Restaurant Đir is located outside the city centre and is nestled right next to Gripe, a sporting centre where numerous concerts take place. With a warm, comfortable interior and a spacious terrace, Đir is a place where residents of Split, both young ones and families with children, just love to get together.
At Đir they take particular pride in homemade pasta. Tortellini, pastry pillows, ribbon noodles and gnocchi dyed with carrot or cuttlefish ink are combined with seasonal ingredients from across Croatia. Veal stew and wild mushrooms, prosciutto and truffles or young cheese and broad beans are just some of the appetizing combination the chef prepares with no effort at all. Ravioli stuffed with fish broth is a common Dalmatian dish. The fisherman’s staple dish is made from several kinds of fish with conger, monkfish and scorpionfish being the most common ones. Wine and laurel give it its special aroma that goes great with shrimp and prosecco sauce.
Under no circumstances should this Dalmatian dessert wine be mistaken for sparkling Italian prosecco. According to a saying, wine runs through a Dalmatian man’s arteries, while olive oil runs through his veins. At Đir they adhere to this principle so all dishes smell of this green nectar which is delivered to Split from the nearby island of Brač. You can add a few drops to the gorgeous seafood cream soup. Just be careful because the portions are ample and very filling. This thick soup with plenty of prawn or shrimp tails and just a few mussels or Noah's Ark shell could also be a main course in its own right. Premium quality fish should be ordered a day in advance, while second class fish depends of the catch of the day, which guarantees freshness.
At Đir you can also get a chance to familiarise yourself with Adriatic shells such as warty venus with a rough exterior or the smoother clams. This Split-based restaurant also offers meat specialties that don’t fall within the category of classic family restaurants. Beefsteak is prepared with tartufata, wild edible mushrooms or shrimp, rump steak is stuffed with crispy pancetta or chive, while the duck breast is served with sun-dried tomato sauce. Everything is accompanied with wines from all around Croatia. The house wine is Istrian Malvasia. Its fresh and casual taste goes great with seafood delicacies, while Merlot is the perfect wine for hefty meat dishes. Hard-to-please kids can have pizza or classic grilled dishes while they wait for the dessert.
When it comes to desserts, you’re in for surprises that differ from the classic family offer. Wheat cake with vanilla ice-cream or carob and chocolate cake reflect the local recipes that have been passed on for generations. Carob has always been the spice of choice used by our grandmas. They would grind it with their bare hands so they could add it to traditional Mediterranean desserts.
Author of photography: Miranda Čikotić/PIXSELL