Eat Puglia | xfood, San Vito dei Normanni
For the first time since 2019 we were able to return to what is, in our experience, one of the best Easter eating out experiences in Puglia.
The fixed price festive menus at xfood are among our best known “secret” local knowledge. Their Easter Sunday lunch was not advertised on their Facebook page, yet the restaurant was comfortably full with around 80 covers. Five large tables of extended families - the smallest were 8, the biggest of 16 and 18 respectively - and 3 smaller ones.
The quality of food always impresses at xfood. Using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, the menu is carefully curated and beautifully executed. Presentation and service match the quality of food.
This is our second visit since new chef Giovanni Ingletti took over the kitchen. On our first visit, in his second week, while the food was its usual stand out quality, the temperature of a starter and pasta dish was tepid by the time it reached our table (and that evening there were only two tables, 6 covers in total).
This time, our primo and secondo were sufficiently hot, even allowing for the time it took to snap these photos and the service. We were positioned about half way through the service order. As it was a fixed menu all courses were served according to table order. But we might still suggest as a note for the kitchen that hot food is served on sufficiently hot plates so it doesn’t cool too quickly once plated.
The menu was seafood and fish. Rabbit and lamb may have been absent, but certainly not missed. The sauce that bathed our gnocchetti was deliciously rich, reminding us of a lobster bisque, though lighter. And it totally contrasted the roast tomato sauce drizzled around our merluzzo (cod) main dish. The cod itself just perfectly cooked. On the point of post-transparent, but soft and succulent.
The toasted colomba may not have been made by the kitchen, but was still light and seasonally scented. The sauce was a winner, which we find is the way with any desert featuring San Marzano.
The impossible thing about xfood’s fixed menu Easter Sunday lunch - eaten over 3 relaxed hours - is the price. 50€ per person inclusive (not a typo, inclusive) of bottomless water and wine, served by the bottle, white, red, rosé or (on request) prosecco and coffee.
More | our curated guide to Puglia’s best restaurants and eating experiences | Masseria Moroseta review - expensive but exceptional dining | Grottaglie’s La Luna nel Pozzo - could this be one of Puglia’s best restaurants?