We decided to visit Nikola tavern after it was proclaimed one of the most “wine friendly” restaurants in Dalmatia, so we wanted to see what this “wonder” looks like. If you have never been to Stobrec, don’t be too adventurous, and just ask along the way where Nikola is, otherwise you might find yourself wondering around being lost, instead of enjoying Nikola’s specialties. The restaurant’s location is very discreet, in the basement of a semi-detached building, and not, as one might have expected, down on the waterfront.
Just to be clear, Nikola perhaps is called a “tavern”, but it is decorated definitely as a restaurant, it is no tavern. It is decorated with numerous items and photographs from the civic and naval history of the owner’s family, and of Split and Dalmatia. In other words, the restaurant looks like an apartment of an old Split family whose hobby is collecting finest wines. As soon as you enter the restaurant, you will know that they truly care about their wine selection. You will find yourself sitting, surrounded by a fine wine company, with finest bottles and mysterious cases luring you from all sides.
But the thing you came for is the food. You won’t be disappointed. Nikola is a serious fish restaurant where they carefully prepare everything that comes from the sea. As soon as they bring you fish, clams or crabs, you will know that they were freshly caught in the sea that morning. Just go with the recommendations of owner Nikola or the staff and you won’t go wrong. The same goes for the side dishes. In our case, we got some simple vegetables prepared on butter, where every carrot and bean speaks for itself. The essence of flavor, simplicity, fullness, that is what you will get at Nikola’s. Of course, there are other traditional dishes like brudet fish stew that you should try, but you might not find them every time you come.
All in all, Nikola makes finest dishes with the finest ingredients. Accordingly, don’t think you will get away cheaply, especially if you decide to sample the wine list that contains most important Croatian wines, a solid selection of foreign hits, and a few hidden gems. You wouldn’t hear us complaining if the prices were a bit lower.
Particular charm to the tavern comes from its owner Nikola, so if he’s the one serving you, the experience will be complete.
: simple, tasty, fresh Dalmatian cuisine with a serious wine selection
: Ivankova 42, Stobrec
: +385 21 326 235
: noon to midnight