Gli antipasti della Lanternaia
Food art, that’s what we have been eating the past three weeks, beautifully sculptured food. The hotel where we have been staying has an excellent restaurant with dishes that reflect the traditional cuisine in Puglia with a very modern twist. The chef does wonderfully decorative things with rice flour mixed with squid ink to create color contrast and a crunchy element to a dish. I have concentrated mainly on fish since we have been here, since I am not a huge meat lover and it would be difficult to live in this hotel for an extended period if you were a vegetarian. I think that there is one vegetarian option on the menu, it would get old really quickly.
Admittedly it has already started to get old for us omnivores, but I don’t want to dwell on that. It is tough to eat elsewhere with a two year old, making our only option food art.
We have been holding back on the three course Italian meal while we have been here, trying to maintain our girlish figures, but we have ordered antipasti a few times. We are also usually presented with a small antipasto before our meal that the chef creates every night for all of the guests. Delicious little morsels of fresh anchovies, smoked salmon stuffed with vegetables, beef carpaccio and little bread balls with fresh herbs. I love the anticipation of what they will bring us every night.
The few times that we have ordered antipasti they have been spectacular, couscous with shrimp, grouper carpaccio with orange, pane carasau with tuna, anchovies in a clam and mussels broth, probably the most memorable of them all. There is also the famous capocollo from Martina Franca, which they serve with mozzarella di bufala and pesto. The portions are colossal, but we have been tending to skip lunch, so the occasional antipasto won’t end up killing us.
One Year Ago: Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms, Saffron and Red Wine
Three Years Ago: An interpretation of La Genovese