pescaria - polignano a mare, italy
Rating: 6 / 10
Again, my Airbnb host recommended this spot highly, so we tracked it down after doing all the typical tourist stuff and photo ops. Luckily for us November is not high season and therefore most of the vantage points were empty or only had a handful of people. Most of the locals just stared at us as if we were mad for wearing short sleeved shirts in "winter". They obviously have never been to Norway in November, this was warm.
Our frutti di mare box was excellent. Really fresh seafood (as you'd expect), and a nice thin batter that had a good salt punch to it. Nothing was overcooked and the only micro-criticism I'd have was if you're going to deep fry a shrimp, it makes it pretty damn hard to peel afterwards, and no, those were too big to eat shell-on thank you very much.
Pescaria has rave review after rave review on google and tripadvisor pretty much all for their octopus sandwich. This was the one thing the waiter told us to get, and both of us ordered one out of curiosity.
This is where that subjective opinion thing comes in. Look the bread was great, the octopus was tasty and well prepared, but something in that sandwich just gave off a damp moss, old urchins underwear kind of vibe. It was earthy but not in a truffle/mushroom way. Whatever it was, and it could have been something as simple as their greens were a bit past their sell-by date, but something pierced through all the goodness and made it quite unpalatable.
You can't win every time, but Italy usually throws you more home-runs than fouls, so be thankful that more often than not you leave a restaurant happy.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"