The next stop in our culinary tour of southern Italy is La Locandiera in Bernalda, near Matera in the region of Basilicata. Gambero Rosso has awarded it tre gamberi (three shrimp), which is the highest rating for a trattoria. We opted for the “gourmet” menu, comprising 4 antipasti, 2 primi, 1 secondo and 2 dolci for 50 euros including matching wines.
Sausage and egg, which may remind some of you more of breakfast than dinner. The wine with the antipasti was a dry Moscato from Basilicata.
Savory crêpes filled with mushrooms, cheese, and guanciale. Very flavorful.
Fritters with zucchini and pecorino, made with a beer batter. Very airy and crispy.
Polpette of mussels and bread, with a very elegant flavor.
Ravioli filled with burrata and served with raw baccalà, lemon zest and chard puree. A very elegant dish, paired nicely with an Aglianico rosé.
Bucatini from local what (Basilicata is the main producer of semola for pasta) with tomatoes, green beans, and stracciatella cheese (fresh cheese somewhat similar to burrata), paired well with a Primitivo/Aglianico blend from a winery that is only 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the restaurant. This was served with very flavorful (and very fiery) peperoncini in olive oil. This was wonderful due to the great tomatoes.
Pig cheeks braised in Aglianico, with an Aglianico reduction and black olive ‘earth’. The meat was very flavorful, juicy, and extremely tender. It was paired well with an Aglianico del Vulture, the region’s top wine.
Semifreddo with pastry cream and Aglianico reduction, served with homemade liqueur made from Primitivo and cherries.
Fig, roasted eggplant with chocolate and hazelnut, and mint jelly.
This was like going back in time and tasting traditional dishes like they used to be. (Unfortunately that also includes red wine served at room temperature.) The chef is an actual grandmother, and this is real grandmother’s cooking: delicious and great value for money.