In Marina di Andrano I walk to the open-air restaurant/cocktail bar Malibù, for lunch. Here you can eat snacks and seafood in the shade of a covered terrace overlooking the infinite sea. The chefs on duty are Franco Retucci and his wife Francesca.
Franco joins me at the table and happily talks about his heavenly place and how to make food here. Indeed, for him, preparing fish is a philosophy. Franco: “The fish must be daily fresh and baked in the oven. When you add parsley, garlic and oil, for example, you want to cover something. The fish I serve is as good as pure. Sometimes you also have to dare to use something that comes from outside. I use Maldon sea salt with fish and raw seafood. The mild flavour of this English salt, is my secret ingredient. The taste of our preparations, you can’t copy. You need high-quality local fresh fish from our sea, with our air, this salt … and my spirit,” Franco winks.
Franco now pulls out his mobile phone and scrolls through the photo album. “We have to come out strong, because we serve also celebrities at this enchanting place. Just last year, Kate Moss was here,” and he shows her photo. “Elisa Sednaoui, a fashion model and actress, comes here several times a year. And here a picture of TV presenter Victoria Ellen Cabello, … etc. etc.”
Friselle al pomodoro
Through all this talking, I almost forget to eat something. I see friselle al pomodoro on the menu . I’d like to try that snack here. Franco: “This double-baked hard bread is an iconic Salento recipe. It’s super simple but packed with flavour.” In anticipation, I already drink a Spritz. It doesn’t take long before a plate with two large frise or friselle arrives on the table. It is a beautiful plate. The intensely red tomatoes lying on the round buns shimmer in the olive oil in this beautiful Mediterranean light. Just what I needed!
Address: Risto Bar Malibu, Viale Europa, 19-23, Marina di Andrano.