Tuesday, September 21, 2004


For the future reference of any Italo-phile readers (and also to extract every last morsel of blog meat from my recent vacation), I list below the more memorable places where we ate during our week in Italy’s trulli region.

La Taverna del Duca
Address: Via Papatotero, 3 -- Locorotondo
Tel: 080/4313007
Good Stuff: Antipasti too numerous to remember; pureed fava beans with chichory; orrechiette with tomato sauce; arrosto misto (assortment of sausage, beef brachiole, lamb and liver cooked in a wood burning oven). Our favorite place.

Pizzeria L’Archetto
Address: Via Cavour, 19 – Locorotondo
Tel: 338-8-964-361
Good Stuff: Long list of Naples-style pizza cooked in a wood burning oven; fan-friggin’-tastic antipasti!!!; and most importantly, donkey meat brachiole in tomato sauce. Yes, I said DONKEY meat. I ate it, and I must confess…it was a good piece of ass.

Ristorante da Renzina
Address: Piazza Roma, 6 – Fasano
Tel: 080/4829075
Good Stuff: Linguini con frutti di mare.

Trullo del Conte
Address: Via Cadore, 1 – Alberobello
Tel: 080/4322124
Good Stuff: Orrechiette with tomato sauce; damn…I can’t remember what else we ate, but everything was good.

La Braceria
Address: Via Cesare Battisti, 28 – Locorotondo
Tel: 080/4317282
Good Stuff: Various meats cooked in a wood burning oven. To the dismay of our two year old, they don’t serve pasta.

Ristorante da Santudo
Address: Via San Marco (approximately 3.5 kilometers from the Via Santa Elia intersection) – near Locorotondo.
Tel: 080-438-3110
Good Stuff: Another great place for antipasti.

Happy Pizza Point
Address: Piazza Navigatori, 4 – Cisterinino.
Tel: 080/4449440
Good Stuff: Yes, I realize that the name is – shall I say – not what you’d expect from Italy. But this place is owned by our cuddly friend Domenico (pictured above), and the pizzas are very good. Plus, Domenico makes a mean Negroni! What?! You’ve never tasted a Negroni?!!! You must try one…and soon! I include the recipe below.

You might have noticed that the above list is rather heavy on the antipasti. There’s a good reason. Antipasti were the highlight of almost every meal we had.

Antipasti in Italy – this part of Italy, at least – is not a bowl of salad intermingled with chunks of veggie/cheese/pork, as you might find in so-called “Italian” restaurants in the US. No sir, antipasti in Italy is a table-cluttering orgy of goodies. Think of it as an Italian version of tapas. An endless, relentless, gut-busting flow of tapas. Plate after plate after plate of them.

For example, the antipasti at Pizzeria L’Archetto included plates of buffalo mozzarella, milky cheese curds, breaded mussels on the half shell, pureed mussels and garlic on the half shell, brachiole (beef, not donkey) in tomato sauce, zucchini, croquettes, slices of cured ham, and a couple other things that I can’t recall.

And after the antipasti, you’re supposed to eat a pasta course and a meat/fish course. I beg your pardon?

Anyway, enough about food. Let me tell you how to make a Negroni.


¾ ounce Campari
¾ ounce Sweet (red) Vermouth
¾ ounce Gin
Slice of orange

Pour Campari, vermouth and gin into an ice-filled Old Fashion glass. Stir and add orange slice. Have a damn good night!

Ciao, amici.
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