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Mario Batali on Where to Eat in Italy

The chef, TV star, and F&W guest editor, divulges his favorite restaurants in Italy, from Puglia to Piedmont.
One dish served fresh every day.
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Le Lampare al Fortino, Trani, Puglia

"Built in a renovated church, directly on the water on the Pugliese coast north of Bari, Le Lampare is one of the most beautiful restaurant sites I have ever seen. On the terrace, one can watch the marina purr with action; inside, the palatial dining rooms exude luxurious comfort and timeless style. Chef Giovanni Lorusso has the local fishermen in his back pocket, and it shows: perhaps the best selection of pesce crudo I have ever seen outside of Japan; it took my breath away. Three different kinds of Adriatic urchins, baby octopi, scampi, three sizes of red shrimp, calamaretti, all dressed with different oils, salts and citruses. The antipasti course was a 40-minute excursion into Neptune's palace, and we took a walk after that first course just so I could get my head back in order. Reseated, we had short rigatoni with barely cooked scampi, tiny Pachino tomatoes and cubes of melting mozzarella di bufala. Then, a perfect grilled turbot. The chef is confident and restrained, allowing the magnificence of his local products to shine. One word: whoanelly." lelamparealfortino.it

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