One of the titles Split proudly bears in the last few years is being a new gastronomy capital of Croatia. There is a huge group of new - and some old - restaurants which brought "a little something" to diverse city from the usual offer in Dalmatia. A string is getting longer every day: Bokeria, Oyster&Sushi Bota, Brasserie on 7, Chops, Dvor, Kadena, Konoba Jozo, Konoba Matejuška, Ma:Toni, Mazzgoon, NoStress, Paradigma, Re di mare, Uje, Villa Spiza, Zinfandel, etc. We could continue this endlessly and yet to miss some of the venues.
And it seems that a good reputation easily spreads. A few years ago Anthony Bourdain discovered some other Croatian gastro-Meccas. Now, led by his instinct and recommendations, Split hosted Andrew Zimmern, a host of the TV show Bizarre Foods, aired and watched by millions on the Travel Channel. Let's be a local-patriots; this year, in his 14th season he already filmed in London, New York, Paris and Athens for the new series called Delicious Destinations. Now it's turn to Split. He followed suggestions from the Secret Dalmatia travel agency, which did complete scouting for Zimmern's crew.
I stumbled upon Zimmern in the Split city centre by accident, while he was dining in NoStress Bistro at Pjaca, enjoying in skills of chef Željko Neven Bremec. Comment on TV star's Instagram profile is more than clear: "Split... Ancient town, unspoiled... Marble pavers... Heaven on the Adriatic".
Of all Split restaurants, he had chosen one of the most popular local gastro-points, miniature and excellent Villa Spiza. It's hard to find a better spot to fulfil Zimmern's show's mission: to find the world's most unique tastes. What Villa Spiza's owner Ivana Gamulin cooked for Travel Channel? Grilled sweetbread, veal brain, and pasta with wild asparagus and shrimps. All came that morning from the city market, or picked in the nature. Verdict? Copied from the Instagram: "restaurant of your dreams"; "world class"; "my new favourite restaurant in the world".
We can hardly wait for the show, and to see what else he experienced in Split, Trogir, and Trilj or island Brač.