About the Restaurants
Seafood-lovers rejoice: the fresh catch predominates throughout Southern Dalmatia. Look for squid, prawn, salmon, and everything from tuna steaks to octopus to the popular mussels buzara (tomato and white wine sauce). Restaurants in Dubrovnik are the most expensive, but also the most sophisticated, where excellent produce is accentuated by sophisticated new flavors, herbs, and recipes still unheard-of in many other towns. The region's top venue for shellfish is the village of Mali Ston on the Pelješac Peninsula, where locally grown ostrige (oysters) and dagnje (mussels) attract diners from far and wide. Similarly, the island of Mljet is noted for its jastog (lobster), a culinary luxury highly appreciated by the sailing crowd. Be sure to find a restaurant that serves food prepared ispod peke ("under the bell"): a terra-cotta casserole dish, usually containing either lamb or octopus, is buried in white embers over which the peka (metal dome) is placed to ensure a long, slow cooking process—it usually needs to be ordered a day in advance but it's worth the wait. Another must-try for meat lovers is pašticada, a sweet and rich, slow-cooked beef dish typically served with gnocchi. For dessert, the region's specialty is rožata, an egg-based pudding similar to French crème caramel. Of course, all meals should be accompanied by a glass of excellent local wine; Plavac Mali, Pošip, Malvazija, and Dingač are names you’ll get to know.