Marking a decade of promoting Croatian food in NY, a Croatian restaurant in the heart of New Rochelle, named Dubrovnik Restaurant, celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2013. The owner, Zeljko Tomic, who hails from Dubrovnik, explains, “We miss Croatia. We miss the smell of the sea, the fishing culture, and the sounds of our mothers grilling freshly caught fish in the morning. We miss being in a land where football is played with feet. However, it’s difficult for us to go home as much as we want to. So, we did the next best thing. We brought our home to us and established Dubrovnik Restaurant.”
Since its opening, Dubrovnik Restaurant’s goal has been to make customers fall in love with Croatia through its cuisine, particularly with an emphasis on Dubrovnik-inspired dishes. The menu features a variety of Croatian delights, including succulent meat roasts, fresh grilled fish, the Dalmatian platter with pršut and cheeses, fish soup, octopus salad, pasta ‘Lopud,’ and the famous Dubrovnik dessert ‘Rozata.’ The restaurant also offers an extensive selection of Croatian wines.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Dubrovnik Restaurant held a special event on Thursday night. The evening featured performances by Josip Velčić from the Astoria NY vocal group, Vukan Stanišić from the famous singer-songwriter duo Srđan and Vukan from NY, Ema Jusić, a young Croatian singer, and Zvonimir Antolos from the Astoria vocal group, who performed traditional Dubrovnik songs. Renowned chefs Antonio Selendić and Srećko Žarak curated the authentic Dubrovnik dishes for the event.
The restaurant’s manager, Matija Žarko, expressed gratitude for the many loyal guests who have recognized the quality of food and warm hospitality provided by Dubrovnik Restaurant over the past decade. Notable attendees included representatives from Croatian Radio in NY, importers and promoters of European and Croatian wines Duško and Samir Ramić, and Ane Mljećka, a well-known promoter of Croatian cuisine and Croatia in America.
Among the guests were not only those of Croatian descent but also many American patrons who enjoyed the specialties of Croatian cuisine. The night was filled with the finest Croatian wines, accompanied by dishes like black risotto, seafood delicacies, roasted pig and lamb, pancakes, and more. Singing and dancing continued into the late hours of the night, and many guests expressed their hope for more frequent evenings like this.