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Puglia Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


albiston
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Puglia planning continues . . .

The general vibe I'm getting about Bari is that it's only good for arriving at, and then you get the hell out of there. Hotel and restaurant sites keep diverting me to Ostuni and Lecce, or list ludicrously expensive hotels in Bari proper. Should I bother with trying with Bari or just get going?

Again, we're still thinking the majority of our travel will be by train, and will not be renting a car. Ostuni looks interesting though. Lecce and Alberobello are definites, with Monopoli and possibly Gallipoli thrown in. Monopoli also seems thin on the places to stay/restauant front. Suggestions? Websites to check out?

I've already hit slowtrav, Igougo, tripadvisor, and very little luck.

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Puglia planning continues . . .

The general vibe I'm getting about Bari is that it's only good for arriving at, and then you get the hell out of there.  Hotel and restaurant sites keep diverting me to Ostuni and Lecce, or list ludicrously expensive hotels in Bari proper.  Should I bother with trying with Bari or just get going?

Again, we're still thinking the majority of our travel will be by train, and will not be renting a car.  Ostuni looks interesting though.  Lecce and Alberobello are definites, with Monopoli and possibly Gallipoli thrown in.  Monopoli also seems thin on the places to stay/restauant front.  Suggestions?  Websites to check out?

I've already hit slowtrav, Igougo, tripadvisor, and very little luck.

Ostuni is beautifull and, if slightly more creative restaurants interest you, very close there's one of the foremostemerging establishments in Southern Italy, Già Sotto L'Arco in Carovigno (about four km east of Ostuni). I haven't tried it yet but heard only positive comments. I'd definitely include this town in the itinerary.

I don't really like Bari so I would avoid it even if the hotels were priceworthy, but that's just a personal preference.

You might want to have a look at viamichelin.com and Slowfood.com for tips on hotels and restaurants (Michelin) and trattorie (Slow Food), if you haven't already. You need to sign up, free, for both services.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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All right then. We'll arrive in Bari and then hit the next train to Monopoli and use that as a base for going to Alberobello. Then we'll stop at Ostuni next. I continue to hear good things about it, particularly Tempo Perso (sp?) and a number of great sounding B&B's that also have dinner service.

Oddly enough it looks like the expensive stays are going to be Puglia, instead of Rome, where originally we had budgeted for the opposite.

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Updates:

Now Monopoli is out. It seems to very much be a resort-type town so it's just hotels. Maybe we'll do a stopover on the way from Bari to Ostuni but we're getting a little crunched.

So the plan: Leave Rome very early Saturday morning, get to Bari @ 11 am (hopefully). Hop another train from Bari to Ostuni.

Poke around Ostuni for whatever's left of Saturday, eat at Tempo Perso that night and stay in-town at a B&B.

Sunday get up and go to Alberobello, lunch at Poeta Contadina.

I've absolutely fallen in love with a B&B called Frantoia in the countryside about 5-6K from Ostuni. Problems of course are how to get there and that if we have checked out from the in-town B&B Sunday morning we'll have all our bags with us, any suggestions?

Then it's on to Lecce Monday evening and all of Tuesday, and back to Rome on Wednesday.

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  • 4 months later...

I've just returned from Puglia and don't have the time at the moment to give the full run down of where we went and what we ate but some quick initial observations are:

The area where we were (nr Fasano) was far more industrialised than I had expected and so it took a bit more searching to find places that were out of the way.

I've read lots of things saying that Puglia is the next hot destination, which is worrying because given the number of tourists that were there when we went there it will be mobbed. PLEASE PLEASE don't let it turn into the next Tuscany or heaven forbid the next Marbella.

It's a fantastic place for vegetarians or rather, those of us who are picky about where we eat our meat.

You aren't assured of great food (blame the tourists) but when you get it, it knocks your socks off.

You can't see it all in a week - another visit is definitely necessary.

Highlights on the stomach filling front were:

The first thing I ate at our hotel, Borgo San Marco: a salad of tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olive oil.

Dinner at BSM cooked by Peppino, who's voice at least meant he could have doubled for Barry White. He is also one of Italy's nattiest dressers.

Lunch at Alle due Corte in Lecce.

The market at Alberobello, just a shame about all the tourist tat around the market.

Dinner at Osteria del Tempo Perso in Ostuni.

Any meal including a tomato.

I'll post more here, but give me a couple of days to open the post.

Thanks very much to everyone on here who's helped with advice for the trip, in particular Kevin. It was invaluable, my one regret being that we didn't make it to Il Frantoio. I was even more aggrieved that others staying at our hotel did and told us just how fantastic it was.

Edited by silverbrow (log)
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Glad you liked due Corti. I loved the academic vibe there. Was the host this big tall guy that had to stoop under the doorway? I sympathized with him, being 6'4" myself. I had that same long pasta name you got; kudos for writing it down! Although I wasn't as enamored of the sauce.

One of my biggest regrets of that trip is not catching any of the butcher/grill scene you wrote about. Guess it was still too cold for it. That's one of the things that really attracted me to Puglia after reading a couple vivid descriptions in my cookbooks about how they sell the meat and then cook it for you outside if you want. Reminds me of some of the great barbecue places here in Texas.

You really captured alot of what's great about Puglia. Sorry you had a less than stellar second meal in Ostuni; I was blown away by the range of places to eat there. And, yeah, I need to rub in your face how you missed out on the great antipasti at Tempo Perso :wink:. But we only got nine, not fifteen! :shock:

Are there more entries coming? I want to hear more about the Alberobello market. It was totally dead when we went and nothing but aggressive souveneir shop owners physically trying to drag us into their place.

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Kevin, thanks for that. Yes, one more restaurant to come, it was in Carovigno, I think it was called Sotto L'Arco, which was great.

I think we were lucky with the market at Alberobello. We arrived at about eleven and it was in full swing. Of the three we went to (Ostuni and Polignano were the other two) this had easily the best food market. Apart from there being lots of things outside, there was also a building that had stalls inside. There was a full range of produce on sale, but obviously fruit and veg predominated, in the building there were also several polleria (poultry shops).

I know what you mean about the tourist traps though. I was really peeved with the amount of tourist shops selling models of trulli - does anyone actually buy that rubbish? Frankly, the market seems to be the biggest pull and the sole reason for going to Alberobello. If you're not there on market days the best thing is run in quickly to see the trulli and then run away as fast as possible

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I LOVE my little trullo!!!

gotta admit it..

had a real hard time finding sea salt!

Loved the ceramics in Grottaglia,

Loved that the markets ahd the ovens to precook, they did it twice a week!

I also had the luck to find fresh capers and came back home ( florence) and made my own salt packed capers!

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Ok, it seems that more good-thinking egulleters bought model trullis than I had banked on, so first off apologies for the "who in their right mind" comment.

I too saw some fresh capers and was desperate to do the same but I figured that I'd have a hard time keeping them fresh until I returned to the UK and Ryanair would probably ban me from flying with them anyway.

The Masseria we were staying at had lots of caper trees/bushes (I think they would be classed as a bush) but unfortunately they weren't quite ripe yet. Nor for that matter were the olives which were only just beginning to grow. Does anyone know when olive harvest time is. I found out from the owner of Borgo San Marco, where we stayed, that they are pressed in March, but is that when they're picked as well?

btw following a request from Albiston I'll be posting copies of what's on my blog here, sometime today hopefully.

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Ok, as promised here are the posts from my blog. I've excluded photos because I don't have the time at the moment (and frankly they're not all that brilliant anyway). For purposes of speed I've copied them verbatim - I hope you don't mind. I'm also going to get round to posting a review of Gia Sotto L'Arco in Carovigno at some point. A quick summary of it is: great food but hadn't realised it was so posh, we turned up in shorts and t-shirts for lunch, luckily we were the only people there.

Macelleria

It is pretty obvious that being kosher, or at least keeping the level of kashrut that I do, if I want to eat meat at a restaurant, it has to be a kosher restaurant. Nonetheless, I took great delight in the macelleria that seemed to be on the corner of every street in every town we visited. What made these more noteworthy than other Italian butchers was that every night, they built enormous barbecues on the street outside the shop and sold grilled sausages, chicken wings, steaks etc. Unless I haven't been looking I haven't noticed anything similar elsewhere in Italy, so I think it is a Pugliese speciality.

The quality of the food is obvious, if for no other reason than when customers decide what they want, the meat is put in a soft white bun and served. There's no thought of sauces to mask or improve the taste - just grilled meat and bread. The smell is fantastic - burning wood and grilling meat. I wouldn't say I was tempted to buy one of the filled buns but the smell did make me stomp around like a hunger-crazed carnivore. Suffice to say when we returned home to the UK, meat was the first thing I ate.

Da Tuccino

We arrived in Polignano a Mare to be greeted by a bishop in full flowing cassocks, leading a group of choir boys, down the main street and into the middle of what seemed to be a festival. The streets were mobbed with Italians in their finest threads eyeing up each other and the tat being sold on the stalls by the side of the road. The air was filled with scent of too much aftershave and grilling meat, as all the macelleria were getting ready for their nights business.

Having had no luck in finding Da Tuccino, a helpful concierge told us it was about half a mile down the coast road, out of town. When we got there a confusing car park attendent had us doing all sorts of acrobatics before we could park. When we did park, our Avis rental Ford Focus looked somewhat out of place next to the latest Range Rovers and Jeeps. It was quite obvious that unlike other areas of Puglia, this was a place to be seen - and frankly the food reflected that.

Da Tuccino seemed to be something of an institution, it had the air of knowing just how good it was and seemed to rest slightly on those laurels. It also had the air of being in Cap Ferrat, rather than Puglia and was a little bit too haughty for its own good. The restaurant is famous for its fish which is unusual in this part of the World as Pugliese cuisine includes very little fish, despite the lengthy coastline. Why there's not more fish in the diet I can't explain, but by focusing on fish Da Tuccino is relatively unusual. Given that, I'll skip any details on our starter (I can't remember what we ate anyway) and I'll move on to our seabass in salt.

When the waiter brought over the fish for us to inspect before it was cooked, the thing I noticed most was the strong fishy smell and I thought that the freshest fish doesn't smell? Go in to my favourite fishmonger, Steve Hatt on Essex Road and his seawater fish doesn't smell fishy, it smells salty, so I was slightly concerned. Anyway, ignoring those concerns I waited for the fish to arrive, it was duly delivered in its saline crust which was removed with great ceremony. But frankly, when I ate it I was underwhelmed - it didn't do anything for me. I've had much better versions of the same dish at Locanda Locatelli and Sardo. I can't even really explain what it was about it that I didn't like, it just wasn't very special.

Frankly, I think that Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray of The River Cafe fame, were wrong when they recommended Da Tuccino's as one of the 10 best restaurants in Italy, in a recent Conde Nast article. It's a good restaurant with excellent staff, but there are much better in the region, Del Tempo Perso and Alle due Corti being examples of this. If one's in the area or particularly keen to see Puglia's finest dressers, then it might be worth a trip, otherwise, head for the hills.

Da Tuccino, via Santa Caterina 69/F, Polignano a Mare, 7044, Italy

Tel: +39 0804 241 560

Alle due Corti

When, in April, I was planning our holiday to Puglia for mid-June, it didn't cross my mind that the weather would be anything other than scorchio. I was wrong. For two of our seven days it rained and was overcast. With sitting by the pool ruled out, we decided on road trips and with the grim weather on Thursday we decided the trip down to Lecce the next day would be well worth it. So full of high expectations for bad weather, we awoke on Friday to glorious sun shine and by 9am it was in the high 20s. Not to be bowed by this turn of events we decided to go anyway. The town itself is beautiful, which is why it's described as the Florence of the South and was great to wander round and stop off for an espresso here, a granita there.

With food never too far from my mind I decided to find somewhere decent to eat. I thought I'd found a half decent pizzeria but despite the door being wide open it was totally empty - not a sole, not even a waiter. So turning round I spotted the sign for Alle due Corti and bells rang loudly in my head that this had been highly recommended on egullet. When we walked in, we were greeted warmly but apologetically told that the kitchens weren't quite ready (it was 12.30) so could we wait? The dining room was large, white and had the domed roof common throughout Puglia - all of this ensuring it was cool, a relief from the sun, and so no, we didn't mind waiting.

My heart almost skipped a beat when I noticed that the card and paper menu, printed on a dodgy printer, clearly came from the same school of menu design as Osteria del Tempo Perso's, and therefore we must be in for a treat. I was right, but I was also slightly surprised to see (badly) translated English below each dish and the odd ® sign dotting the menu. Anyway, the antipasti arrived and I was in heaven. It wasn't the stodgy fried rubbish that seemed to be prevalent in the touristy places, this was fresh, juicy and life-affirming stuff. The roasted tomatoes were so sweet and were only garnished with some onion, garlic and of course olive oil. Similarly, some yellow peppers that seemed to have been marinated in wine vinegar were brilliantly tangy. Also delivered to the table were some stuffed mushrooms that smelled great, but unfortunately were stuffed with some sort of meat. We had tried to ask for nothing except for vegetables, but our Italian was as bad as their English and so the mushrooms went back to the kitchen untouched. Somewhat stuffed from this feast, mopped up with copious quantities of bread I started to rock slowly in my chair - exercise was required before the next course.

One of the many things that surprised me about Puglia was that the food is not particularly light, in fact a lot of it is downright stodgy our primi piatti being a good example: Fave nette cu le cicureddhe and Ricciareddhe® culipummitoriscattariciati. Now, for the sake of bandwidth I won't repeat the name of the latter dish, here on in it will be RC. I can't believe that the second word is all one word, I think they forgot to put in a space, especially as scattariciati is a local cheese, not dissimilar to mozzarella. Anyway fave is a local speciality and it was served with what they described as chicory, but looked to me more like spinach, and olive oil. It was thick, gloopy and delicious. The chicory/spinach added a lightness to it, the olive oil thinned it out. The more I ate, the more I wanted.

The RC was similarly delicious, it was basically thick sheets of pasta with a thick sauce of tomato and liberally sprinkled with scattarciati. I have to be honest that in some ways the sauce reminded me in flavour of some of the better pizza sauces you get in the States. Although this might sound like sacrilege it really is meant as a compliment. After all, this was little more than tomatoes, the sauces over there are no doubt full of E numbers up the kazoo and other preservatives and additives. To be able to achieve such taste with so few ingredients is testament to their quality.

Alle due Corti was the meal I'd been looking for all holiday. The food was fantastic, the staff friendly and the surroundings peaceful. If you're in Puglia, no if you're in Italy, go there.

Alle due Corti, Corte dei Guigni 1, 73100, Lecce, Italy

Tel: +39 0832 242 223

Osteria del Tempo Perso

It has to be said that despite the rave reviews I'd heard about the food in Puglia, some of it was appalling. One dinner in particular I was thorougly peeved about. We were in Ostuni, having already eaten once at Osteria del Tempo Perso and thought we'd try somewhere different. This was a big mistake. Instead of a delicious meal of simple ingredients of the best quality put together with care, we were served tourist pap that centred around a medieval theme. I am ashamed to be so open here about this experience, especially when I mention that apart from the menu in Italian they also had one in French (although thankfully not in German or English). In my defence the French menu and the medieval theme were not advertised, or obvious when we walked in. Anyway, suffice to say this was deeply disappointing, especially when we knew that del Tempo Perso was less than 100m away.

Our one and only meal at del Tempo Perso was on our second night in Italy (the first night's dinner being a late-night pizza in Fasano) and I was ready to taste Italy's finest. Because it had been Shavuot the previous two days, we needed to wait until Yom Tov was out and therefore we didn't get out until late and being still on stuck-up British time, we couldn't face a full meal at 10pm so opted for two courses. Along with never having done a PhD, I regret this.

The 15-dish antipasti menu looked astounding, the Polpette di Pane e Menta or Fiori di Zucca fritti in Pastella ensured much mouth watering. But with cozze (mussels) included in the antipasti, we thought we'd better stick to the slightly less treyf primi piatti. Seeing bits and bobs of the 15 antipasti coming out to tables only compounded my conviction that I was to be the only visitor ever to Puglia not to have a decent meal. Thankfully, at about that point our Maccheroncini freschi alla Crudaiola con Ricotta Salata and Fazzoletti di Ricotta con Pomodoro fresco e Basilico arrived at the table.

Neither dish is that hard to translate, but you would be sorely incorrect if you mistook the former for mac 'n cheese. Crudaiola is basically chopped raw vegetables (think crudites) and in this case was simply sliced cherry tomatoes and some garlic. This dish was sublime. The tomatoes were so sweet, the garlic adding a bit of depth and the ricotta providing a contrast in textures. I would have been happy to have eaten that every meal for the rest of the holiday. The fazoletti was a bit like cannelloni, but frankly this does them a disservice. The were stuffed full with the mildest, crumbliest ricotta and the tomato sauce was fresher and zestier than Bill Clinton with a Cohiba.

The fantastic food is all well and good, but I shouldn't forget about the room. I did find the wall hangings of agricultural equipment and religious icons slightly incongruous, but possibly they were there to remind you of the dual binds in this part of Italy. The other strange thing is that in fact there are two Osteria del Tempo Perso's, one either side of the kitchen. I'm not sure what the significance is of which dining room one is in, we simply walked into the one we first came upon. Anyway, the food comes out of the same kitchen so there shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The restaurant itself is located in the back streets of the beautiful Ostuni, which with its wiggling streets and dim street lighting reminded me of Venice (although being several hundred metres above sea level it lacks the lido and canals). You do need to keep your eyes open when walking to the restaurant as there are signs and without them you'll be lost in the Labyrinth and might well come across the Minotaur.

Back to the food. For dessert we asked for a bowl of the cherries that we'd spotted sitting in an enormous bowl. We also had a plate of Pecorino semistagionato di Masseria, which for those with a lingual bent will know is an aged Pecorina (di Masseria, meaning “of the masseria/farm”). This was served with a fantastic, zingy orange marmalade. The cherries, were slightly disappointing, not as sweet as I'd hoped, I've just had some from M&S that dare I say it tasted better. The cheese was another matter, it was sufficiently stinky on the nose but subtle on the tongue. The marmalade added a bit of freshness and made it all a bit lighter.

Overall a great meal that set the bar particularly high for the rest of the holiday. It was a shame that not all of the meals lived up to it, but those that did were something special. The only reason I've given it a four, rather than five-star rating is because I was miffed that the antipasti was so long and therefore ruled it out for us, but frankly this was our fault for being up-tight Brits rather than getting into the Italian groove a bit earlier in our holiday.

Osteria del Tempo Perso, via Gaetano Tanzarella Vitale 47, Ostuni, 72017, Italy

Tel: +39 0831 303 320

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The Masseria we were staying at had lots of caper trees/bushes (I think they would be classed as a bush) but unfortunately they weren't quite ripe yet.  Nor for that matter were the olives which were only just beginning to grow.  Does anyone know when olive harvest time is.  I found out from the owner of Borgo San Marco, where we stayed, that they are pressed in March, but is that when they're picked as well?

Olive picking time depends quite a bit on the kind of olives grown. On the other hand, AFAIK, in Southern Italy the olive picking time (be it from the trees by hand or shaking them from the trees into nets when ripe) goes on between late October and early February. Olives are then washed and pressed in a matter of hours or just a few days. March seems quite late to be honest: did they explain why they press their oil so late by any chance?

Thanks once more for the great report!

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

I went two years ago and had a wonderful time. We did Ostuni, which is stunningly beautiful and Lecce. In Ostuni we ate at Tempo Perso and then ate/stayed at Masseria Il Frantoio, a farmstead about three miles up the road. If you go to Ostuni, I highly recommend a splurge of one or several nights at Il Frantoio. They are an organic farmstead and grow the food used for their meals on site.

Lecce was also a great experience. It's a quiet, laid back city that was alot of fun to explore. The old city is surrounded by a modern shopping district. We ate at Due Corti and Trattoria Cassareccia.

Pugliese cooking is fairly simple, straightforward, and driven by local and seasonal ingredients. It has interesting elements of Spanish and Greek cooking as well. It is the top producer of olive oil in Italy and routinely one of the top wine producers as well. I like to imagine it as what Tuscany was in the early 80s: an undiscovered paradise. I think it'll probably get its moment in the sun in the next decade or so.

If you go, though, since it is off the beaten track, you will probably need to rent a car, particularly in getting to Ostuni.

There's been a number of threads on travel and eating in Puglia on this board over the past couple years, I'll try and dig up a few.

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I visited Puglia last year as part of a Chef's cultural exchange. We learned about the land, its history, cultural influences, and natural food products. We were based just north of Bari, and visited places as far north as Molfetta, and as far south as Brindisi. We visited Tenute Rubino Winery in Lecce, and dined at Ristorante Penny in Brindisi. Top notch.

I was lucky enough to be selected as a guest to attend a one week cooking program that was orchestrated by the Italian Trade Commission, and Associazione Cuochi Baresi, which is a professional Chef organization.

Thanks to the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), and the Associazione Cuochi Barese (ACB) for this very educational and inspiring opportunity, to visit Puglia, and to experience its history, architecture, food, wine, and culture. It went far beyond my expectations, and I will always be appreciative for this incredible gift that you have provided to me.

The Chefs from ACB introduced us to both traditional and modern approaches to “cucina Pugliese.” The introduction, presented by Chef Giacomo Giancaspro, emphasized knowing, and staying true to regional traditions, when creating creative new “Italian” dishes abroad. He also stressed that cooking exclusively with “extra virgin olive oil” was essential, and to use Puglia oil whenever possible.

We had the opportunity to visit “Il Frantoio Galantino” in Bisceglie, to learn about the processes of harvesting olives, and the time sensitivity involved between the harvest and pressing. We tasted many different oils of various characteristics and intensity, as well a selection of flavored olive oils, prepared by emulsifying the olives with other local ingredients, such as basil, lemon, clementines, and chilies, and then extracting the oil by centrifugal force.

Fresh seafood was at the center of most of the dishes that we experienced. The quality and flavors were all exquisite. Our very first meal in Puglia, a lunch served at the Hotel Lafayette in Giovanazzo, was spaghetti with scampi and tomatoes. It was very simple, but perhaps the most memorable dish of the trip. The presentation of the entire scampi, still in the shell, with olive oil, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and a little fresh basil, was picturesque, and very flavorful. Everyone at the table loved this dish. It wasn’t necessarily about how many shrimp that one received on their plate, as it is in the United States. It was purely about enjoying the pasta infused with the flavor of the scampi.

The mussels in Puglia had a far superior flavor than any that I’ve tasted in the United States. I have read about their popularity in the region, and now I completely understand why, having tasted them for myself. We had the mussels prepared in many different ways, and added to many of the dishes we experienced. The “Tiella Barese”, a casserole of mussels, rice and potatoes, was exceptional!

On the subject of durum wheat, we learned about pasta in Puglia, and Chef Pasquale Antifori demonstrated the art of cooking various pasta dishes for lunch every day. One of the many dishes prepared was “Orecchiette”, the ear shaped pasta of Puglia, and a traditional “ricetta”, boiled with broccoli rabe in salted water, and finished with anchovy and garlic, cooked in extra virgin olive oil. Another shape that we enjoyed was “Cavatelli”, similar in size and shape to the cannelini beans that were included in the sauce of mussels, garlic, and cherry tomatoes.

We were also shown some traditional breads of Puglia, such as “pane di Altamura”, a very dense bread, and delicious with fresh tomatoes and olive oil. Also the Chefs demonstrated how to make foccacia, lathered with an abundance of extra virgin olive oil, and the traditional “calzone alla Barese”, a pie made with the focaccia dough, and filled with leeks, cooked with anchovy, capers, tomatoes, black olives and Canestrato pecorino cheese.

I have more... but thought I should stop somewhere.

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Notes from day 1,

A popular antipasti is a Crostini pomodori, whereby they would simply squeeze a ripe tomato on toast, and dress it with local EVOO.

We enjoyed a dish called Tonno Livornese, roasted tuna, cooked in tomato sauce with capers & black olives.

The wine was really quite nice, Vino Frizzante "Vivace", Frontera – malvasia, trebiano bianco

Bus Trip from Hotel Lafayette in Giovanazzo to Bari. If you dont have cash & a bus pass, they let us ride for free.

We visited Enoteca “Sportelli”, where the recommended vino Pugliese follows

Augusiale “Grito” Nero di Troia

Visiello “Rubino” Primitivo

Bottacia “Toresquarto” Nero di Troia

Don Carmilio “Carrisi” Negro Amaro”

Cappello di Pristi “Candisi” Negro Amaro”

Back at the hotel:

Dinner: : Crostini pomodori

Orrechietti scampi

Salsa di cippola, pomodoro, prezzemolo, sambucca

Fish , steamed dressed with olive oil

Vino Frizzante

Vivace, Frontera – malvasia, trebiano bianco

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Il Frantoio is a splurge, but worth every penny. They don't serve dinner year-round, though - if you're going off-season, you might want to ask. But the breakfast is amazing...more than a dozen kinds of cookies, soft-boiled eggs, yogurt with fruit preserves - all made from fruit grown on the estate - fresh fruit, toast, coffee, warm milk...

And every night on your way to bed you'll be offered a small digestif, from about twenty different flavors that they make from fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers (rose!) from the estate.

Here's their site: http://www.trecolline.it/english/index_eng.html

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Puglia Trip Day 2

We traveled from Hotel Lafayette in Giovanazzo, south to Brindisi 1 1/2 hrs

in a very small car, to visit wine maker Luigi Rubino at Tenute Rubino in Lecce

We tasted : Marmorelle (Chardonnay, malvasia)

Marmorelle Rosso (negro amaro, malvasia nero)

Nice color, good quality wine, too cold to make an accurate call

Punta Aquila (4-5 year old vine primitivo 4 mos in oak barrels)

Visellio (10-12 yr old vine primitivo 8 mos in new barriques)

Torre Testa Rosso (75 year old vine susumaniello, 14 mos in barrique)

And their estate Olio Extravirgine di oliva (Cellina di Nardo, Coratina, Leccina olives)

After our visit, we headed to Brindisi, where we had Sunday lunch at "Penny" Ristorante & Enoteca, Proprietario, Mario.

Lunch was amazing, and quite busy for a Sunday it seemed, but this is the culture.

1. Sformato di rabe olio d’tartufo

2. Sformat di rabe con ricotta affumigato

3. Cozze ai forno

4. gamberi e formaggio scamorza gratinera

5. caprio dolce e geletina di negro amaro

6. Gnocci con gamberi e limone

7. Ravioli di carciofi

8. Spigola in forno con olive

I failed to note all the wines, but we did enjoy a Rubino Visellio primitivo that went exceptionally well with fresh artichoke ravioli.

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