It’s located right next to University of Bari, but the crowd that you’ll meet for lunch or dinner at Bella Bari (Via Roberto da Bari 141, BARI 70100, Tel. 080-5235192) is rather a mix of politicians, actors & actresses, writers + advocats – “insomma gente benestante”, as they say for the rich and the beautiful of Bari. “It’s a classic”, explains Nicola, who has been running the place together with his two brothers for many years now; since they refurbished the interior a few months ago it seems to go through a new revival, one out of many over the years.
Every now and then we’re inviting “artists in residence” to stay with us for a few days or weeks, exchance cultural experiences and watch them working on special pieces. Or, in this case, inspire them go new ways, try new things, even beyond their personal comfort zone. Stefan Maiwald, german writer, who lives between Munich, Grado and Braunschweig, wrote a few chapters of his new novel, “Meine Suche nach der besten Pasta der Welt” (engl: My research for the best pasta in the world) at Masseria Torre Coccaro. It wasn’t too hard of a job, he actually seemed to quite like the idea of his new work & life balance between golf course (Maizza) and computer, swimming pool and notebook.
One evening he got to his personal extremes though: We took him to eat raw seafood at Bella Bari (Via Roberto da Bari 141, Bari). We knew he liked sushi. But he didn’t know how raw raw fish could actually be… What he experienced among friends of ours and a whole restaurant full of Bari people, most of them “crudo” lovers, he describes in his chapter “Puglia – Can you please bury me there?”
There’s a new place in town: cosy as a private home, sophisticated as a modern art gallery, stylish as a hotel bar in London, Liverpool, Chicago. All of that on 15 square meters, called Speakeasy – like the places that sold alcoholic drinks during the American prohibition. The two owners who’ve seen their share of Bari nightlife (both of them ex-”Stile Libero”-people) are declared cocktail lovers. Order your favorite, as extraordinary as it may be – there’s hardly anything you won’t get here.
Ever tried Smashed Bean Soup with a twist of aromatic Scamorza cheese, wild onions, dried tomatoes and crispy bread? Here’s how Antonio Scalera, former “Grotta Palazzese” chef (Polignano), now the owner of La Bul Restaurant in Via Villari 52, Bari (www.labul.it), approaches the traditional recipe.
On the smashed bean cream he would first add a a couple of cooked whole beans, ”to make you realize you’re undoubtedly eating beans”, he says, while baking the Scamorza cheeze until it melts slightly.
A chilly winter night in Bari; found shelter and great hospitality at La Bul (www.labul.it, Via Villari 52, Bari), new and trendy restaurant in the storic center (www.labul.it). Sommeliere Francesca Mosele’s wine recommendation for a dinner based on raw and cooked fish and vegetables, prepared by her partner Antonio Scalera (former chef of Grotta Palazzese, Polignano):
Cantine Olivella: Katà Pompeiano 2010