I went to Pet Bunara on the recommendation of a site following Anthony Bourdain's trip to Croaita.
Apparently Mr. Bourdain's croatian chaperone knows a thing or two about good food.
The atmosphere inside was very typical european. Out was your basic covered patio. Well lit, with wooden decor.
The menu is very traditional for the region. Some meat, some fish, a few soup dishes, and of course dessert.
I ordered the octopus carpaccio, with a cabbage salad. The octopus carpaccio started out a little bland, but, a dash of salt and pepper came alive, almost literally. Thinly sliced octopus on a bed of arugula is a great pairing. Bitter at first, mildly fishy, with a sweet aftertaste. Its much more appetizing than it sounds.
Cabbage salad is standard for Croatia, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper. I could eat this stuff for breakfast lunch and dinner.
For the main I ordered the grilled 1/2 kg of Scampi. It came by itself. Imagine 7 mini lobster grilled to perfection. In my broken Croatian I asked the extremely helpful waiter how to eat these, and he obliged by giving me a lesson. That's what I call customer service. Be forewarned, this is a messy dish. You'll need a shower afterwards, but trust me, its worth it. The scampi were cooked just right, no real fishiness to them at all, just bite sized lobster flavoured morsels.
For dessert came the chocolate lady. a moist meld of chocolate and marasaka, the local cherry liquor. Decadent.
All in all, the meal was great, the service was phenomenal.
My only gripe would be the location of the restaurant during out of season dining. Its a little out of the way, so there's not a lot of people watching. Not much they can do about that, but who cares when you're enjoying the company and food.
Kudos to Bourdain's guide, and of course, to the restaurant and staff of one of Zadar's longest running establishments. Will definitely go back again.
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