Ivana Dasović
Price range:

The easternmost part of Croatia where the Danube touches the sky, endless plains and a few sandstone hills like in a fairy-tale. The mention of Syrmia clearly conjures up these image and Ilok fits in the picture like a special experience. The stunning castle/restaurant Principovac is proudly located just outside the city at an elevated position like a fortress. It’s surrounded by vineyards, meadows and a golf course... What used to be a holiday villa of Italian nobility is now a magnificently decorated restaurant with a view of Ilok, the Vukovar water tower. A view to remember.

There’s a vantage point located next to the castle housing the restaurant. When the weather is warm, there’s also a stunning terrace that can be used as a wedding hall. Due to its location and affordable prices the terrace is so popular that couples from Dalmatia, Istria and abroad come here to get married. There’s a Stari podrum outlet in Ilok, which is also owned by Iločki podrumi, offering traditional Syrmian cuisine (čobanac, fish stew, fresh fish from the Danube).

Fusion cuisine dominates the castle, a blend of tradition and modernity. Arrivals are mostly in groups and upon prior notice. The fact that they pour more than 25 labels of their own wines made by Iločki podrumi is the single most important distinctive feature of this place. Given that they’re both one of the largest and most awarded wine producers in the country, it’s pretty clear that you’ll need a driver because you’ll have a hard time saying no to their phenomenal wines.

The menu is not that comprehensive, but everything is based on dishes connected to the area. You have the Syrmian delicacy rhapsody to get things started. This is a kind of pâté made from ham, kulen, smoked bacon, sausages, fresh cow cheese, lard and cracklings. Homemade cheese works wonders to dissipate the rich charcuterie flavours and all of it accompanied by quality 2016 Welschriesling. When it comes to appetizers, you can also opt for cheese or local charcuterie platters.

Most of the food is local, bread, dough, dumplings, taške with poppy and walnuts... Vegetables and meat are supplied by local and Croatian producers, but they also buy ingredients at markets in Osijek and Vukovar. Aside from being delicious, the duo pepper cream soup is also great for taking photos. Then there’s also the classic offer of standard soups with homemade noodles.
The main course equally encompass both meat and fish dishes, but we recommend three courses containing five dishes at an overall price of HRK 120 to 150! Marinated chicken breasts in Ilok Welschriesling are one of the most important specialties, but there’s also the boneless fish stew. The phenomenal 2016 Chardonnay was an excellent opening act for Principovac beefsteak in puffed pastry with potato crepes. Crispy leek ribbons and the delicious sauce blend nicely with the golden wine. Fried zander fillet in the Syrmian produce (pumpkin, sunflower seeds) makes an ideal choice for those who prefer a light meal.

Finally, we should definitely single out the 2015 Gewürztraminer made from the selected berry harvest. This is the wine Iločki podrumi decided to give the royal couple as a wedding present. Here it’s served with Principovac cake, which is made from Gewürztraminer, dried apricots, prunes, walnuts, almonds and raisins. When it comes to desserts, you have homemade taške, crepes cake, rice soufflé with wild berries, saće in vanilla sauce with poppy. It’s all local!

While driving from the hill to reunite with people, you get a feeling as if you’ve just visited a king or at least a head of state, calm and overwhelmed with impressions. Our inner architect wouldn’t have constructed a lift or a dome on top of the castle, but as we are here to review the food and beverages so be sure to stop by to have brilliant wines and specialties of eastern Croatia at incredible prices!

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 032/593-114



Working hours: MON - SUN: 7:00 - 23:00

Region: Slavonia

Address: Principovac, 32236 Ilok

Capacity: 30

Price range: 200-300kn

Restaurant description:

Castle Principovac, an oasis of the best wines carefully combined with traditional local specialties with a modern twist, is open from April to late November depending on the weather. It’s high time you treat yourself with a great day out, enjoy the view and just relish the specialties of Syrmia. We guarantee you’ll love it.
Seasonal menu