If Carrie Bradshaw came to Puglia she would be having Sunday brunch at Ostuni’s proudly lesbian owned and operated Paragon700, sipping a negroni - their signature cocktail - in place of her usual cosmopolitan.
As stylish as it is aspirational, for most Ostuni residents Restaurant 700 is a place for occasional dining. Owners Pascale and her partner Ulrike are keen to encourage more locals through their doors, although prices are much higher than you will find elsewhere in Ostuni.
Paragon’s food may be good but not exceptional to justify the prices.
For those intimidated by Restaurant700’s pricing Sunday Brunch a good place to start. At 40€ (Excluding beverages) it represents better value, particularly if you select mains lifted from the bistrot menu. Although be prepared. On our last visit 2 Coke Zeros cost us 20€.
Equally tasty and fussy are the pastry basket’s pancakes, french toast and mini muffins. Served on a plate rather than a basket, we are brought our own helping.
Style over substance meant that we really couldn’t tell the french toast and pancakes apart, despite the tasty cinnamon deliciousness of one or the other (or both…).
We are left undecided whether we would have preferred a more regular sized one of each. That said, the variety of the bite sized croquets and sandwiches on the savoury plate worked perfectly well for us. Bigger would not have been better, rather too much.
Menu choices that are decidedly unItalian - after all, would it be brunch without the option of eggs benedict?
We may be able to find the pasta and fish selections elsewhere in Ostuni, but not so the Club Sandwich or the hamburger. And what a hamburger it is, dense but not compacted.
Cooked to perfection and served with freshly made crisp potato chips in place of fries (or for British readers, crisp crisps in place of chips) that for once don’t make you feel like you are missing out on fries.
The brunch menu finishes with a choice of desert. The slice of tart that each of us had, was spot on and then some.
The quality of Restaurant 700’s kitchen product is as it should be and, like the impeccable service, anything less would be disappointing. Attention to detail is king.
Until it comes to the paper sachets of sugar served with coffee and hot beverages; if the accompanying individual house biscuit can be wrapped in its own bespoke packaging, surely a solution can be found for the paper sugar sachets. They are hardly aspirational, just ordinary.
Not yet the bottomless prosecco brunch that Carrie Bradshaw and pals might be having in lower Manhattan or currently on trend in London’s Soho and Shoreditch eateries, but it’s certainly a brunch to enjoy when a special occasion arises (and your bank balance allows).
If you are looking for value, Paragon700 is the top end of the scale. Food, equally as delicious, but far less costly is found all around Ostuni.