print media journalists were in the Advent spotlight. 

Gastroadvent is a unique manifestation that fuses nutrition, gastronomy, and tourism while highlighting some of Split’s favorite restaurants on the less busy days of December. For the past ten years, the event has promoted the Mediterranean diet and has left a mark through its work on Mediterranean ingredients. 

Thus, every Sunday of December, valuable hosts, patrons, partners and journalists gather to honor not only the light they bring to Split, but also to recognize the integral ingredients found in the Mediterranean region. 

And this year, the central ingredient of Gastroadvent is invaluable to the city of Split.

Namely, rosemary is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet. It is originally from Europe and has been used since ancient times when students decorated their heads with rosemary wreaths, thinking that it has a beneficial effect on memory. Rosemary leaves and the essential oil obtained by distilling leaves are officially medicinal according to European regulations. Rosemary leaf contains natural phenolic compounds and is therefore considered medicine and a spice. By its antioxidant properties, it is the most potent food. It grows on rocky soil, withstands salt and high temperatures, and its habitat is carbonate rocks.

Rosemary could not exist without its home, stone. The same stone that Diocletian’s Palace is made of, which was protected 40 years ago by UNESCO. This year’s Gastroadvent wreath is made of stone and was crafted by the students of the Stonemasonry School in Pucisca, Brac, which boasts 120 years of existence. 

Furthermore, goat cheese is higher in nutrients than all other cheeses. Last year, archaeological excavations near Šibenik revealed that Dalmatia is the home of goat cheese. Namely, according to the American scientists who analyzed and found the DNA of fats in vessels during the excavation, goat cheese was produced in Dalmatia some 7,200 years ago!

Thus, on Sunday, December 22, we gathered at Hotel Salona Palace, a unique luxury resort that exudes the ancient spirit of old Salona, at the very entrance of which is located. The location has determined the charm of its content, which is a combination of ancient elegance and modern comfort, all combined with a quality and personalized service.

The hotel has 47 rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa & wellness center, fitness room, conference rooms, banquet and a la carte restaurant and parking, and green areas that turn it into a peaceful oasis ideal for getting away from everyday stress. What sets it apart from everyone else is the cultural and historical heritage that surrounds it and is woven through visual messages throughout the hotel.

The fourth Gastroadvent candle was lit by print media journalists at the Tusculum Restaurant, where all guests were offered a special gastronomic story inspired by Mediterranean and Dalmatian cuisine. The newly renovated Roman Tavern was the perfect backdrop to complete the 10th Gastroadvent in Split. Throughout the year, this restaurant offers guests a menu based solely on local and homemade food, emphasizing quality, Croatian produce and eco-farming.

The sumptuous dining table by the restaurant’s ambitious chef was inspired by exploring Roman cuisine, goat cheese and, of course, rosemary. The menu included Dalmatian pašticada with homemade gnocchi and rosemary, filet of lubin fish with bacon and goat cheese, grilled vegetables with goat cheese, and roast veal in wine and rosemary.


Dario Stipaničev


The menu expanded into stuffed peppers with goat cheese, chicken fillet with white wine and rosemary, baked potatoes stuffed with goat cheese and rosemary, a Mediterranean pogača and classic Dalmatian cod (or bakalar). 


Dario Stipaničev

For dessert, there was a fresh goat cheese pie, while the chef displayed an assortment of rosemary cookies and cakes.


Dario Stipaničev

All dishes were paired with Plenković wines from Hvar and the Kaštela Crljenak Vuina.


Gastroadvent is held every Sunday of Advent at a different location in Split. 

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