Set behind stone walls, restaurant Stari Kaštel is located in the very heart of beautiful Novalja’s tourist zone where young people predominate. It takes its name after the location, a stone fortress whose ancient walls have been fortified with pieces of metal and adorned with vegetation and scents of the Adriatic Sea, which is literally right across the road. You can choose from the more intimate lower terrace, the upper one boasting a stunning view of the town or the interior section housing a mask collection. Take your pick...
Stari Kaštel offers both Mediterranean and continental cuisine, depending on the season, supply and demand. Notwithstanding their reputation of a place of great steaks, the first thing the waiter will offer you is something from the rich fish selection. But we decided to get things going by enjoying the interesting combinations of homemade bruschetta. Pag cheese, tomatoes and salted anchovies, anchovies with chard, carpaccio pâté and mackerel saor are some of the things you can have served on a crispy homemade bun and attractively paired with Korlat rosé. The mackerel saor impressed us the most. This traditional specialty was the staple dish of Dalmatian farmers. Here they’ve brought it to perfection as they don’t overdo it with rosemary and vinegar, which is a common oversight in most restaurants.
There are several combinations of Pag lamb, but the rump steak and beef steak that are aged for a week in olive oil at Stari Kaštel are even more sought after. But due to the proximity of the sea and the restaurant’s location, we opted for a dish that slightly differs from the classic offer containing sea bass, sea bream and shark. John Dory fillet, tender, silky and gentle, was served in combination with cooked potatoes seasoned with parsley, while fennel, celery and onion were served as a side dish. The vegetables’ pungent aromas nicely complement the fish’s wonderful texture, while the tireless waiter recommended that we have Istrian Malvasia Matošević Alba, which took everything to another level.
Pag cheese is king here and we wholeheartedly recommend it. If your stomach is not full from having the appetizer, you can even have it as dessert. You have the sorbet and fruit cup, but we opted for the apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. An excellent way to wrap up your lunch and continue exploring some of Pag’s numerous stunning beaches teeming with happy young people.
Contact number: 051/661-157
Working hours: MON - SUN - 12:30 - 23:30
Address: Trg Loža 14, 53291 Novalja
Price range: 200-300kn