Rowley Leigh told us all how wonderful Al Miramare da Michele was in the FT several weeks ago. It seemed to be one of those fortunate coincidences that we would be staying ten minutes away from this restaurant on Puglia's coast a couple of weeks later.
We booked a table for two and arrived in the midday heat. We were pointed to two seats by the window, looking out over the sea, with a breeze which was rocking the fishing boats and blowing on our faces. No menu was presented, we were simply told that today they had orecchiette with clams. B has a shellfish allergy, so we then had to try and explain (in our embarrassingly terrible Italian) that clams weren't possible for him. Clams were to be replaced with fish.
A plate of fried cheese balls cheered B up after the traumatic Italian shellfish conversation, and things were back on track.
Squid ink orecchiette with clams/fish and tomatoes soon appeared. We're going to ignore that smudge of potato on the side. I'm not sure what that was. The freshest fish; dark, perfectly al dente orecchietti; bursts of chickpeas; sweet tomatoes.
Other plates were being delivered to other customers - many had spaghetti with prawns, some lucky folk got plates of fritto misto to start them off. I think we need to work on our Italian and become more regular customers to receive this preferential treatment, but we were more than happy with our serving of traditionally Puglian pasta, eaten overlooking the bay where the seafood had been caught that very morning.
Al Miramare da Michele, Via della Torre Santa Sabina, Marina di Carovigno, Brindisi 72012.