Croatia Dining

Dubravkin Put, Zagreb
Nestled in a verdant dale in Tuskanac Park, a 15-minute walk from the center of town in a low-rise building that might be mistaken for a ranch-style house, this prestigious fish restaurant specializes in dishes from the Dubrovnik area— buzara (stew prepared with shellfish and scampi and/or fish) and sea bass filets in saffron and scampi sauce. The dining room is light and airy, with candlelight dining, a wooden floor, palmlike little trees, and colorful abstract art. Dubravkin Put 2, Gornji Grad. 01/483-4970. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$-$$$$

Due Fratelli, Labin
Owned by a family that also has a fishing boat down on the bay, this restaurant has plenty of fresh, delicious seafood specialties on offer in addition to a good selection of meat and poultry dishes. Getting to this pleasant and folksy restaraunt is easy if you’re driving. Keep your eyes peeled along the winding road downhill from Labin to Rabac for the restaurant’s little sign to the left as the road curves right. Montozi 6, 052/853-577. Reservations essential. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$

Enoteca Al Gastaldo, Rovinj
Walls lined with wine bottles and tables lit by candles create a warm and intimate atmosphere in this sophisticated eatery, hidden away in the Old Town a couple of blocks back from the harbor. Indulge in spaghetti with either truffles or crab, fresh fish prepared over an open fire, and a colorful rocket (arugula) and radicchio salad. Round it all off with a glass of local rakija. Iza Kasarne 14. 052/814-109. No credit cards. $$$$

Lokanda Peskarija, Dubrovnik
Just outside the town walls, overlooking the old harbor and next to the covered fish market, this seafood restaurant is a particularly good value. It has a split-level interior with exposed stone walls and wooden beams, plus outdoor candlelit tables by the water. Locals love it, so reservations are recommended, especially for dinner. Na Ponti, Stari Grad. 020/324-750. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Jan. and Feb. $$

Macondo, Hvar
This superb fish restaurant lies hidden away on a narrow, cobbled street between the main square and the fortress—to find it, follow the signs from Trg Sv Stjepana. The dining room is simply furnished with wooden tables, discreet modern art, and a large open fire. The food and service are practically faultless. Begin with the delicate scampi paté, followed by a mixed seafood platter, and round off with a glass of homemade wine. 2 blocks north of trg Sv Stjepna, Hvar Town. 021/742-850. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Dec.-Mar. $$-$$$$

Paviljon, Zagreb
This chic restaurant—with its round, colonnaded dining room and grand piano—occupies the ground floor of the charming 19th-century Art Pavilion. The Italian-inspired menu includes dishes such as tagliatelle with prosciutto and asparagus, crispy roast duck on red cabbage with figs, and oven-roasted monkfish with bread crumbs, pine nuts, and thyme. The wine list is equally impressive, with a choice of Croatian, Italian, and French vintages. Tomislavov trg 22, Donji Grad. 01/481-3066. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. $$$$

Restoran Müller, Osijek
This is one of Osijek’s finest restaurants, where not only regional specialties but also coastal as well as continental cuisine are prepared and served with great care and complemented by the finest wines. Whether it’s sea bass or beef Wellington, you will leave this elegant and cozy room as pleased as a plumb. At the time of this writing, the only foreign-language menu was in German. Trg Jurja Krizanica 9, Trvda. 031/204-270. AE, DC, MC, V. $$-$$$$

Slavonska Kuca, Osijek
The one small room is about as atmospheric as can be, with the rustic wooden benches complemented by walls adorned with, among other things, a giant catfish and a net not nearly large enough to hold it in. Folksy Croatian background music lulls your senses as you delight in such regional fare as perkelt (meat in paprika sauce). For dessert, try the palacinke (crêpes). The menu is in Croatian only. Kamila Firingera 26, Trvda. 031/208-277. AE, DC, MC, V. $-$$

Adio Mare, Korcula
Adio Mare occupies a Gothic-Renaissance building in the Old Town. There’s a high-ceiling dining room as well as an open-plan kitchen so you can watch the cooks while they work. The menu has not changed since the restaurant opened in 1974: expect Dalmatian classics such as pasta-fazol (beans with pasta) and pasticada (beef stewed in wine and prunes), as well as fresh fish and seafood. The local wine, posip, is excellent. Ul Marka Pola. 020/711-253. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Nov.-Mar. No lunch. $$-$$$$