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Restaurant Review: Passarola in Hvar, Croatia

Until travelling to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, I hadn’t realised how similar the area is to Italy: from the sunny climate to the terracotta roofscapes, grand white-brick chapels to the endless glasses of aperol spritz and the cuisine. As a lover of Italy, it’s safe to say I was truly delighted.

Passarola in Hvar is one restaurant which offers the perfect mix of Italian and Dalmatian cuisine – tucked away on a cobbled street, this gorgeous, open-air eatery was one of our favourites on the small island. It’s only been open for 10 years but somehow it seems older; with the help of the old architecture and family-run bond between waiters, it achieves a traditional, authentic charm.

Passarola offers traditional Dalmation food

When my good friend, Gemma, and I dined there in late September, the upstairs and downstairs were fully booked; there were honeymooners, young, trendy holiday makers and families too, which is a testament to this excellent restaurant. Passarola offers something for everyone.

For me personally, it was their wine offering which impressed me most! After having sampled a few mediocre glasses on the island, we were overjoyed when our waiter presented a light and fruity white. Split’s Posit Davina was easy drinking and the perfect accompaniment to a night of seafood.

Passarola specialise in Croatian seafood

Speaking of seafood, we consumed a great deal; octopus salad and fresh gnocchi with prawns to start, followed by baked sea bass and pan-seared tuna for main. Each dish, or fish in this case, was cooked to perfection.

My personal favourite was the tuna steak, which was coated in sesame seeds, served on creamy avocado mousse with lightly spiced chickpeas and griddled courgette. As a devout tuna lover, I had already consumed several steaks during my holiday, but this came out top.

The gnocchi, served with the starter, were delicious. The dough-like dumplings were light and fluffy – even better when the parmesan began to melt. Sometimes in fancier restaurants you find portions are small, but Passarola dish out hearty platefuls.

The open air restaurant is located on Hvar’s historic lanes

Disappointingly, the sea bass was slightly dry and, in my opinion, crying out for a white wine sauce. To our dismay, our VERY proud waiter blamed our taste buds as opposed to hearing out our feedback.

Still, there’s not much an apple tart can’t rectify and by the time we’d finished pudding (and the bottle of wine), we’d forgotten all about the sea bass. The caramel- infused tart was gooey and moreish and the walnut crumb, although not really needed, was a tasty addition.

In short, Passarola offers a buzzy atmosphere, tasty authentic Croatian cuisine and delicious wine. If you steer clear of the seabass, you’re set for a wonderful evening!

Address: Dr. Mate Miličića 10, Hvar, Croatia
Phone: +385 21 717 374