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Ostuni: Osteria Piazzetta Cattedrale

Largo Arcidiacono, 7 , Phone: 3397651080, 0831335026

Reviewed by: Amy from MA, review #4149

When: 2014

Elegant setting, delicious and refined cooking that manages to avoid being pretentious. Very reasonable prices for the experience.

Directions: Just up from the Cathedral

baked pasta, photo by Amy

Fabulous dinner here. The room is lovely, with pale colors and comfortable seats. Very small, you must make a reservation. The menu is very varied, with some unusual dishes. The owner speaks excellent English and is very helpful with the food and wines.

We began by sharing an antipasto special, eggplant stuffed with a light vegetable mousse. I've eaten a lot of eggplant, and this was one of the best eggplant dishes I've had. We then shared a primo of a rolled, baked pasta filled with veal and vegetables, also delicious and delicate. I had a secondi of grilled baby lambchops, and my husband had scallops cooked with their roe in a balsamic glaze, served over braised greens. Both excellent. We finished by sharing a torta della nona, which was outstanding, crunchy hazelnuts with dark chocolate. With a bottle of the best wine we had in Puglia, the bill was 86 euros.

Reviewed by: Ian from Aberdeen from UK, review #3318

When: 2009

Not just worth a detour; worth the journey.

Directions: It’s about 10 minutes walk through the pedestrian zone up the hill from Piazza Liberta, and about 100 metres beyond the entrance to the cathedral.

We went for a night out from our hotel on the coast nearby, having read earlier reviews in Slow Food, and we were not disappointed. This was the best meal we have had in 50 years travelling in Italy. The house starters (now 12 euros per person) were mouth-watering, and just kept coming, with brief, murmured introductions. There were so many that we were glad that we had only ordered fish for our main course – we couldn’t have eaten anything more substantial. Excellent wine list. Informal atmosphere. Immaculate service. Inexpensive. What more could you seek?

I need walking sticks these days, but managed to walk up and down the hill to reach the restaurant without too much difficulty; my wife wished she had worn shoes with more grip on the soles – coming down, some of the paving is shiny and might be slippy.

We were surprised to be able, during the afternoon of the same day, to make a reservation for a Friday evening in late August; it didn’t seem that busy, but people were still coming in shortly before we left, so making a reservation is probably sensible.

Reviewed by: Jonathan Morgan from UK, review #2695

When: 2007

Still Ostuni's best osteria; completely redecorated in Spring 2007.

Fave con contorni, photo by Jonathan

Review #1160 below was written after our first visit to Ostuni, three years ago. Since then we've visited Ostuni another dozen (!) times, and have eaten at this Osteria on most visits. We've tried most of Ostuni's other eating places: Piazzetta Cattedrale remains our favourite, for its imaginative take on traditional Pugliese dishes, and its superb wine list.

The osteria was closed for three months this spring for a total renovation: you can see photos of the new, lighter interior at their website.

We can rarely resist the mixed antipasti. This time, the selection comprised Flan di zucchini e fiori di zucca; Insalata piccante dei gamberi; Crostini di pane di Altamura con mousse di baccala' fresco; Burrata con capocollo di Martino, melograno e fichi; Cestino con crema di cavolfiori e pancetta croccante. As ever, imaginative dishes, beautifully presented.

We shared a primo: Purea di fave alla Pugliese con contorni. I always love this dish: chef Marilea's version surrounds the purea with small helpings of a variety of vegetables and fruit. There's the expected cicoria, plus red onions, olives, grapes, and fried long peppers. See photo.

Then a couple of tagliatas for secondi. Mine was di manzo con rucola: tender and perfectly cooked. Philippa's was di tonno con misticanza di verdure. The tuna was nicely pink, but not at all slimy (rare tuna doesn't always work well).

Well, we really shouldn't have had any desserts, but there were a couple of new ones we wanted to try. And they were both excellent: a flan al cioccolato fondente, and a spuma di ricotta croccante con fiche mandorlati.

The wine list is very strong on Pugliese reds; this time we chose a Salice Salento Riserva from Castello Monaci, 'Aiace'. A negroamaro/malvasia nera blend: rich and characterful, and a bit more subtle than some of the local primitivo-based reds.

So: 2 antipasti, 1 primo, 2 secondi, 2 dolci, wine & water: €97.

Reviewed by: Kim (moderator) from NJ, review #1437

When: 2005

We ate here twice during our May 2005 trip based upon Jonathan's review and enjoyed both meals.

Directions: In the old city in the same piazza as the Cathedral

Osteria Piazzetta Cattedrale, photo by Kim

Chris and I enjoyed two meals at Cattedrale during our stay. The first on a Sunday evening and the second for lunch on Thursday afternoon. Both times, we found the service attentive without being overbearing, the food fresh and delicious and wines a nice compliment.

On Sunday evening, we started with the house antipasti for 10€ a person. It wasn't not long before we were bombarded with a bunch of dishes, among them:

Zucchini soufflé Phylo with artichoke Stuffed Zucchini flowers Bacala mousse on bruschetta Little fried vegetables Some other type of fried veggie Marinated local mushrooms Burata with local ham Fresh Ricotta with almonds

It was delicious and really could have been enough for a light meal. When our next course came, I’m almost filled but find room for my Orecchiette with rape and breadcrumbs -- yummy. Chris enjoyed baby pork with local mushrooms but couldn't help picking at my plate, too. For dessert, I opted for some slices of fresh melon, which had to be some of the softest, juiciest melon I’ve ever had, and Chris enjoyed a Ricotta Torte.

With a great primitivo, Castello Monaci – Artas Primitivo 2001 for 24€ (the house red is 12€), dinner came to 82€ and we enjoyed every bit of it.

For Thursday lunch, we sat in the front room (we were in the back room on Sunday) and once again enjoyed the incredible antipasti, only this time there were a few differences, among them we were served some sort of bulgur wheat salad and no baccala. Chris ordered the orecchiette and I had spaghetti with tomatoes and chicory, both delicious, and we both think mine actually beats his. We share some of that soft and juicy melon for dessert and this with water and the house red, a primitivo, comes to about 50€.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Cattedrale, giving it two stars (i.e., I'd go up to an hour - maybe more out of my way) to go here.

Reviewed by: Jonathan from UK, review #1160

When: 2004

Small, friendly osteria with excellent antipasti.

Directions: In centro storico; very near the cathedral.

Small: only around half a dozen tables. We started with the mixed antipasti: lots of different things kept appearing out of the kitchen on little plates. Some cold, some hot. Little cheesey tartlets, rolls of mozzarella & crudo, polpettine, zucchini soufflé, and more that I’ve forgotten/didn’t identify. And then 2 primi: laganari (spaghetti with a square profile) with mushroom sauce (I was offered porcini for a €4 supplement: since it was mushroom season, I said yes), and fricelli con caciocavallo podolico, pancetta e pomodoro. The porcini were brought up from the cellar, and proudly shown to me: very fine! And a super taste – after eating lots of dried porcini in Umbria a few months earlier, the fresh ones taste wonderfully subtle. A bottle of house red (Primitivo di Salento: robust & full) (€10). Just room for 2 dolci. I had a huge home-made pannacotta (super), and P had something a bit like Sicilian ricotta-filled cannoli (I forget the Pugliese name). 2 coffees: total €69.

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

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