Tavern Mate

Michelin recommendation

Biljana Milina, Mirjana Farac
Price range:

The lovely terrace housing Tavern Mate, the summer smash hit, is located at the very heart of the island, in the middle of the picturesque small town next to a house surrounded by all kinds of local plants. If you’ve ever imagined a place where people mostly cook what they pick within a hundred metres from their property and in the best way possible with lots of love and the best ideas, then you’ve found your ideal location.

The small town of Pupnat is located just a ten minutes’ drive away from the city of Korčula, i.e. half an hour from Vela Luka. Pupnat boasts quality agriculture and animal husbandry, which is the perfect setting to open a restaurant because you know how it is once you get tired after taking long swims in the most beautiful sea in the Adriatic. Father Mate, mother Mirjana and daughter Biljana started their family business in 2000. A tavern in the true sense of the word, a place where you can make yourself warm next to the fireplace when it’s cold and relax in the terrace’s shade when it’s hot. Today Mate is mostly based on local specialties and everything that can be picked in the surrounding gardens.

The restaurant’s philosophy is to offer simple traditional dishes which, once the always cheerful and playful Biljana Milina gets her hands on them, are not that simple anymore but turn into regular masterpieces instead. You’ll get two bottles of homemade rakia as a welcoming token of appreciation. Then you have homemade charcuterie ranging from pancetta, prosciutto to salted and marinated anchovies and sardines. Mate offers some fish dishes, but given that the restaurant is located in the middle of the island, emphasis is placed on meat and vegetable dishes. Naturally, you don’t want to miss out on the tuna pašticada. This is one of those dishes Mirjana lovingly prepares and it takes just a few pinches of spices known only to her for everything to get a completely different meaning to it.

The wine list is composed of about twenty wines from Korčula and Pelješac so they recommend Dingač Kiridžija and Plavac Tajano with heavier and more complex dishes. The house wine is PZ Pošip Čara Marco Polo, a Korkyra coupage of local varieties of Pošip, Rukatac and Cetinka, while the red house wine is Plavac Cibilić from Pelješac. Korkyra gently accompanies lighter and fish dishes, while Cibelić make fantastic opener for lamb with peas, one of the most famous house specialties in addition to the classic homemade tortellini filled with goat quark. Fresh asparagus from the nearby forest are currently in season (you can pick them with the staff if the restaurant is not too busy) so we opted for the fritaja (type of omelette) with prosciutto and home-grown, extra yellow eggs. Wonderful. And when you combine it with homemade, crispy fennel bread...
Težačka plitica is the essence of all vegetable and cheese spreads. The prosciutto bone soup isn’t for everyone, but it’ll knock you off your feet. Šporki makaruni and goat meat roasted under peka (baking dishes under the lid is the traditional way of preparing food in this area, and the food is actually half-baked, half-cooked in its own juices ) will make you fall head over heels in love with this area that has been the bread basket of the Korčula nobility for centuries. And now for the best part, Biljana’s desserts...

The dessert platter contains the following kinds of wonderfulness: pralines with verbena, figs with goat quark, succades, sour cherries used to make liqueur, chocolate pistachio cake. The dessert wine Toreta Smokvica goes great with them. And that’s just the beginning because the rose ice cream, i.e. the dark beer ice cream, is something Mate is famed and loved for hundreds of kilometres from this remote yet stunning island. Don’t get us started on the rožata (a Croatian custard pudding from the Dalmatia region that is similar to flan and crème brûlée), hrostule (a traditional pastry from Dalmatia), sorbets...

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 020/717-109; 098/963-2427

Web: www.konobamate.hr

E-mail: konobamate@gmail.com

Working hours: 15.04. - 15.10.
Lunch: 11:00 – 14:00
Dinner: 19:00 – 23:00

Region: Dalmatia-Dubrovnik

Address: Pupnat 28; 20274 Pupnat

Capacity: 100

Price range: 200-300kn

Restaurant description:

Guests from Australia to Slovenia always come back because Mate is a tavern as it once was and always should be. A place where they make use of what nature has to offer, where they don’t take too much and always give something back to nature. Be sure to pay a visit to the beach bar M.A.T.E., which is also run by the family, in the Pupnat harbour, the most beautiful bay in the island and fall in love with Korčula once and for all.

Awards and recognitions:

Recommendation Michelin Guide 2018
Seasonal menu