Hvar Town

Lucullus in Hvar Town: The Craziest Quality Restaurant in Croatia?

By paul 15 July 2015

I don't think I have ever been to a restaurant quite like Lucullus in Hvar Town, certainly not a high quality one.

So bizarre is it that I included it in my 12 hour tour of an alternative Hvar for the American journalists who were here yesterday.  

We have already reported on the fact that owner Stipe Erceg is a little bit crazy, but he does say something quite intelligent about his restaurant philosophy, which is VERY different to any other on the island.

"People are on holiday and they want to have fun," he explains simply.

And when Stipe says fun, he means FUN, and Lucullus is perhaps unique on Hvar in that guests may come to dine in the presence of strangers, but they go home with new-found friends.

When I first heard of Lucullus a few years ago, I was a little skeptical of a supposedly quality restaurant, whose waiters served fresh fish with a snorkel mask, then filleted it dressed as a surgeon. But the concept really works, and my first evening in Lucullus back in 2012 remains a culinary highlight of my time on Hvar.  

I wanted to introduce the Americans to Stipe, if only for the half hour we managed before heading on to our next appointment, but in an action-packed day, he made quite the impression.

First party trick - to open the Slavonian sparkling wine in the best way possible - with a sword.  

Although dinner was elsewhere, there was time and room for a starter sampler, and the Lucullus offering was salivating indeed. Tuna carpaccio, octopus salad and cuttlefish risotto were three highights, and whereas many restaurants talk about local recipes and ingredients, Lucullus takes that philosophy to a higher level - can you get more unique or Hvar ingredients than wild boar with lavender gnocchi, for example? 

Lucullus is the only restaurant on the island which openly admits it often runs out of fish in the evening, for everything is bought fresh that day, and there are no frozen reserves to call upon. 

And there is music - animated and discreet, and the perfect backdrop to the smashing plates that are sometimes performed on the rare occasion the tables are not full with guests. 

Fun, great and personal service and a unique approach to the concept of local ingredients and recipes, Lucullus is located just off Hvar Town's main square in the first adjacent street facing the fortress.

P. Hektorovica 3, 21450 Hvar; Telephone: +385 21 718 073; Web site: http://www.lucullus-hvar.com