Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Italy 2015: Polignano A Mare Eats

Polignano A Mare was another city I found through Pinterest. I saw its beautiful blue waters, its amazing rock-carved buildings, and I knew I needed to visit.

I love visiting sea towns because it means fresh and delicious seafood. And luckily, again, the food here was really affordable.
We ate breakfast at Tipicamente in Alberobello before hopping in a car and driving to Polignano.

After wandering around the town for a few hours, we stopped for lunch. We ended up at the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele where we had our pick of several restaurants. We liked M'Briana's menu the most so we decided to eat here.

We asked for a green salad to start, to which our waiter asked if we only wanted spring greens or if we wanted rocket, to which we responded, "Si!" Then, he asked if we also wanted tomatoes, to which we gleefully answered, "Si!" Then, he asked if we also wanted cheese, to which we enthusiastically answered, "Si!" again. This vibrant and colorful salad arrived and we were all smiles.
We were offered balsamic vinegar, but we didn't use it. The olive oil in Italy is incredibly fruity and fragrant that it makes a delicious dressing on its own. So, a glug of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, a few turns of pepper, and the simplest but most delicious salad was born.
For her main, my sister went for the pizza with porcini mushrooms and tomatoes. In this region, the pizza is crisp and thin. The crust was delicate and fragrant with olive oil. The mushrooms were flavorful and tender and the tomatoes added a vibrancy.
For my main, I got the fresh spaghetti with mussels. The whole dish tasted like the ocean - incredibly fresh and briny - and the mussels were tender and delicious.
For dessert, we got the creme catalan. It was a simple custard drizzled with an amber caramel and sprinkled with amaretti cookie crumbs. It was a delicious end to the meal.
IL BASTIONE
For dinner, we walked to a restaurant right next door to our hotel.
We were given complimentary fried herby dough filled with a tomato sauce.
The waiter also gave us complimentary prosecco. We opted out of getting any extra wine or alcohol since we'd be hopping on a plane early the next morning.
To start, we had the grilled porcini. I know, I know, so much porcini. Well, can you blame me? It was so delicious. They were simply dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the grilling gave the mushrooms extra flavor.
We also got a nice bright salad.
And, as per our usual preference, we dressed it simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
When our mains came out, the waiter wheeled them over on a cart and then scooped them from the serving bowls onto our plates, which was actually kind of weird because we'd each ordered separate dishes so they could have just given us the serving platters.
My sister got the black pasta with mixed seafood. The pasta was salty and chewy (not at all fishy like some black pastas can be) and the seafood was so good. The calamari was so tender and perfect and the shellfish was cooked just until soft. This dish tasted like the ocean in the best way possible.
I got the cavatappi with clams and prawns. The pasta itself must have been cooked in wine or broth, because it was super flavorful. The seafood was perfectly cooked too, but for me, it was overshadowed by the amazing pasta. I need to cook pasta like this really soon. This food tour of Italy gave me so much inspiration and gave me another jolt of excitement for cooking.
For dessert, we got the tiramisu mangi & bevi, which means eat and drink. The black pipe sticking out is a straw that's popped into the espresso sitting at the bottom of the glass. So, you sip and eat and make a tiramisu in your mouth. I loved it because it was such a fun idea and delicious and my sister loved it because she's not a fan of coffee flavors so she got to enjoy her favorite parts of the tiramisu without suffering through the espresso.
Our last city was Milan, and that will be up next. That was a super delicious city - are there any Italian cities that aren't delicious? - and I'm excited to share so please come back for that!

Cheers!

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