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Wine Spectator

2020 Edition

Great Places to Wine & Dine
Since 1981, Wine Spectator has been honoring restaurants with extraordinary wine programs.
Restaurant Nautika Best of Award of Excellence 2020

The world's best waterfront restaurants promise more than a view

22nd July 2019

This restaurant, which sits alongside the western entrance to Dubrovnik's Old City, is steeped in history: Formerly the Dubrovnik School of Maritime Studies, it has hosted famous seafarers since the 1880s.

"The menu boasts local delicacies such as lobster from the Dalmation island of Vis, but it's the deeply romantic vista that draws royal visitors from around the globe: On one side, the glittering Adriatic Sea, on the other, the dramatic fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar rise from the water.

Wine Spectator

2019 Edition

Great Places to Wine & Dine
Since 1981, Wine Spectator has been honoring restaurants with extraordinary wine programs.
Restaurant Nautika Best of Award of Excellence 2019

"Symphony in stone"

June 2010. (By Jonathan Bastable)

The June edition of Condé Nast Traveller includes a five page story about Dubrovnik and the restaurant Nautika. The article was written by the eminent British journalist Jonathan Bastable who stayed in Dubrovnik in September 2009.

"Few cities in the world make such a memorable first impression, and as soon as you have caught a glimpse of Dubrovnik, you want to get up close and go inside."

"Dubrovnik is once again a chic destination and a celebrity magnet. Oprah Winfrey has been house-hunting on Stradun, the main street; Kevin Spacey recently celebrated his 50th birthday in Dubrovnik. Nautika was voted the sixth most romantic restaurant in the world. The food and the service are fabolous, and both terraces are wonderful places to sit in the cool of the evening. It is worth breaking the bank for."

Nautika's latest review in The Sunday Times

May 2010. (By Michael Winner)

Winner's Dinners: Dubrovnik - Not my choice of style, but a great destination
When I told people I'd abandoned the Auberge du Pere Bise after its incompetent reservation procedures, and was going to Dubrovnik, they asked, "Why?" They were wrong! It was a marvellous place — I had a great time.

The old town is large, unspoilt. In spite of being warned of dreadful food I had a historic meal in Dubrovnik.

We had a terrific meal in Nautika, by the walls of the old town. The marinated scampi with goat's cheese were incredible, fresh from the Adriatic. The medallions of young veal, prosecco, sweet raisin and white wine sauce with a mousse of peas and potato cone, magnificent. Like the nearby castle on a rock, rising from the sea, where Daniel Day-Lewis performed Hamlet.

My dessert was "Torta od skorupa", described as cream cake with butter, eggs, almonds and lemon zest. Another triumph!

A taste of ink & pink

September 2009. High Life magazine (British Airways)

Local ingredients cooked with homegrown flair make Dubrovnik a tasty destination for food lovers, as top London chef Mark Hix discovers on his first visit. For years now I'd been wanting to tick Croatia off my holiday list. Well, I say holiday, but my trip to Dubrovnik, on the Adriatic coast, was more like work – I had just two and a half days to check out the local restaurants,

food, culture and wine. It was a tight schedule but I took my rod and tackle with me just in case. You never know what's in store.

Dinner was at Nautika restaurant. It's a great setting, with several terraces off the dining rooms on various levels. Our starter was cuttlefish risotto, again with good use of ink. Having it twice in one day was something of a record in my book but both were very good, even if the risotto did turn up with some odd blobs of something on the edge of the plate. I'm sure it wasn't part of the dish and it didn't make it taste any better than it already was. The next course was an unexpected joy, a whole salt-baked sea bass, perfectly cooked and thankfully with no frills. It was served with a commendable olive oil sauce made with an infusion of rosemary and thickened with egg yolks, rather like a hollandaise or mayonnaise. It was a perfect supper washed down with the local Posip white wine. WAY TO GO
British Airways flies to Dubrovnik from London Gatwick. Join the Executive Club and earn up to 2,135 BA Miles when you fly Club Europe to Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik rises from the ruins

March 2008.

Restaurant Nautika, just outside the Pile Gate, is winning rave reviews for its seafood, as well as its priceless views from its cliffside terrace of historic fortifications and the Adriatic crashing at their base.

World's most romantic restaurants

March 2008. (By Lexi Dwyer)

And there's no better spot to reflect on your place in history than from Nautika's outdoor terrace. Where: Restaurant Nautika, Dubrovnik

Why Go: in a city where views are currency (islands! boats! roofs!), this restaurant , overlooking a cove that's nicely insulated from the madding crowds, claims the most valuable panorama for itself. A Side of Atmosphere: The walled Old Town, whose streets have been buffed to a sheen from ten centuries' worth of visitors, feels like a museum come to life. And there's no better spot to reflect on your place in history than from Nautika's outdoor terrace: Two stone fortresses-elegant examples of the city's perfectly preserved medieval beauty – jut into the azure Adriatic, and every so often, a sailboat slices through the waves. Appetite for Seduction:You're staring at the sea, so ordering should be easy: Nautika specializes in seafood dishes that are specific to Dalmatian coast, like sea bass with squid-ink sauce or lobster medallions Korčula-style (served over greens and topped with local olive oil and vinegar.

A Split with the past

Sunday, August 12, 2007. (By Kate Garraway)

We found the perfect spot – Nautika, a restaurant on a terrace overlooking the town walls and the sea. It was so good we went three nights in a row. I LAST visited Croatia as a reporter covering the aftermath of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.
What a difference a decade makes. The people of Croatia have worked hard to move on from those dark days and the energy with which they embrace their new tourist industry is refreshing but not overwhelming. Even though I love travelling I hate to feel like a tourist.
Unlike some parts of the Med, where tourism seems to have destroyed any vestige of real local culture, Croatians have an air of "we're doing very nicely without you, thank you" about them, so your holiday feels like a genuine dip into another way of life. What's more, the waters are clear and the people (as my husband never stopped pointing out) are spectacularly gorgeous.
Dubrovnik is the jewel in the Croatian crown and we ended our holiday in the amazing walled city – but we began near Split, further north. It was here that the elite of the Roman empire would retire to enjoy their spoils. The emperor Diocletian built a huge villa here, parts of which are still standing. Over the centuries a cathedral, homes and even shops have been grafted on to the remnants. It may sound like a hotch-potch but somehow it all blends in seamlessly and turns the site beyond the mere historic and into a living ruin.
We were based at Le Meridien Lav, a 10-minute drive from Split, with its own beach and promenade. This gave us a chance to relax by the pool and enjoy their wonderful spa.
Because of the way much of the town is built on hills overlooking the harbour, you can eat out every night with the Adriatic glistening below you. Should you tire of the view, you can take an evening cruise and see the town and islands from the water while dining on delicious fresh fish.
Reluctant to leave, we chose to drive the four hours along the coast to Dubrovnik. We passed endless beaches with hotels and apartments lining the road. I'm sure we weren't the only people fantasising about buying a seafront house here.
No cars are permitted within Dubrovnik's medieval walls, and its wide, café-lined main street is paved with marble that reflects the setting sun. It is like stepping into a golden streetscape and we couldn't resist returning there every day.
Luckily our hotel, the luxurious Excelsior, was just a 10-minute walk away from the old town, so after sunset we could stroll back, put Darcey to bed, hand over to an excellent babysitter (the hotels are happy to organise them for you) and return to enjoy dinner.
We found the perfect spot – Nautika, a restaurant on a terrace overlooking the town walls and the sea. It was so good we went three nights in a row.
Those town walls have stood guard for centuries and you can imagine what it would have been like to be one of the sentries on duty, by walking all around them. The walls look on to apartments, gardens and houses – again, that strange mixture of the historic and the current that is Croatia's hallmark.
It was Lord Byron who said Dubrovnik was the jewel in the crown of the Adriatic. He was right, but we found that Split sparkled too.
GETTING THERE: British Airways (0870 850 9850/ offers return flights from Gatwick to Split and Dubrovnik from L110.
Holiday Options (0844 477 0451/ has seven nights' B&B at the Le Meridien Lav in Split (from UK: 00 385 21 500500/ from L730 per adult, L484 per child, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers. The same package at the Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik (20 353353/ costs from L590 per adult, L424 per child. Car hire can be arranged on request.
Croatian National Tourist Office: 020 8563 7979/

Protected by the Past

September 2007, by Randy Johnson, editor

On a recent trip to Dubrovnik, I had lunch with former Croatian tourism minister Pave Zupan-Ruskovic, at the Nautika seafood restaurant, one of the best eateries in the city—and in Croatia. Overlooking a cliff- and rampart-ringed emerald cove...

"Croatia - The New Riviera"

August 2005, Henry Alford

"In search of the latest Mediterranean hot spot? Henry Alford found it in the medieval city of Dubrovnik and on the gorgeous Dalmatian islands, he discovered a cultural and culinary wonderland." " "After taking in the cultural highlights-what may have been Europe's first pharmacy, and the Gothic-Renaissance Rector's Palace-I headed for lunch at Atlas Club Nautika, long considered the city's best restaurant. Nautika is located in a somewhat gloomy 19-th century naval academy just outside of the city's massive drawbridge equipped gates; two floors of formal dining rooms spill out onto lovely, sunny terraces overlooking the water." "On Nautika's upper terrace, I ordered a chef's salad with scampi, and shrimp in garlic parsley sauce. It instantly became clear why many people, including Italians, point out that the bottom of the Adriatic of Croatia is rocky instead of muddy and think Croatia's seafood superior to Italy's."

N A U T I K A - Craftsmanship of gastronomic luxury

19.06.2005., Rene Bakalovic

"From this year the NAUTIKA restaurant, in a cove protected by steep rocks and fortresses above the rooftops of small crowded houses in the fishermen's living quarters of the town by the name of Pile, has definitely become the address in the world, on the global map of luxury."

Aleph, beth, gimel, daleth and eighteen other ancient letters are lined up from left to right in versatile permutations, while the numerals are lined up from right to left. The Hebrew script has been written for the first time on the Menu in a Croatian restaurant. And this Menu is to undergo alterations every month. Along with Hebrew letters there are also Japanese characters, as well as six menus in other languages of the world. From this year the NAUTIKA restaurant, in a cove protected by steep rocks and fortresses above the rooftops of small crowded houses in the fishermen's living quarters of the town by the name of Pile, has definitely become the address in the world, on the global map of luxury. Already, before summer a place at the table on the terrace should be reserved during the morning hours. Should someone search for a table with the best view, certainly the table no. 35, then, it is advisable, to make reservation even couple of days ahead. Dishes cooked with asparagus and artichokes were the most sampled specialties before the summer season, the obligatory points of difference in this restaurant which rightly emphasize the seasonal flow of food-stuffs. One of the most pleasant surprises were the snails imbued with Dingač - Pelješac style. Fresh goat cheese with aromatic honey from Southern Dalmatia is an excellent local interpretation of traditional Italian practices. To serve aromatic cheese slices with cubes of honey-comb instead of some routine honey sauce is the masterminded spark of wit that singles out superior restaurants from those fair ones.

Prices are not the topic

Each new Menu brings the new thematic stories along with the change of the seasons of the year. In all this, the Master Chef Mr. Nikola Ivanišević tends to react to the grand renaissance of the top-level cultivation of olives in Croatia. He offers the best parts of the most esteemed fishes in the white and black emulsion. He succeeded in making his own coupage of the three selected kinds of olive oils and blended it with cuttlefish ink. Upon having a glass of Dubrovnik Malvasija as an aperitif and ending up tasting the enchanted domestic wormwood liqueuer-pelinkovac, made to the traditional family recipe, the folk cuisine provides a supplement for cuisine of the commoners, traditional and modern, fashionable cuisine: Fish Brodetto with Polenta from the Island of Lopud next to Caviar on Ice - Beluga Malossol. More red wine from Petrus castle is poured here than in any other restaurant in Croatia. And the prices, as the architects would say are not the topic any more. The relations of NAUTIKA are global in all segments, so that a portion of the top-level caviar at a price of 1280 kuna, instead of being a shocking one can be called appropriate. Food-stuffs, cooking presentation and serving are fully incorporated into the price, as well as a month's rent falling due for the premises attaining the 6 digits sum in kuna.

Elitism as a system

Luxury in the luxurious restaurants is dubious when misrepresented or superficial. In NAUTIKA, elitism is transformed into a system. The restaurant catering served His Holiness, the Pope with an air of equal self-confidence, as it hosted a thousand journalists, who had been invited by the Chevrolet Company (GM), before the season started. NAUTIKA is open all the year round, and has been almost fully booked for nine months during the year so far.

Gastrodrom - Nautika, Dubrovnik

December 10th, 2004., Davor Butković

"Nautika indeed is a high-class restaurant, with impeccable service, shining silver, elegant menus and wine-lists, and a very good / excellent food." "A brilliant dish: Tail of lobster medallions in Dingač wine sauce" Where Poseidon Sets a Bountiful Table