We must have walked by Ostuni Bistrot well over 100 times, having made the assumption that it was something of a tourist trap to be ignored.
But off season Ostuni has less choice. And there was Ostuni Bistrot, opposite Piazza della Libertà (osteria fuori dal comune). Open and with Christmas lights welcoming us. Hungry, running past regular lunch time and with limited choice, we decided to go in.
How wrong we were. Can we just say sorry. That this has become a favourite Ostuni eatery, one of the top three restaurants we regularly return to in Ostuni, on our own and with friends. The food is honest, typical Puglia kitchen, and made with love and respect for our region’s culinary traditions and ingredients.
The biggest surprise was that despite the prime “tourist trap” location, the food is delicious, full of flavour and the pasta arrives steaming hot. Next, that the price is very, very reasonable. Exceptionally so given the setting.
On top of this the service extremely friendly and the setting most pleasant. The restaurant is family run, and usually the whole family are there, with father cooking in the kitchen.
But above all did we say how great the food was?
Their lasagne hit the spot. 14€. The frittura so good we had it on successive visits. 18€
But as for the orecchiette maritate with polpette and braciole. Simply to cry for. Served with a generous chunk of cacioricotta pugliese to grate into the steaming bowl of pasta (eat like a local | we don’t use Parmesan or pecorino on orecchiette). 19€
We are left scratching our head as to why, until now, we always grabbed a pizza at Garibaldi on the piazza. Talking of which, at Ostuni Bistrot they have great pinse. Unlike traditional pizza, which can be heavy and greasy, a pinsa is a lighter, more sophisticated version that’s perfect for a casual lunch.
One of our favourite food stories comes from eating at Ostuni Bistrot. Around Easter time we were sitting inside. Some Northern European visitors were at a table next to us. One had ordered spaghetti alle cozze (with mussels, pictured above). The lady asked for some grated cheese for her pasta. Very pleasantly and politely the waiter simply said no, before going about his business, explaining:
“We don’t have cheese with seafood pasta”.
The lady agreed and ate her pasta without grated cheese.
A final parting thought. Their panna cotta is usually spot on!
Still, better late than never. And we will be returning again, and again.
tel:+39 333 934 9620