Otto Barić: De Canavellis Contender for Top 3 Croatian Restaurants

A review of the latest fine dining option on the island of Korčula.

The recent soft opening of the De Canavellis restaurant in Korčula is definitely something worth writing about. With this year's wine and culinary offer, I believe Korčula has taken over the top spot not just in the southern Adriatic, but in a much wider region.

In addition to brilliant Marko Gajski at Lešić Dimitri, Ranch Maha, Konoba Mate, Filippi, Nonno and Pensatore, and the perfect Moro beach bar on the islet of Stupe, two new venues which have raised the standards to great heights have been opened.

At the islet of Vrnik, Darko Vlašić is preparing inspired Mediterranean cuisine in the building of ​​the old island school. While his cuisine also deserves a special review, the finest acquisition of the gastronomy empire led by Pero Lozica at this moment is the incredible Matija Bogdan, a chef who this summer substituted Ledbury in London with the red and black environment of De Canavellis in Korčula.

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Matija, assisted by a fine team and in collaboration with the phenomenal Igor Gudac who always spreads positive vibes, cooks perfectly and precisely, with incredible textures and flavours.

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Greetings from the kitchen – sea bass and fennel, carrots and coffee, they open your palate and send a very clear message about the capabilities and ambitions of this kitchen

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cucumber in several physical states, with slightly poached oyster

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tomato with lobster and cherries

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asparagus and mussels, the highlight of the evening in my view, the perfection of taste and silky texture of the sauce

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beetroot risotto with goose liver

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perfectly fried sea bass with zucchini rind and basil cream, fantastic

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superb beef, celery and truffles, with olives

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Self-proclaimed pastry chef Igor Gudac prepared three desserts. We tried all three and they perfectly rounded up the phenomenal dinner. The desserts were paired with great cocktails prepared by young bartender Slaven. Without a hint of trouble, we walked about fifty metres to our home in gale-force bura winds, but that did not ruin the overall impression even a little bit.

The kitchen has given everything it had. In my humble opinion, it is already at the top international level. If they improve the wine list, the bread offer, and the lighting in the otherwise charming garden a bit, De Canavellis will certainly be among the top three restaurants in Croatia.

Text and photos by Otto Barić

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