Friday, January 20, 2012

When Harry Met Gariful

Prince Harry's notorious night in the Veneranda swimming pool in Hvar Town was probably the biggest story on Hvar in 2011, closely followed by Beyonce revealing her baby bump at Hula Hula Beach Club a few days later, but the young prince had more fun than just dancing the night.

Any young royal looking for a feast fit for a potential future king should head to one address only, and according to media reports, Prince Harry did just that, heading for Hvar's premier exclusive fish restaurant, Gariful. Dinner was followed by a stop at trendy cocktail bar, Caffe Sidro, before heading on to his infamous antics at Veneranda.

So if you want to party like a prince on Hvar this summer, there are three main stops to plan: dinner at Gariful, drinks at Sidro, then party the night away at Veneranda, although it should be stressed that the swimming pool is off limits...

An Aerial View of the Gariful Neighbourhood

One of the many attractions of dining at Gariful is the wonderful view. As already discussed on this blog, some of the world's biggest yachts moor up about 3 metres from the restaurant, affording diners a bird's eye view of the luxury lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Should there be no boats, however, the view is equally spectacular, with the stunning Pakleni Islands located just opposite the restaurant. A great place to sit with a brandy after a fine fish extravaganza, and enjoy the pure beauty of the Gariful neighbourhood.

Pour yourself a drink now, sit back and enjoy the Pakleni Islands from the air.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hvar's Finest Cuisine is Coming to Belgrade!

Accompanied by a rumoured 1.5 tons of fish, some of the best restauranteurs from Hvar will be heading to the Serbian capital for the annual Dani Hvarske Kuhinje (Days of Hvar Cuisine) at Restaurant Saran, which this year runs from January 23 to February 7, and Gariful will be there to greet some of their distinguished Serbian friends.

Organised and run by Kod Kapetana owner, Jurica Tomicic, the popular event will be held for the seventh year, reuniting Hvar's many Serbian friends with the finest cuisine, wine and entertainment from the Adriatic in the midst of winter.

Click here to read more about the Days of Hvar Cuisine in Belgrade. Restaurant Gariful looks forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Which is the Best Restaurant on Hvar?

In many ways it a question which is impossible to answer - which is the best restaurant on Hvar? Dining is a very individual experience, and the wine, location, service and food all contribute to one's dining experience. And yet some restaurants are clearly better than others.

Get a group of gastronomic experts together, however, and one can form some kind of consensus. At the Dalmatian Wine Expo in Makarska last year, a distinguished list of experts - chefs, restaurant owners famous gourmands and culinary journalists - were asked to name their top restaurants in Dalmatia.

Hvar's reputation as a gastronomic destination was cemented by five of its restaurants being included in the Top 40 Restaurants in Dalmatia, with Gariful top of the list for the island, coming in at 21 on the list.

It was joined by two restaurants on the Pakleni Islands - Palmižana Meneghello (23) and Antonio-Patak, Ždrilica (28) - star performer from the provinces, Me and Mrs Jones in Jelsa (32), and the only other restaurant in Hvar Town, Konoba Luviji (39).

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Wave from Gabriela Sabatini

Tennis is an important part of the Gariful portfolio, and the restaurant hosts the Gariful Hvar Open every April, an ATP tour event on the women's circuit, with $10,000 prize money for the winner. The event is held at the Gariful Sports Center on the edge of Hvar Town.

While the participants in the Hvar Open may never go on to win the US Open or Wimbledon, Gariful still manages to attract tennis champions to Gariful... for fine dining. Gabriela Sabatini, for example, who won the US Open singles in 1990 and Wimbledon ladies' doubles in 1988, took time out from an excellent fish dinner at Gariful to wave at local photographer Jaksa Kuzmicic, in this shot taken on August 20, 2010.

The Boring View at Gariful on Hvar

Some people go for the fish, the biggest and best on Hvar.

Some people go to find a celebrity, and there is no better restaurant on Hvar for celebrity spotting.

Some people go for the wine, the best selection of Hvar, Croatian and international wines on the island.

And some people go for the boats, which moor up metres from your dining table. Whatever the reason, dinner at Gariful offers something out of the ordinary.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Where Would a Rich Russian Tycoon Dine on Hvar?

Restaurant Gariful is not cheap. Very few of the fine things in life are. With its premier waterfront location and outstanding fish, one would not expect it to be. What is does have is style, as well as that something extra, so when an unnamed Russian tycoon came to Hvar in July 2010, demanding to be shown the most exclusive restaurant with the best wines, there was only one place to go.

The party of five had a seven star dinner which included healthy portions of Beluga caviar and lobster Bellevue, according to reports in the Croatian press. The choice of wines included a selection that would not be found on many a wine list in an exclusive restaurant in Paris, and Gariful's Russian guests enjoyed two bottles of Chateau d'Yquem 2001, THE most exclusive Sauternes in the world, as well as a 1995 Jeroboam of Dom Perignon White Gold, whose 3-litre bottle was specially packaged and edged with white gold.

And that is the point of Gariful. Reassuringly expensive, and able to offer that little bit extra in terms of luxury and dedicated service.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Has the Co-Founder of Microsoft ever Parked Outside Your Front Door?

There are two guarantees when dining at Gariful: you will get the biggest and best fish, and you will see the biggest and best boats. Boats owned by people such as Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who moored up outside the restaurant in this 2007 shot below. The quality of the picture is unfortunately not up to the occasion, so see above for a more impressive picture of the $200 million vessel, built in 2003. According to the

You must have heard from the grapevines that Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen was vacationing on Hvar, in the Adriatic sea, off the Dalmatian coast, Croatia, in his super-yacht The Octopus.
The Octopus, at 126.18 meters length, has secured its position in 2003 as world's largest. Built at the cost of $200 million, she definitely stands out as the priciest ever. It has two helipads, a movie theatre, and a studio capable of professional level recording production.

Because of her enormous size, Octopus cannot dock at most ports, but she has a 60 foot tender to service her, another seven smaller boats within it, and a fuel-cell-powered 10-person submarine capable of staying submerged for two weeks.

Octopus requires a crew of 60 to operate her. First launched in 2003, she has been seen in Portugal, St. Martin, and New Orleans. She was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and was constructed in Germany.

Allen also owns the Tatoosh, his second, the 12th largest in the world. The Tatoosh stays mainly in the Pacific, touring Galapagos, Palau and New Zealand.

An Eventful Lunch at Gariful

A peak season lunchtime on the waterfront of exclusive Hvar Town was dramatically interrupted on August 5 2011 by a luxury yacht breaking through its mooring ropes, hitting five other vessels and injuring two people.

Exciting Birthday Celebrations

"It was unbelievable," said eyewitness Chris Connor, who was celebrating her 59th birthday with husband Mick at exclusive fish restaurant Gariful, when the incident happened. "The boat just suddenly shot forward and went on the rampage." Connor, who runs up market boutique complex, The Quaich Experience, in the village of Vrbanj, agreed that the incident had added to the birthday excitement.

"What with that, and Roman Abramovich's old plaything rocking up, moored up next to Wallypower, it was quite a lunch."

Five Boats Hit in Hvar Town Marina

The rogue yacht, the 31.25m Cayman Islands registered Kai, with a British captain at the helm, had its engine running and snapped through its protective ropes at 1330 local time, according to Croatian daily 24 Sata.

Kai shot forward and hit five other boats - three Croatian, the Italian Giampi and American Colonial Sun, with two Croatian crew members on the latter injured in the incident. Kai is owned by Genu Marine Adventures Limited and had 11 crew and 13 passengers. The incident is being handled by Hvar Port Authority and local police are investigating the British captain.

Other Luxury Boats in Port: Ecstasea and Wallypower

Hvar Town is arguably Croatia's most exclusive destination after Dubrovnik, and a regular haunt for celebrities, many of whom dine at Gariful, the most famous fish restaurant in town. While the multi-million Kai cuts an impressive figure, it was dwarfed by other boats in the marina at the time, most notably Roman Abramovich's former luxury yacht, the 86m Ecstasea, which was moored next to one of the most talked about boats of the season, Wallypower, part of the fleet of enigmatic Chinese entrepreneur Jimmy Lee.

The incident is the latest in a busy period for the local emergency services. On Thursday, an Abu Dhabi-registered 40 metre yacht beached itself in the bay of Pokojni Dol, after hitting the small island of the same name while on auto-pilot, while a New Zealand woman was airlifted to Split in a helicopter, following a freak accident while having sex with a British national in the bathroom of a yacht moored off the Pakleni Islands; the sink broke and a jagged edge all but severed her left hand. Doctors in Split were able to perform successful surgery.

Croatia's Leading Popstar Meets Hvar's Leading Restaurant

Best wishes to Severina and Milan from Restaurant Gariful as they await the birth of their first child. And as they wait, a reminder of one of Severina's many visits to Croatia's premier island, and as a guest at Restaurant Gariful in Hvar Town. The picture was taken in April 2007. Nice t-shirt!

Gariful, a Family Business and Tradition

Some of the great Dalmatian traditions and skills have been passed from generation to generation, allowing the secrets of the past to be preserved for the future. Ancient recipes from a grandmother are faithfully reproduced by the younger generation, keeping the rich variety of ancient Dalmatian recipes very much alive; Hvar's 2,400 year wine tradition includes many generations of families who have passed on the secrets of the vines to help produce the award-winning wines being produced by today's island vintners.

Above all, the ancestors of Hvar have passed on the secrets of the sea, with fishing an important part of island life. The best fishermen will have learned their trade from fathers and grandfathers, and the owners of Hvar's best fish restaurants begin their association with the sea at an early age.

The future of Hvar's premier restaurant, Gariful, looks secure from the picture above. Taken in 2008 and featured in regional daily Slobodna Dalmacija, as Ivan Junior, just short of his second birthday, displays a strong work ethic and close relationship with the fruits of the Adriatic.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Premier League to Premier Hvar Restaurant: Luka Modric at Gariful

Croatian football star Luka Modric, whose brilliant performances for Tottenham Hotspur have raised the profile of Croatian football in England, swapped the Premier League for Croatia's premier island last summer, and took time to have a bite to eat at Hvar's premier restaurant, Gariful in Hvar Town.

According to a report in regional daily Slobodna Dalmacija on June 20, 2011, Modric dined at the exclusive waterfront restaurant, which is located on the water next to celebrity hangout Carpe Diem, with his footballing friend Hrvoje Cale, who plays for Trabzonspor in Turkey.

Accompanied by their wives, the two footballers enjoyed a quality Dalmatian meal in the restaurant which Slobodna reports had also recently served the likes of Roman Abramovich and Giorgio Armani.

Despite being in the best fish restaurant on the island, Modric opted for a meat main course, the Gariful steak, which included a hint of the Adriatic, served as it is with shrimp. The rest of the party ate a mixture of sea food and risotto.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stylish Sven Visits Stylish Hvar: Dinner at Gariful

Even the most hardened English football supporter will concede one thing about the former manager of the national team: Sven Goran Eriksson had style. The Swedish coach, who became the first manager to ever win league and cup doubles in three different countries before his unsuccessful time as the English coach, is also known for his colourful and stylish life away from football, and so it was no surprise that stylish Sven chose Croatia's premier island for a holiday in 2010.

Sven with Igor Stimac, left, and Gariful owner Ivan Gospodnetic

Croatian media covered the story of Sven's dinner at Gariful, Hvar's most exclusive restaurant, which is situated on the water next to Carpe Diem. In a story run published on August 23, 2010, Sven is pictured at a Gariful dining table in the company of Hvar Town mayor Pjerino Bebic and Croatian soccer legend, Igor Stimac.

Sven next to Hvar Town mayor Pjerino Bebic (Photo Damian Tadic - Cropix)