Where to eat in Poreč...
Step off crowded Decumanus, down a few steps, and into a cool, cavernous old stone room, charmingly cluttered with antiques and old shipping paraphernalia. The garden behind, in a secluded courtyard, is equally attractive. The speciality is the Istrian version of ‘surf and turf’: seafood and truffles. Surf includes calamari, octopus salad and fresh fish, and less common varieties like ray and sole. Truffles can be had in pasta or as part of various starters such as sheep’s cheese or carpaccio. You can usually manage to find a few interesting daily specials.
A winning combination of location, superb cuisine and elegant ambience have helped Sveti Nikola build a reputation as one of the top tables in Poreč. The terrace is right on the harbour, the meticulously designed interior has great sea views and the food features creative interpretations of Istrian classics. The fish carpaccio appetiser is an unusual and tempting mix of scampi, frogfish and octopus. The meat carpaccio comes with truffle, parmesan and rocket. Fancy mains include fish fillet with asparagus and black truffles.
In a pentagonal tower built in 1447, near the entryway to the Old Town, this restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating in nicely restored spaces. As a 170-seater, it’s clearly touristy, but the cuisine is designed to show off the best of Istria, with truffles appearing in several dishes, including steak.
Poreč is full of Italian-themed eateries, few of which go the extra distance when it comes to the quality and variety of what’s on offer. Things may be about to change with the opening of Patak (‘The Duck’), headed by a chef with over 15 years’ experience in London restaurants, and known locally for presiding over the highly regarded (but now closed) Propeler Pizzeria in Motovun. At Patak, pizzas are the still the main item but the menu is much more broadly-based, with a good choice of pastas, salads, burgers and steaks. The owner has a duck farm, which explains why – somewhat unusually for Poreč - confit of duck and duck breast make it onto the list of mains. Located a short walk north of the Old Town, on the way to one of Poreč’s main hotel and beach zones, Patak has a large shaded terrace, a neat and contemporary front room, and a back room decorated in konoba-style.
This posh restaurant and lounge bar spill onto the waterfront promenade, its large terrace stretched out under a white tent. An indoor dining room has its own terrace where formal waiters serve gnocchi with truffles, steaks and grilled fish, while the adjoining lounge bar is where to sink into a low wicker chair and sip 40kn cocktails, draught Bavaria and local wines.