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Driving through Puglia (Apulia)

Hi

I'll be heading out on a driving trip through Puglia and would love any input on great places to eat and drink throughout the region. Will be in Lucera, Bari, Alberobello, Lecce, Matera (just outside Puglia) and points in between.

Thanks in advance for the help

dg

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  1. We loved the food in Puglia - here are some suggestions: (taken from a posting I did on Fodors)

    A Michelin One Star in a town just north of Bari (Barletta)called Antica Cucina doesn't see too many tourists, let alone North Americans. They had a simple solution to the language barrier - take us into the kitchen, drag everything onto the counters and between Italian, French, English, sign language and charades constructed an amazing seafood meal. At the end of lunch when we asked for the bill we braced ourselves - the menu had a fixed price lunch for 35,000 lire but we had easily had twice as much food as was listed on it. The bill came - 35,000 lire each and one bottle of wine (that was complete fiction!). Throughout lunch 'regulars' kept coming up and introducing themselves - happy to see tourists at "their" restaurant!

    Al Fornello da Ricci, near Alberbello. A Michelin one star specializing in Puglian cuisine. We stopped by there on a Sunday - they were jammed! We explained (in fractured Italian/French/English/sign language) that we didn't want to stay that day, we would come tomorrow, but could we have a menu to look at. Back to the Agriturismo we went with the 10 page menu which my husband spent 2 hours painstakingly translating with the help of an excellent Italian menu book we had. We were ready for lunch. On Monday we turned up at 1:00pm - all ready to order. We were the only people in the dining room (and it would remain that way) and the captain quickly ran into the kitchen to get someone who spoke English. Nigel, the Malaysian Second course (grill) chef (a whole story in itself) arrived at our table, gently took the menu away and proceeded to order for us. Unbelievable! First, we had enough food for an army (yes, we asked for doggie bags) and again, at the end we steeled ourselves for the bill. Once again, it was for 2 'menus' which in no way approximated the amount of food we ate (or took home). Nigel asked us back to his house which unfortunately didn't work out - but we'll be back!

    In Otranto - Acmet Pascia for the freshest seafood and wonderful swordfish carpaccio. Also the mosiac on the floor of the church there is spectacular - my favourite of all.

    I'll look through my files as I think we had a couple other ones - but the 3 above are not to be missed IMHO!

    1. We loved the food in Puglia - here are some suggestions: (taken from a posting I did on Fodors)

      A Michelin One Star in a town just north of Bari (Barletta)called Antica Cucina doesn't see too many tourists, let alone North Americans. They had a simple solution to the language barrier - take us into the kitchen, drag everything onto the counters and between Italian, French, English, sign language and charades constructed an amazing seafood meal. At the end of lunch when we asked for the bill we braced ourselves - the menu had a fixed price lunch for 35,000 lire but we had easily had twice as much food as was listed on it. The bill came - 35,000 lire each and one bottle of wine (that was complete fiction!). Throughout lunch 'regulars' kept coming up and introducing themselves - happy to see tourists at "their" restaurant!

      Al Fornello da Ricci, near Alberbello. A Michelin one star specializing in Puglian cuisine. We stopped by there on a Sunday - they were jammed! We explained (in fractured Italian/French/English/sign language) that we didn't want to stay that day, we would come tomorrow, but could we have a menu to look at. Back to the Agriturismo we went with the 10 page menu which my husband spent 2 hours painstakingly translating with the help of an excellent Italian menu book we had. We were ready for lunch. On Monday we turned up at 1:00pm - all ready to order. We were the only people in the dining room (and it would remain that way) and the captain quickly ran into the kitchen to get someone who spoke English. Nigel, the Malaysian Second course (grill) chef (a whole story in itself) arrived at our table, gently took the menu away and proceeded to order for us. Unbelievable! First, we had enough food for an army (yes, we asked for doggie bags) and again, at the end we steeled ourselves for the bill. Once again, it was for 2 'menus' which in no way approximated the amount of food we ate (or took home). Nigel asked us back to his house which unfortunately didn't work out - but we'll be back!

      In Otranto - Acmet Pascia for the freshest seafood and wonderful swordfish carpaccio. Also the mosiac on the floor of the church there is spectacular - my favourite of all.

      I'll look through my files as I think we had a couple other ones - but the 3 above are not to be missed IMHO!

      1. Posted it twice somehome ....... sorry!

        1. Thanks for those recommendations...sound great.

          a few questions:

          What was the appropriate dress in these places?

          What does the cost convert to? Since they don't use lire anymore I just wanted to have a general idea.

          And what is the correct tipping etiquette in the region.

          Thanks again....this is just the type of info I was hoping for. If you have more...even better!

          dg

          1. Hi - sorry about the lire - it was an old posting. It was 2000 when we were there and the three lunches (we prefer eating our big meal at lunch) were all in the $125 CDN range ....... so just over $100 US ........

            Re dress - Acmet Pascia and Ricci were very casual................while we weren't wearing jeans others were (again - it was lunch) but we were wearing the North American "uniform" of chinos and a decent polo shirt/button down shirt......

            Antica Cucina was a little more formal - mainly because it's not a tourist place and it was mostly Italian businessmen in suits.......but we were comfortable in our "uniform".

            Re tipping - I think we probably tipped over and above the usual service that's included......mainly because at Antica Cucina and Ricci we had a meal created for us.....at Acmet Pascia we ordered from the menu (or more precisely we pointed at the fresh fish) and probably didn't do anything over and above the regular service charge.

            I have to return again to the wonderful mosaic in Otranto - it's not in many books but it's lovely - following is a link

            http://www.stonepages.com/apulia/site...