Anyone venturing north from Split or Trogir by yacht, heading for the Kornati Islands, is well advised to use Primosten as a stopping off point. Its holding for anchoring isn’t the best and the town quay rapidly gets filled up in the summer – even in September when the motorboats have all gone home but the yachts prevail. Fortunately, the local port authorities have laid some twenty odd moorings for visitors right next to the beach for easy transfer by dinghy for shopping and refreshments. There’s even a cordoned off swimming area. Even in September, by the time 5 o’clock arrived most of the moorings are taken and yacht after yacht is turned away to seek shelter at anchor, or scoot round to Kremic Marina which is Primosten’s safe haven. The trouble with Kremic is that it’s in the middle of nowhere, and you have to get a bus or taxi to sample the culinary delights of Primosten.
Once safely moored up the delights of Primosten await. Once an island served by a causeway, there’s now a more permanent connection. It doesn’t take away though the sense of history – despite the popularity and the expansion of tourism investment in Croatia over the last fifteen years there are still plenty of buildings either derelict, or in the process of refurbishment. On the hill is the church, showing some sensitive repointing in lime mortar for a change, together with a beautiful and atmospheric cemetery with generations buried in family plots.
In Primosten, holiday destination for many in Croatia, there are restaurants all along the water front and along the “promenade” that circles the little island where evenings strolls allow you to see the sun setting over the distant islands. Over many years we’ve eaten at Mediteran, a smartish restaurant just up a small passageway, in a courtyard. The food was always good but, on a recent revisit, the cooking has gone up a notch or two. Apparently they’ve discovered truffles, which grow in abundance in the forests of Istria in northern Croatia. They’ve taken them so much to heart that they appeared in  mascarpone and truffle mouse with bread as an amuse  in our delicious shrimp and black truffle pasta and  in a robust monkfish with truffle sauce. We didn’t have a pudding, but you never know…but the whole meal was less than the £40 suggested for “a few shavings of black truffle” on our main courses at Gordon Ramsay [we didn’t]. So, Croatian cuisine moves on from the inevitable grilled fish, meat or scampi buzzara, and shows a welcome improvement. They have a little terrace upstairs for four or five small tables, right under the stars.
Restaurant Mediteran Primosten