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Savelletri: da Renzina

Piazza Roma, 6 , Phone: 080-482-9075

Closing day: Thursday

Reviewed by: Kim (moderator) from NJ, review #1439

When: 2005

We started with the house antipasti, which would be just about enough to convince me to drive to Puglia on every visit to Italy.

Kim at Da Renzina, photo by Chris

I’d read about the Museo Nazionale de Egnazia in an article from the London Telegraph, which we thought of as a possibility for a rainy day but the article also mentioned a nearby seafood restaurant, da Renzina, with excellent fried calamari; that’s what Chris and I wanted for lunch the day we chose this restaurant.

For us it's an easy drive up the coast along the 379, where we exit about Torre Canne and take the local coast road to Savelletri. Da Renzina was to our right, just as you enter the town.

Da Renzina, with a nice size parking lot, has canopies to cover the cars for hot days, was a large restaurant that looked like they had nightly entertainment (piano at least). When we entered, we spied a deck outside with tables and asked to sit out there. The host easily agreed. The deck was covered, over the ocean and with a warm breeze, perfect.

We started with the house antipasti, which ends up being a meal in itself and would be just about enough to convince me to drive to Puglia on every visit to Italy. With it, we’re served:

  • Mussels on the half shell, served in an oreganto fashion, with a seasoned breadcrumb coating
  • Fresh Anchovies drizzled with olive oil and chilled
  • Octopus Salad (which I admittedly skip)
  • Shrimp and Calamari Salad
  • Thin fillets of spada (swordfish) dressed with olive oil and fresh herbs (tarragon I think) also served chilled
  • Fried baby calamari
  • Some sort of frittata
  • Some other fried thing that I have no idea what it is
  • Fried and stuffed mussels with something akin to a hush puppy

And then, because we made the mistake of ordering our main course at the same time as our antipasti, we also got two fritti misti, which contain some calamari, scampi and two whole fish that I filleted for the first time, easily. If we’d known how much would come on the house antipasti, we probably would have shared a misto or maybe skipped it entirely. Oh and because we’re utterly piggish, we also ordered a plate of French fries that rivaled Sciame in Montalcino for best fries ever. All this, with a bottle of water, cover and house white, cames to 56.60 € - a great deal.

We asked if we could make reservations for Thursday night but unfortunately, they’re closed Thursday and we know on Wednesday, we’ll be enjoying Rosalba’s cooking again at Il Frantoio. A regret for this trip was that we only got to eat at da Renzina once.

I'm torn between giving this restaurant two stars (worth an hour detour) and three stars (plan a trip around it). When I realize that Il Franoio is a three star I guess that puts Da Renzina at two stars (worth maybe a bit more than an hour detour).

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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