Great attention is dedicated to sourcing prime quality ingredients and local Salento products: from wild seasonal vegetables, and fish from Gallipoli; extra virgin olive oil to Gallipoli violet prawns – everything is foraged in Salento. Produce is farmed in the highest respect of the soil with organic agriculture, including seasonal garden vegetables, sowed by native seeds and grains, and spontaneous herbs and wild greens like the “paparine”, wild poppy varietals. All the fish served at I Salentini comes from sustainable Gallipoli fisheries.
The I Salentini menu is true to traditional local cuisine, respectful of the ancient recipes of aged fisherman families. The choice is among preparations of the sea - according to climate; and countryside - according to season. Some of the ingredients used are Slow Food Presidia, like the “Fave di Carpino”, broad beans used in the white fava bean purée with chicory; or the Caciocavallo Podolico del Gargano, and Capocollo di Martina Franca cheese and charcuterie products. Among the kitchen’s most famous specialties are wild chicory soup with pork rind; meatballs cooked in tomato sauce and doused with ricotta; but those seeking stronger more assertive flavors may find anglerfish tripe or liver, which are absolute musts. For lunch, guests can taste lighter meals and indulge in typical Salento marine charcuterie: swordfish bresaola, tuna prosciutto, or mortadella made with bottarga (mullet roe). Tradition and innovation blend into a local cuisine which is both elaborate and rich, yet never heavy. The dessert selection is vast and includes typical delights such as Pasticciotto and Spumone, or toasted and almond-filled figs laced with cinnamon.
The bistrot’s wine cellar is a small galley of native Salento and Puglia vines, from Negramaro Primitivo to Bianco d’Alessano, as well as indigenous grape varietals like the almost forgotten Sussumaniello.