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Puglia Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


albiston
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Hallo everyone,

I'll be travelling two weeks to Salento, the tip of Puglia, in September and was wondering if anyone out there has been there before and has maybe a good eating out tip. After reading the Slow food Italy guide I have a few places pinned down but any personal experience would be very appreciated. I promise :raz: I'll post about the places I visited once I come back.

I also have a second question for the wine experts out there. I was hoping to visit one or more local wineries between Leone De Castris, Cosimo Taurino, Conti Zecca and Rosa Del Golfo. Since all are members of the "movimento turismo del vino" (wine tourism movement) they should, in principle accept visitors without problems, but since I'll be there around vintage time I was wondering if that might be a time when visitors are not really welcome. I've visited wineries before but always in more "relaxed" times. Anyone had experiences visiting wineries during vintage time?

Thanks!

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Cycled through Puglia this past October. Started in Trani and ended in Lecce. Without a doubt a restaurant not to be missed is U.P.E.P.I.D.E. in Ruvo. There is another outside of Alberobello that has an excellent reputation, we didn't stop but friends did and were impressed.

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On two trips to Puglia we particularly enjoyed meals at Gia Sotto l'Arco in Carovigno - delicious food, friendly and attentive service by the chef's husband! Also liked Osteria del Tempo Perso in Ostuni, a charming spot at the top of the town. Started with our table covered with small dishes of mostly vegetable-based antipasti (fava beans to mini artichoke souffles), good main dishes and nice wine list.

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Hallo everyone,

I'll be travelling two weeks to Salento, the tip of Puglia, in September and was wondering if anyone out there has been there before and has maybe a good eating out tip. After reading the Slow food Italy guide I have a few places pinned down but any personal experience would be very appreciated. I promise :raz: I'll post about the places I visited once I come back.

I also have a second question for the wine experts out there. I was hoping to visit one or more local wineries between Leone De Castris, Cosimo Taurino, Conti Zecca and Rosa Del Golfo. Since all are members of the "movimento turismo del vino" (wine tourism movement) they should, in principle accept visitors without problems, but since I'll be there around vintage time I was wondering if that might be a time when visitors are not really welcome. I've visited wineries before but always in more "relaxed" times. Anyone had experiences visiting wineries during vintage time?

Thanks!

Try This Page. It's where I go to find out about Pugliese wines I may have tried at tastings.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'd suggest "Al Fornello da Ricci" . The address is Contrada Montevicoli in Ceglie Messapica (at about 40 km from Brindisi). It isn't far from Ostuni or Alberobello. They have a real "trullo" in their beautiful garden. Ph. nr. is 0831 377104. It should be closed monday nights and on tuesdays. The chef is Antonella Ricci, one of the most gifted young Italian women chefs, with the support of the whole family. They grow most of the vegetables, they prepare bread and typical pasta (orecchiette, capunti and many others), pickles and jams are also made by them. Very good selection of wines. It's a place where you feel the care of a family who loves the job!

Pia

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Thanks everyone for the tips, copied, saved and printed out. A few might be abit off our way, but you never know

I'd suggest "Al Fornello da Ricci" . The address is Contrada Montevicoli in Ceglie Messapica (at about 40 km from Brindisi). It isn't far from Ostuni or Alberobello.  They have a real "trullo" in their beautiful garden.

Pia, grazie e benvenuta su eGullet.

A question about your tip: I've found this restaurant often compared to "Il Poeta Contadino" in Alberobello. "Il Poeta..." has been tipped to me as the best restaurant in Puglia but I've read a few discording opinions too. Have you tried that one out too?

Edited by albiston (log)
Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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A question about your tip: I've found this restaurant often compared to "Il Poeta Contadino" in Alberobello. "Il Poeta..." has been tipped to me as the best restaurant in Puglia but I've read a few discording opinions too. Have you tried that one out too?

Grazie Alberto, I'm glad to be here and thank everybody for your consideration.

Back to your question ... As you probably know, both restaurants have similar good reputation on most Italian restaurants guides. I don't know Il Poeta Contadino personally, but I've usually heard the best about them.

If I had to compare the two, until a couple of years ago, when Mamma Dora was still helding firmly the steering gear al Fornello, I would have defined the latter more "traditionalist", while Poeta has been considered, since the beginning, a place for Mediterranean creative cuisine. Things may be changed a bit at Fornello, since Antonella, the daughter, became the official chef. I haven't been there since then, but I'm quite sure that, despite her roots are solidly based in Puglia's tradition, she may have taken advantage of the curiosity of young people for new ideas and techniques. Not forgetting that she married a man from Mauritius, who's helping in the kitchen. I wouldn't be surprised to find at Fornello a wise, and personal, use of herbs and spices.

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I have toured Puglia and loved it!

Ate at Poeta contadino as I collect Piatti di Buon Ricordo.. Although we were the only clients, I enjoyed the meal... and the chef's creativity..

I prefer home style cooking and when I am back on my home computer will look up where I ate!

In Ostuni I also ate at the OSteria del tempo perso.. loved the antipasti!

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  • 2 weeks later...

In Lecce we ate at Alleduecorti and enjoyed it a great deal. Very much a family run operation with local cuisine. We visited in early 2002, and after having lunch there one day, we went back for dinner the next night. I am afraid that I didn't keep good notes, so I can't give you specifics, but it was the highlight of our meals in Puglia.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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  • 1 month later...

My parents live in Puglia. Myfather just told me about this winery he really liked. It's located in Carosino (Taranto) and it's called: Aloia.

And, regarding Lecce, although I haven't tried yet the restaurant, as soon as I'll have the chance, I will go to Picton. I become a big fan of the chef: Tonio Piceci.

http://www.toniopiceci.it/

I am reading his "Salentinbocca" right now: beautiful.

In Lecce, I would stop also at pasticceria Citiso, very famous when I was growing up. I don't know if now it's at the same level, but, for sure, a guy, who worked at Citiso, opened a pastry shop in Nardo' (a local confirmed me it's very good).

Edited by Franci (log)
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Franci,

great tips, I'll keep them in mind once I'm in Puglia. Good to know Tonio Piceci's book is so nice, it's one of the things Iwas considering bringing back with me from Puglia.

grazie mille e ciao

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Travel & Leisure did a write-up for Puglia in their July issue:

http://www.travelandleisure.com/Invoke.cfm...A5C1624AE27193C

Their restaurant and hotel recommendations are a bit high-end (their Lecce pick as "the only game in town" is $193 a night! :shock: ). Nevertheless it gets me pumped about going, which is in the planning stages for next spring.

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  • 2 weeks later...

well

if you go to Trani make a visit to enoteca Dell'Olio, Via Piano Pozzo 52

he has everything at really good prices, speaks english and french (french wife) and he can arange visits at small but good wineries

for a supper go to

BACCOSTERIA

a Barletta (BA)

via San Giorgio 5

Tel. 0883/534000 fax 0883/533100

beautiful place with cristal pavement so you can see the wine cave, just 5 tables, and realy good cuisine

a Must is Spaghetti con i ricci di mare

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  • 1 month later...

I know there's already a Puglia thread out there, but it was more focused on wineries. I'm trying to get a feel more for where to go, town-wise.

I'm thinking 4-5 days there (coming from Rome), so a day or so in each place.

No car.

It will be early-mid March.

Definites at this point are Alberobello and Lecce. Possibles are Bari and Monopoli. Which of those last two is more preferable? Foggia doesn't seem too likely.

Restaurant recommendations in any of those towns? I'm looking for something that truly reflect Pugliese cooking. I'm already pumped about Casareccia in Lecce.

Also would anyone happen to know or have an estimate of the length of a train ride from Rome-Bari. My wife suggested we get an overnight train ride but I don't think it will be long enough.

I don't mind if this gets merged with the other Puglia thread.

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We spent a week in Monopoli a couple of years ago. Its a pleasant, seaside town. I'm currently unable to remember the name of a terrific fish restaurant we went to twice. It was "something Bianco" and will try to look it up in notes at home. Our first experience was a Sunday pranzo that was one of those "just sit down and eat what's brought until you can't eat any more" things. It was wonderful to see the Italian families from babies to vechie diving into the great products of the sea. The place has been there since the late forties and proudly states that with a big neon sign behind the serving table.

We had a car, so daily travel to all corners of Puglia was possible. My favorites of all were traveling the Gargano and visiting Martina Franca, where we lunched at a pleasurabel place recommended in Fred Plotkin's book.

I'd go back to Puglia at a moment's notice.

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Thanks for the reply!

I'm really getting pumped about this trip. Puglia seems to be very much on the verge of being the next "in" spot in Italy. I love the cuisine.

I don't think we'll make it to the Gargano peninsula though I've heard nothing but good things including about that restaurant you mentioned. We won't have a car though and everything I've read says that's the best way to get around on the Gargano.

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Kevin,

just back from Puglia, or better Salento to be precise. Had a great two weeks there and some delicious food and wines. As soon as I manage to order my notes, pics and so on I'll post about it, so maybe you might find something useful there. Except Lecce (sadly visited on the closing day of cucina casereccia), I don't have much regarding your other proposed travel destinations but maybe I'll manage to convince you to spend a day in Gallipoli :smile:.

Regarding the train trip from Rome to Bari consider about 5 hours with the Eurostar Train, longer with other, slower, lines.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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(sadly visited on the closing day of cucina casereccia),

PLEASE tell me this is a seasonal closing and not a permanent closing.

I was torn between Monopoli and Gallipoli; descriptions of Monopoli had it come across as a smaller, sleepy little fishing town which appealed to me. Make the case for Gallipoli instead and I'll consider it . . . :smile:

Edited to add: Oh, and very much looking forward to your thoughts on your trip.

Edited by Kevin72 (log)
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PLEASE tell me this is a seasonal closing and not a permanent closing.

I was torn between Monopoli and Gallipoli; descriptions of Monopoli had it come across as a smaller, sleepy little fishing town which appealed to me.  Make the case for Gallipoli instead and I'll consider it . . .  :smile:

Edited to add: Oh, and very much looking forward to your thoughts on your trip.

Sorry, I expressed myself in a rather unclear way. It was only the weekly closing day, monday. AFAIK cucina casareccia is closed only during the beginning of September.

Gallipoli, apart June-August, when it turns into a crowded and quite fashionable destination, has a lovely city center, some interesting restaurants and a nice fish market (great if you have a kitchen available). I find it's a nice place to spend one or two days. Monopoli sounds great too. It probably depends on what you prefer: admittedly the rest of Gallipoli, outside the city center, is quite ugly.

Whatever you chose I'm sure you'll be happy, I found Puglia a very nice destination, great food and nice people, though quite behind Sicily in respect to tourism and connected structures.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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  • 3 months later...

Incidentally, we've decided to throw caution to the wind and booked the trip to Italy Feb 28-Mar 10. First four days will be in Rome and then Saturday morning we will leave for Puglia. I need to refresh my research on Puglia but right off the bat, how put out will we be being in Puglia on a Sunday? Will it be hard to come by places to eat or go to?

I'll have more questions as I go along.

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Incidentally, we've decided to throw caution to the wind and booked the trip to Italy Feb 28-Mar 10.  First four days will be in Rome and then Saturday morning we will leave for Puglia.  I need to refresh my research on Puglia but right off the bat, how put out will we be being in Puglia on a Sunday?  Will it be hard to come by places to eat or go to? 

I'll have more questions as I go along.

Have fun! I would worry more about eating on Monday in Puglia than on Sunday. Just checked the informations I saved before my last trip and noticed that many places are open on Sundays, either all day or lunch only, while a good percentage close Mondays.

Anything else, just ask.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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