We struggle to think of a more impressive setting we have eaten in, certainly here in Puglia, but also possibly beyond.
The OXO Tower terrace has fantastic views up and down the river Thames, likewise the Mondrian Hotel London’s rooftop bar. Dinner in the private dining room at the top of the Montparnasse Tower, while the Eiffel Tower glittered.
They are all up there.
Al Trabucco di Mimi is situated on the rocky coastline of Punta San Nicola, one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Gargano National Park, near the town of Peschici.
Trabucchi, sitting like steampunk North Sea oil rigs of sorts are wooden structures suspended over the sea used for fishing.
The restaurant sits sympathetically at the side of the trabucco. From the terrace, looking towards Peschici you can watch the haul being brought into the restaurant to be prepared and served to diners.
You can’t get much fresher than that.
The food is prepared and served with love and pride. That you can tell. We couldn’t fault the quality of the dishes.
Encouraged by the azure blue sea that lapped up on the rocky shore at our side all lunch long, we stuck to seafood and fish.
On reflection this was a little too hardcore and repetitive: the crudo di mare del giorno (raw seafood platter of the day) and the fritto di paranza del giorno con zucchine in scapece alla menta (deep fried trawler fish, prawns and calamaretti with courgette scapece) defeated one of us.
The raw seafood platter was too much raw - one of us struggles with fresh raw oyster and on reflection raw prawn and other shellfish was probably over ambitious. The deep fried fish was too much hard work, having to open up the small, delicate fish and remove the bone.
But those are diner rather than kitchen issues. And it is not a criticism - just something to bear in mind.
We loved the polpo fritto, peperoni in agrodolce, salsa arrabbiata ma dolce (deep fried octopus*, sweet and sour peppers, arrabbiata sauce). As the Italian counsels, the arrabbiata is not piccante.
We drank a white wine from Daunia - Gargano (the Solo, a fiano by Michele Biancardi € | 20 | bottle) which was a wonderful partner to our seafood and fish selection.
Our lunch at Trabucco da Mimì was wonderful, and we will certainly be returning with friends.
€€€ | €€€€ | 3 starters | 2 primi | 1 main | 1 side | 1 bottle water | 1 bottle wine | €127