Relais & Chateaux Lesic Dimitri Palace Korcula

The sun was setting across the Adriatic as Tanya and I marched around the fortress which protects the ancient Old Town on the isle of Korcula. A cool breeze whistled through the palms, fighting for attention from the grumbles chirping from our hungry tummies. After spending the last few days dining out with our Insight Vacations group we were given the option to scout our own restaurant experience that evening. After spending a bit of time researching the wee town’s top offerings I was sold on supper at the island’s premiere luxury boutique hotel, Relais & Chateaux Lesic Dimitri Palace.

Lesic Dimitri Palace stands within the heart of the old town of Korcula, with a refined elegance that represents the rich history and culture of its destination. Celebrating the marriage between old and new, this boutique bolthole offers just five unique and spacious suites. They were designed by an Asian-Croatian team of architects and interior designers and inspired by Korcula’s famous resident, Marco Polo and his travels along the Silk Road which people believe started on this very island.

The 18th century Bishop’s palace was lovingly restored over five years and now offers luxury hotel accommodation for those wishing to escape, create, relax or unwind. The faithful restoration of the Palace has retained many of the original features and combined them with bespoke furniture, excellent design and modern technology. The residences here are truly fit for a King and Queen!

After taking a quick tour of two of the hotel’s posh pads we strolled across cobbled street to the hotel’s intimate, 7-table filled LD Restaurant. Talented local chef Toni Erceg has joined the palace after training in Stavanger under Antonio Toni Bjelancic and then returned to work in Antonio’s restaurant, Kobas, on the Peljesac. His new menu celebrates local and seasonal ingredients and flavours and puts LD firmly on the list of “must eat places to eat on the Adriatic coast.”

Our delightful dinner begins with an epic olive oil tasting featuring four premium local bottles which pair nicely with freshly baked loaf, sea salt tossed olives and syrupy sweet balsamic from Modena. Our sommelier extraordinaire pairs each dish that evening with a stellar local bottle of vino, taking the time and care to explain the origins, unique characteristics and noble qualities of each glass he pours. He’s euphoric, a true storyteller and eager to impart his knowledge of the local terroir onto his inquisitive diners.

Over the course of the next two hours the sun sets, dining room glows and a parade of plates whisk their way from the kitchen, steaming up the stairway and floating under our noses. We being with a fresh start featuring young asparagus and sweet spring onions which lay lazily on crunchy crostini. A bowl of green and white offers a sliver of tempura eel sitting snuggly beside a puree of broad beans. The island is known for its hand rolled macaroni and a bowl of these steaming noodles tossed in salty grey mullet roe offer an ode to the sea which can be found but a stones throw from our window. Our heartiest savoury features perfectly cooked roasted lamb loin accompanied by fragrant cous-cous and leafy sautéed kale. The sweet finish that eve featured a whisper of decadent dark chocolate cake topped with dried figs, orange coulis and glistening lemon galette. We waddled home, gently patting our food babies in a blissful state of beauty.

The Feast:

Asparagus Salad with Sweet Spring Onion

Tempura Eel with Broad Bean Puree

Macaroni with Grey Mullet Roe

Roasted Lamb with Cous-Cous and Kale

LD Dark Chocolate Cake

dried figs, orange coulis, lemon galette

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