This article comes from Fabiana Magrì in Italy. It makes you want to explore. I would include the itinerary, but it is in Italian and does not translate too well. However, if you speak or read Italian, contact Fabiana and she will be happy to send it to you.
Just two kilometres from Foggia
is the relaxed and informal atmosphere of this small-holding
which has been recently renovated in a beautiful contemporary style
Situated right in the heart of the Tavoliere plain, it’s the perfect jumping off point
to discover the northernmost county of the Puglian region
The Tavoliere is one of the most charming parts of Puglia and one of the largest plains in Italy. From the Gargano promontory to the mountains of the Daunia, you can relax in a tranquil and informal atmosphere in this newest Agriturismo, ‘al Celone’.
A charming country small-holding built at the beginning of the last century has now become home to ‘al Celone’. The Agriturismo takes its name from the nearby river that runs for over seventy kilometres through the county of Foggia. The project to renovate the abandoned building was taken on by Giannicola Caione, the owner, who lovingly restored the building, even leaving the original feeding mangers for the animals. By choosing thoroughly contemporary, elegant and refined furnishings, his meticulous and careful renovation work is shown off to its very best.
Our ingredients come from the kitchen garden, it’s carefully vegetable patch and the owner’s farm before being transformed by our chef Dario Perrella into the delicious, refined, genuine and seasonal dishes we serve at lunch and dinner in the restaurant. Even the creamy buffalo mozzarella and ricotta cheese is made by a renowned local dairy, to whom the Caione family supply milk. Anything that we can’t make at home comes from carefully selected and trusted lexpert ocal producers.
The restaurant offers a culinary voyage through the flavours both of the county and the region. One speciality is the ‘tuna pork’, an exquisite dish made from succulent pork which is marinated and slowly cooked until it takes on the appearance of tuna fillet. Some of our other dishes include an aubergine terrine, made with buffalo mozzarella and served on a coulis of fresh tomato or the veal carpaccio, thinly sliced pieces of cured succulent meat served with mixed sauté vegetables. We haven’t forgotten the traditional dishes such as ‘acquasale’, literally-watersalt-, a delicious and fresh mix of toasted bread, onions, tomatoes and garlic, laced with the freshest olive oil, certainly one of the most humble and traditional specialities of the area.
The first courses comprise a fresh risotto made with asparagus and almonds, crunchy fillo parcels filled with pistachio nuts, pancetta and soft ricotta, or the local, thick hand-made spaghetti which becomes a delicious courgette carbonara, the wide tubes of ‘paccheri’ pasta served with aubergine mousse and rich flavoured cacioricotta cheese or even pappardelle pasta with a fresh julienne of vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes.
The second courses are equally apetitising and apart from char-grilled fresh meats and vegetables it is well worth trying a slice of caciocavallo cheese on the grill served with oregano and pancetta, a veal fillet perfumed with thyme and lemon, the ‘tagliata’ grilled beef which is then sliced to let the delicious juices run and served with an asparagus sauce. There is also the ‘piccata’ of pork, a succulent fillet wrapped in crispy breadcrumbs, quickly fried and accompanied by a saffron sauce. We also have some special dishes that combine the traditionally seperate Italian first and second courses. One such is the spicy chili wheat which partners delicious chicken wings, coated with flakes of maize then fried or try our tender slices of veal with barley salad. We’re also famous for our succulent home-made burgers which of course come in a home-made bun. Each is served with fresh lettuce, tomato and a choice of crispy bacon or soft mozzarella cheese.
It’s also an ideal place to celebrate a special event. The restaurant can hold up to 120 people, of which half can dine under the cooling shade of the ample roof of the garden room, beside the green boughs of two ancient orange trees that look out over a verdent garden. The remaining half can be elegantly accomodated in one of the three conjoined dining rooms which offer an intimate and comfortable dining experience.
“Al Celone” is also a wine bar and boasts a cellar with more than one hundred different labels, specialiaising in wines from the south.
For those who wish to prolong their visit and discover the charms of the local area, ‘al Celone’ is also a very discreet little place to stay. There are four refined and beautifully furnished double rooms. The two in the garden house are at ground level and are extremely spacious. Each offers a generously proportioned bathroom complete with Jacuzzi bath. The other two rooms are situated on the first floor of the main building and one even has a charming balcony from which you can admire splendid views of the Daunian mountains and the Gargano promontory.
For Giannicola Caione, the concept of welcoming and looking after his guests goes beyond all this. This is why ‘al Celone’ offers a programme of events showcasing live music as well as literary events, meetings with artists and actors alike. There is even a model racetrack with a small covered stage for spectators, where radio-controlled cars can be pitted against each other.
A stay at ‘al Celone’ is an experience that you will not forget.
Agriturismo Al Celone
Via San Severo km 4, 71121 Foggia
Ristorante chiuso il lunedì
You can find “al Celone” on the website of Regione Puglia (http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/), on the guide “Bere e Mangiare in Capitanata” and on the App “Dormire e Mangiare in Italia” by Touring Editore (www.touringclub.com).
+972 (0) 528752945 (Israel)
+39 393 0139848 (Italy)
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