On our first full day in Montenegro, my sister and I decided that we would explore the town of Perast which sits opposite the Lavender Bay Appartments (where we were staying) on the Bay of Kotor. Perast is famous for its two little islands and their Churches; Sveti Đorđe (St. George) and the other Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks) and after our boat trip to and from the man-made island home to Our Lady of the Rocks we decided it was time for lunch.
Our lovely and helpful holiday rep had recommended a visit to the hotel-restaurant Conte which sits on the seafront looking out over the beautiful bay towards the two islands (most of Perast has this view!), telling us that it served great food so we decided to go ahead and give it a go. All of the establishments on the seafront have seating right on the water (a wrong step can lead you to a pre-lunch swim), and the main building just across the small coastal road from the seating. We discovered an elegant-looking seating area with beautifully laid tables and selected one right on the edge so we could look across the water and do a bit of fish spotting in the crystal clear water.
My sister had done a bit of research before coming to Montenegro and knew that the traditional starter was the local version of dry-cured ham- Njeguški pršut – so when she spotted it on the menu she didn’t hesitate to order it. Of course being vegetarian I had to look for something else and was pleased to be able to order the local cheese which is another well-known product of the region – Njeguški sir. My sister was very happy with her pršut which she described as being similar to Italian prosciutto with a salty, smoky flavour. My cheese was crumbly and delicious with a creamy yet tart flavour which was well balanced by the olive garnish. So far, so good!
Of course, the Bay of Kotor boasts some top quality seafood and for her main, my sister wanted to try fish. She ordered the Poširani filet “Conte” na podlozi od crne riže i u sosu od gambora, sa prilogom – the restaurant’s signature poached fish fillet in a sauce of prawns with black ink rice and poached eggs. I was very happy to see a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish on the menu and ordered the Taljatele sa tartufima i šampinjonima – tagliatelle served in a white sauce with truffles and mushrooms.
Although we weren’t sure what type of fish my sister had on her plate she was very happy with the flavours and the way it had been cooked, the accompanying black ink risotto was also well cooked with the poached eggs and salsa giving a wide mix of flavours and textures to the dish. My pasta dish was really lovely with perfectly cooked tagliatelle in a rich, creamy sauce with a generous helping of mushrooms and a solid kick of truffle. I feel like the only improvement which could have been made would have been a hearty sprinkle of cheese on the top but that might have been a little too indulgent!
We really enjoyed our meal at the Conte hotel-restaurant in Perast on the beautiful Bay of Kotor. The service was friendly and helpful (ignoring our horrific attempts at pronunciation), the food was plentiful, flavorful and well cooked and the overall atmosphere was relaxed and at the same time elegant with a stunning view across the Bay. We award Conte 5 out of 5 stars and certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a port in a storm whilst exploring this beautiful region.