Travel Buzz – Guest Writer
I’m happy to introduce you Sipsters to Elyse Glickman a new contributor to The Liquid Muse. In addition to serving as Editor-at-Large for Beverage Industry News, Los Angeles-based Elyse Glickman contributes to a wide variety of consumer and trade magazines, including From house to HOME, Wedding Vow, Enchanted Bride, LUCIRE, NUVO, JWest, Food & Beverage, La Reppubblica and Fresh Cup. Visit her site for more on her writing and travels.
Croatia: Eastern Promises
Continental Croatia Emerges as Beacon of History, Cuisine and Stylish 21st Century Living.
By Elyse Glickman
Chances are you’ve come across at least one article in a 2008 glossy travel magazine waxing poetic about Dubrovnik’s Adriatic-flavored fabulousness and the eco-splendor of nature parks dotting the islands along Croatia’s coast. So, what about Croatia’s interior? Here’s a peek into some spots professional travelers and jet setters are not talking about… yet.
Zagreb: A perfect evening begins with a leisurely stroll around the “Upper Town” followed by a lingering dinner with local wine and expansive view at Pod Grickim Topom. Afterwards, sip a nightcap along the coffee bar-laden Tkalciceva (great shopping street by day) or in au courant bars such as Hemingway Lounge, Skola and Yaxx. Satisfy a sweet tooth with heavenly gelato at the nightclubby Millenium. (The sinful “Mon Cherry” swirls dark chocolate with cherry and brandy ribbons – yum!)
Osijek: Old Town is the site of many a paprikash “cook off,” and Kod Ruze is one of the neighborhood’s most famous restaurants for good reason—the food is fresh and flawless, and enhanced by people watching and local musicians. Chill-out nightspots like Q-Club offer big city mod lounge décor and drinks at a more manageable pace.
Smaller baroque villages between Zagreb and Osijek are surrounded by ornate 18th century palaces and sprawling parks and come alive during the day, making nothing more pleasurable than a mid-morning Franck (the exceptional national coffee brand) at a jovial cafe. The town restaurants serve homespun fare, with the comfortable feeling of dining in somebody’s home, complete with antiques and personal mementos on display.
Seafood lovers will appreciate brimming platters of fish and chips at Baranjska Kuca in Karanac, and near Djakovo, Sokak remedies hearty appetites with regional beef dishes and rich dessert pancakes.
Croatian wineries are gaining worldwide recognition, too. Krauthaker Wineries boasts exceptional whites, and don’t miss the romantic Zdjelarevic Hotel, possibly one of the most charming and well-appointed b&b’s in Croatia, right down to its food, wines and golden rolling vineyards. Gerstmayer, in the village of Zmajevac, is said to produce four of the most acclaimed Grasevinas (Pinot Gris/Italian Rieslings) coming out of Croatia, today.
While “Old World” experiences dot all of Europe, there is nothing quite like discovering continental Croatia. It is also fascinating to observe how modern influences and the energy of Croatia’s young professionals and students are honoring the past while defining its identity for the 21st century.