Azur Restaurant Dubrovnik, Croatia

To those of you who think of destination dining as a pleasant drive from Atlanta to the Highland Grill in Birmingham, allow me to push the envelope just a bit. On a recent trip to the coast my wife and I had grown tired of grilled fish and the ever present octopus salads and grilled squid. Seeking something a bit different, a Google assist from Trip Advisor turned up Azur, which caught my eye when described as “Asian Mediterranean fusion”.

In addition to that, almost all of the reviews began with diners seeking the same change. When analyzing

on line “reviews” by people whom I doubt visit a restaurant more than once before posting on line, I try to adhere to the statistical dictum requiring one to throw out the high and low before determining the probable outcome, but it was impossible in this case – there were simply too many of the highs and too few of the lows.- so I followed the majority of positive reviews and made a reservation.

Allow ten minutes more than you thought it might take to get there to allow you to get lost at least once. It is up a steep step of stairs off of side street which is off of the main road. The restaurant is small, perhaps 8 tables indoors but many more available outside depending upon the weather.

Looking at the wine list, the usual rule is that if I recognize it I can’t afford it, and if I don’t recognize it I need help from the staff. When I called the waiter over to describe what I liked. He cut me off to explain that all of the wines on the list were available by the glass or the bottle and we were free to taste anything we wanted before deciding.

My kind of wine list. After selecting a lovely white from a grape I never heard of and still can’t pronounce correctly, we got about the business of ordering. A constant from the reviews was the cream of pumpkin soup which my wife ordered, and I started with the fennel tzaziki dip. When the waiter presented it with bread slices, I asked if he could bring some crudite’s for my wife (who is gluten intolerant) to use for the dip.

He then saw her removing the croutons from her soup and insisted on bringing a fresh bowl sans croutons in spite of her stating she was perfectly happy to remove them. We next split a superb salmon ceviche, after which I had a trio of Asian meatballs and she had a vegetable curry of Thai origins. The tab for this superb dinner with wine and a tip was right at $100.00.

The next time you find yourself on the coast, the Croatian coast, that is, in the city of Dubrovnik, do not pass this restaurant up.

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