L’Oasi del Riccio restaurant, Puglia [review]

23 Dec , 2012  

L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - signpost

It was in the middle of nowhere, a dusty track off the coast road from Torre Canne heading up to Savelletri, a few large tents stuck together and a portacabin. L’Oasi del Riccio wasn’t pretty, it didn’t have a view to die for nor did it offer a fine dining experience. Hell, it didn’t offer solid walls. But who cares? It cooked me the freshest seafood in an unpretentious Pugliese style and served it straight to my plastic table parked next to an azure sea.


L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - swordfish and squid

Raw squid was delicate, sweet, good texture and tasted very fresh. Good swordfish carpaccio, meaty flavour, lots of olive oil.


L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - octopus

Very good octopus, grilled by a bloke using a metal contraption with a chimney parked behind the bar area, served plain and simple with olive oil. Lovely flavour and some delicate smokey overtones.

L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - grill

Apparently they often catch their octopus just by the rocks here so you may be able to witness the untimely demise of your own lunch. Yuk.

L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - seafood

Excellent seafood pasta, plump clams and mussels. Salads were good, too.

The restaurant started in a typically ad hoc Italian way and has added an extra tent every now and then as it became popular. I just hope it doesn’t lose it’s simplicity or freshness when I next have a chance to visit.

L'Oasi del Riccio, Puglia - restaurant

And what about the riccio? Riccio means hedgehog in Italian – and indeed they were once called urchins in English – so these are little hedgehogs of the sea. Confusingly, the plural, ricci, also means curly, as in curly-haired. Not to be confused with ricchi, which means rich.

Anyway, the sea urchins weren’t plump enough yet, they said, come back in a week or two.

Oasi del Riccio, Strada litoranea per Savelletri, Savelletri, Brindisi, Italy

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Written for La Cupina.
Words and photos by Ken Sparkes. © 2011 Ken Sparkes. All Rights Reserved.

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