We came across the Bistro Eremitaž (that’s Hermitage with a Croatian accent!) when we went sketching at a little beach out on the north shore of Stari Grad. We read the menu, looked at the inviting shady terrace overlooking the water and thought – we must come back and eat here sometime. Two years later, we were passing there again and decided we’d try it for a light lunch. At least that was the plan as we climbed up to the terrace…
I should explain that the Eremitaž isn’t exactly in the center of town. As you might expect, the chosen site of a hermit isn’t really on a busy road, either. It’s next to Sv. Jerolim’s tiny little church on the northern shore path, on the way out to the hotel complex and the water polo area. On the way if you’re on foot, that is. If you go by car, it’s a much longer way round, and you won’t pass by the restaurant!
Anyway, I was all excited going into this restaurant, as the menu listed a “hot and cold vegetarian platter” as a starter. I do eat fish as well, but I’m always on the hunt for good tasty veggie options. I’m not convinced that Croatians quite grasp the principle, which is a shame, given the wonderful choice of fresh produce available on the island. So then, a light lunch, and as it was my birthday, a bottle of wine. We chose a table at the front of the terrace and watched the boats heading in and out of Stari Grad harbour. Lovely!
The lightness of the lunch started to go awry as we opted for a grilled fish to follow our veggie starter platter. The wine menu included the excellent Korta Katarina Pošip, which had been a favourite of ours at last year’s Dalmatian Wine Expo. Sadly, it wasn’t available, but the waiter explained that they had a rosé from the same winery, did we want to try that? Great, yes, that would be fine. But when the rosé arrived, Korta Katarina was spelled Krauthaker! Much laughter as the waiter checked the label in surprise!! Not that we minded really, as Krauthaker also make wonderful wines.
The veggie platter was wonderful. It was carefully put together, and really, really tasty. Whoever created that combination of ingredients had actually tried eating the food, you could tell. Very yummy! And so was the wine, incidently.
By the end of the fish course (also rather excellent), it had started to rain, dripping gently at first but gradually getting more serious. Picking up our wine glasses (important things first), we abandoned our view and retreated under cover with the rest of the diners, settling ourselves at a dry table. Well, this was in May, after all, so the weather can be a bit unpredictable!
I swear we didn’t intend to have dessert, but the waiter was describing the figs (lightly battered and drizzled with a honey-orange sauce) to the other patrons, so we just had to try those! Sublime!
The Eremitaž is open every day for lunch and dinner. Well worth finding your way here, and it definitely won’t be another two years before we come again!