Located at the wall's edge of historic Dubrovnik, this 19th Century Naval Academy is now home to a celebrity-studded waterfront eatery popular with 200-ft. yachters and be-seen dinner masses. Composed along a series of three outdoor summer terraces, entrance to Natutika is through a nondescript doorway with creamy marquee and wall emblazoned with endless gold plaque accolades. Inside, a formal Croatian affair of endless wood paneling, marble floors and sedate eating areas make us glad that we are eating here in the summer, leading to a series of breathtakingly airy terraces arranged in seating areas of wicker chairs with nautical-inspired tablecloths with water views.
Nautika chef Mario Bunda sources a locally caught seafood menu with regional grilled meats and produce to create an authentic and equally popular Dubrovnik dining experience. Black risotto of squid ink, jumbo shrimp scampi, fresh grilled lobster, exotic raw shellfish platters and baked white fish are accompanied by traditional meat dishes heavy on the cream and sauces. The restaurant seems a bit touristy on the outside especially with the wall of celebrity diner photos like Eva Longoria, Bono and Goldie Hawn, but don’t let that detract from the spot-on seafood and great location.
By night, the old walled city and sea are illuminated in floodlights that create one of the most romantic dinner settings in the city.