Wednesday, April 22, 2015

lunch in montenegro

To make up for my dearth of promised reporting on last summer’s oh-so-lovely Balkans road trip, voilĂ , a little account of A Lunch in Montenegro.

During the two-day return trek north from Albania back to France, Olivier and I ended up stopping for lunch on Return Trip Day One at a resort on the Montenegrin islet Sveti Stefan.

Being the go-with-the-flow travelers we are, we didn’t make any advance plans for pit-stops. Once we began to be hungry, we started consulting road signs and maps for a place to munch.

We found a pretty looking place—well, let’s just be honest: it was gorgeous—for lunch that day, so we pulled into the parking lot and began looking for the restaurant.

The beach, the buildings, the setting all seemed really well-to-do, but we’d been eating cheap for most of the trip, so it was nice to decide to have a little lunch splurge. It wasn’t until after that fact when I recounted the details to my friend Cydil, our host in Albania, that I learned just how exclusive this lunch stop was. She didn’t know it was possible to get onto the resort’s islet without an advance reservation and thought that overnight stays ran a minimum of 1500 euro/night. Fortunately, lunch was not quite as expensive as that.

When we asked at a covered booth at the edge of the beach and beside the bridge to the island, the hosts said we could call about reservations for the next day. We explained we wanted lunch that day. Tout de suite. Then they acknowledged there were tables available still that day and without further ado escorted us over a narrow isthmus through a 15th century village turned resort to an umbrella-covered table overlooking the sunny Mediterranean waters.

We decided we could probably manage to handle the ambiance. It was our most expensive meal of the trip, but the pasta and salad and dessert were delicious. And the view was worth whatever extra we paid to eat there.

However, I don’t think an overnight stay at Sveti Stefan is ever in our future. Lunch will have to suffice.