Several months ago while looking at our schedule for part of the year, I saw we had a 4 day weekend the first weekend in April so I consulted my good friend Sam who is a trip planning genius and she suggested I look into exploring the Puglia Region. Tickets were 40€ RT per person to fly directly into Bari so I got to planning and put together an awesome itinerary in Bari, Polignano a Mare, Alberobello, Matera and Monopoli for our 4 day trip (PHEW, I’m still tired!).
I had seen pictures of Grotta Palazzese but never knew exactly where it was until I started putting together ‘To See/Do” lists for the area we would be visiting! I was super excited and emailed the restaurant right away to see if we could get a reservation. The restaurant is located in Polignano a Mare – if I ever go missing you will find me in this town for sure – and was excited to hear back that the restaurant would in fact be open and that we could go enjoy lunch one day while we were in town visiting. Our B&B was right around the corner so we got ready and walked over to the Hotel & Restaurant. After descending two flights of stairs we were greeted and escorted to our table right on the edge of the cave overlooking the water. Presley was excited to act like royalty and going for lunch at the very start of their serving season proved to be an excellent idea because for most of our lunch we were the ONLY ONES THERE! One table of 4 people came about half way through our meal but it was nice to walk around and take pictures and not be in someones way!
We selected the ‘Dream’ Menu and ate Snapper Tartare, Tubbetino Pasta, Sea Bass, and Cassata for dessert. Check out the menu options here. Although the pricing is much higher than we would usually pay €180 per person not including any drinks or Presley – it was a definite YOLO experience that was definitely worth it! Glad we did it? YES. Do it again? Nope.
Okay, maybe you could convince me to go back for the dessert. Or dressed up fancy for date night without a child in tow. Okay, sold. Now, I’m not a foodie by any means, but because I knew we’d be spending a small fortune on lunch – I took pictures of our courses for your viewing pleasure.I DIED over dessert. Hands down the best dessert I have ever had in my entire life. I could have had 10 more servings of it (I need to figure out how to make something even remotely close to it!). If you know me, you know I am not very adventurous with my food – I don’t like many kinds of fish, prefer chicken over any other meat and don’t like anything spicy so while I enjoyed our lunch menu and was full for the rest of the day – personally I’d skip it all to just have this dessert!
While we were finishing up, we saw some Dolphins jumping out in the water and it was pretty magical. I think I’ll move here and become a server – because I could get used to these views every single day.
So there we go. If you plan on heading to the Puglia region, I definitely recommend planning to visit the Grotta Palazzese. Just make sure you book your table in advance – especially for dinner if you can sneak away without the kids!