17 July 2011

Foodies Flock

Between the cities of Rijeka and Opatija - technically a part of the latter - is the small town of Volosko. It's an old fishing village which consists of not much more than a small harbor on the Preluka Bay and a few stairs leading steeply up to a cluster of labyrinthian streets. While it's apparently a primo windsurfing and sailing location, we heard about it because of its restaurant scene. "Foodies flock to Volosko," we were told via guide book.
People eat late here. So, we arrived at around 7:30 to find the daytime activities still in full swing. The scene felt much more local than Opatija, from where we'd walked. Merlin's brother, Luke, and Luke's girlfriend, Sarah, were in tow, having just met up with us after a whirlwind journey from Seattle to Switzerland to Italy to Croatia. We were feeling celebratory and indulgent and waited until the sun set a little to sit down for a nice meal and a bottle of wine (or two).
There are about five restaurants right on the water and then a few more tucked away into corners of town. Tables are set up just about everywhere they can be, coexisting with the non-restaurant-related motions of the harbor. It all feels very relaxed. While decor ranged from sleek to maritime to tavern, there was a general theme of fresh seafood, focused preparation and congenial service. At Plavi Podrum, on an indulgent whim, we decided to opt for the degustation menu. It didn't matter that our food was more dressed up than we were, a dollop of foam on my scallops and a heat-distressed tank top on me.
The village's fishing traditions can still be felt, not just tasted. Each time we walk over to Volosko, there are people with fishing rods. Lights twinkle at night, strung up on nets and boats are heavy with equipment. At Konoba Tramerka, we were shown a big plate of the day's catch. There was no menu aside from this display of ingredients and a quick run down of preparations. Everything was served family-style (which was apropos) and the meal was ordered one course at a time. This style of dining, choosing food as you move through the evening, reminded us of our time in Italy. As did the ricotta custard for dessert.
Sadly, we didn't take any pictures of our food. It's something we only realized the morning after each meal. You see, Volosko lulls you into a completely relaxed mood - like eating this well is just a normal part of your life. Kids sold seashells while their parents said hello to their neighbor, passing by on a motorcycle, between bites of seafood risotto. We were extra happy to have Luke and Sarah at our table, helping us to more truly relish in the good food/good friends atmosphere of dining a la Volosko.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my, I want to go to Volosko! Amazing. I love that the menu only had ingredients and preparations on it. Sounds like a great food adventure.

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