Travel

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.

Starters

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.

Mains

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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