Konoba Belin, Island of Korčula
When you charter a yacht in Dubrovnik, be sure to visit the island and town of Korčula. The town has a beautiful historical center which is worth walking through. If you feel like having a meal in a restaurant, do not, however, limit yourself only to the area within the walls of the town. Dare to cross the line and visit Žrnovo, just 4 km from the town center. There is a taxi service available at the entrance of ACI marina Korčula. In case you have chosen Lumbarda as a berth for your yacht, you can reach Žrnovo by a taxi as well, or by a local bus line.
Once you have made it to Žrnovo, just keep following “Konoba Belin” signs which will lead you to a cathedral of genuine local food and drink. This family konoba (Dalmatian word for “wine cellar”; nowadays the word for “tavern”) will enchant you with its calm and pleasant atmosphere on a large terrace covered with grapevine.
As soon as you are taken to your reserved seats, you will be offered a homemade herb brandy and dried figs and almonds. The man who runs around the tables with a napkin and pretends to be a waiter is actually Žele, the owner of the restaurant. The old person who sits in a corner with a glass of bevanda (wine with a few sips of water, the favorite traditional Dalmatian drink) who pretends to be the owner is actually Žele’s father. He closely watches everything and makes sure that everything is in order. Other people and children who act like they are at their home actually are at home. They are members of Žele’s family who help around the restaurant and contribute to the homelike atmosphere.
Not long after you become comfortable in the restaurant, homemade Dalmatian pršut (prosciutto) comes to the table, along with goat cheese and salted pickarel. This starter is usually served with zucchini fritters, which are the family specialty. The first course appears in the shape of the traditional homemade makaruni (pasta) served with Belinese meat sauce (Bolognese sauce is a pale imitation of this one), shrimps and lobster sauce. The main course will depend on your mood, but it ranges from grilled fresh seafood, traditional peka (food prepared under an iron bell with charcoal on top) to pašticada (genuine Dalmatian meat dish which tastes like history). This symphony of domestic tastes is completed with genuine plavac (red wine) from Korčula and pošip or grk (white wines) from Lumbarda, Korčula. After you’ve satisfied your senses with such fantastic food, you will be served the dessert. You can expect hrstule, klašuni and cukarini, domestic sweets usually served with rose or cherub liqueur.
All food and drinks served at Belin’s are grown by Radanović family. They have no certificate which confirms that their food is ecologically produced, but they really do not need it because organic is all they know!
I wish you a calm sea, a fair wind and a strong mast!