Having just launched our new gourmet tour website, we felt we should up our research and go out for lunch. We’ve long known about the stretch of restaurants ‘huts’ between Torre Canne and Savelletri that were once shacks selling ricci (sea urchins) to visiting Barese during the summer months but are now more structurally sopisticated and offer comprehensive seafood menus. You can now get chips with your fish.
But this week I read a review of one particular restaurant in the area, serving lobster and linguine, which is always a winner with us. Finally we found it, off the main road and right on the beach.
Il Principe del Mare, The Prince of the Sea, remains true to its roots with disposable cutlery and plates, and cheap cheap prices. The service was perfect, and the fish generous and delicious. We started with carpaccio of tuna, octopus salad and preserved aubergines, and we both followed with lobster on linguine. And somehow managed to share a tiramisu afterwards. The bread served in a brown paper bag, the breeze coming off the sea and the sun beating on the water outside made the experience authentic and unforgettable. The food was Puglia at its best, simple, fresh and delicious.
A genial Italian gentleman on the next table told us (repeatedly) that he first frequented the restaurant 35 years ago, when it was the only eatery in the area, and they only served ricci. When he had asked for salad, the proprieter went across the road and purchased some tomatoes from the farm, then washed them in seawater. The most delicious thing he had ever eaten…
Including a litre of local, slightly sparkling, white wine the bill was under 60 euros. I don’t think its going to hit the Gourmet Puglia itinerary, but we’ll definitely be going back.