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4.22.2015

Eating in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Easter is a big deal in Italy. And I usually ignore it. We stay home, I bake trays of cinnamon rolls and we read and watch movies and maybe take a long walk or two if the weather cooperates. This year we were invited to lunch on Easter Sunday. The catch was the Easter lunch was at my friend Elizabeth’s mother in laws house in Bari, a seaside town in Puglia. The idea of a road trip sounded pretty appealing so we hit the road and headed south.This trip was all about the food and friends. Long lunches and a tiny bit of sight seeing were all that was on the agenda for the weekend.

We decided to break the drive down from Rome to Bari with a detour to a restaurant Elizabeth wanted to try in the hills. When we turned off the highway and headed towards Orsara di Puglia the first car we came upon flagged us down, asked where we were headed and then insisted that we follow him to our destination. After a few hours in the car we took a stroll through the nearby town to stretch our legs and make sure we had an appetite.

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Il Ristorante Peppe Zullo
via Piano Paradiso
Orsara di Puglia

Peppe Zullo’s website declares that he serves simple food for intelligent people. This is a little bit misleading as everything that came out of the open kitchen was intricately assembled and really quite artful. What was simple was the ingredients. Everything we ate (there were a lot of courses) was made with very local, very traditional ingredients. The traditional lampascioni, a type of water hyacinth was deep fried with a sweet wine must reduction to off set the bitter. The orichiette made with grand also and tossed with pumpkin has a swipe of fiery pepper of the edge of the dish. The thing that made us all swoon was the lemony, peppery foraged greens found only in this part of Puglia called marasciuolo. We were lucky enough to be presented with a large bunch to bring with us for our Easter feast. Better than any bouquet of flowers. 

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Antiche Mura
via Roma 11
Polignano a Mare

I have long wanted to visit the Pinterest perfect town of Pogliano a Mare on the Adriatic sea. I figured Elizabeth had been a billion times and had all kinds of favorite places. Nope. I remembered my friend Georgette had written about an excellent meal so we took her advice and booked a table at Antiche Mura.There is no sweeping sea view here but It was a fuzzy gray day and the dining room is so pretty being inside was just fine. We ate our way through the menu and the afternoon. Starting with plates of fresh sea urchins and cones of fried anchovies and a big bowl of creamy burrata. We skipped the pasta course and went straight for the fish ordering the messy but worth it zipper di peace and an wonderfully fresh spigole baked with olives. 

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Where to eat in Puglia

Bari

On Easter morning we took an early morning walk in Bari Vecchia. Through the narrow streets ducking into the main cathedral in between services to see the enormous statue of the towns patron saint Nicolas. We found the women under the arches making orecchiette and had just enough time for a spritz in the sunshine before it was time for lunch.

The other thing that is not be missed when you are in Bari is a walk along the Lungomare. Which by the way was designed by Domenico’s grandfather. Go in late morning and you will come up the small pier where the fisherman bring in their daily catch. The fish is so fresh the fish are still swimming and the octopus are escaping their buckets. The part I was looking forward to most was the plastic plates piled onto salt water battered tables filled with sea urchins. Mark went and got a beer for us to share and we stood next to the fisherman scooping up our fresh sea urchin roe with pieces of crusty bread. Best morning snack ever.













1 comment :

  1. What a lovely evocative post! I could practically taste the tang of sea salt as I read your words. And now I'm dying to go to Puglia! :)

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