Saturday 23 July 2011

Da Sergio, Via Garibaldi, Otranto, Italy

One of the many restaurants competing for the tourist euro in Otranto's old town, Da Sergio has rows of smart tables on an attractive leafy, two-tier terrace overlooking the busy Garibaldi thoroughfare. The waiters aren't very welcoming, but they are efficient and attentive. To start, you can pay 15 euros for a disappointingly-small sea food platter - you get one plate of cold morsels and one plate of hot morsels. On the cold plate, there may be a couple of prawns, some octopus bites, a handful of anchovies and perhaps five mussels, while the hot plate features a few mussels covered with Parmesan cheese, a couple of skewers of folded squid, some fried prawns and onions. To follow, there is the standard selection of pasta dishes and meat and fish dishes. The seafood risotto (about 10 euros) is a bit peppery and doesn't have a huge amount of flavour or seafood. The seafood linguini (at 11 euros) is more tasty, but skip a side salad, which can be pretty bland and boring.  Da Sergio offers a succinct selection of Italian wines from about 13 to 20 euros a bottle: The Prosecco is pretty refreshing for 13 euros. For the cover charge of 2 euros a head, which includes service, you get some passable bread. Although Da Sergio is recommended by the Rough Guide, you'll probably get better value outside Otranto's city walls or by heading to the popular pizzeria at the gateway to the old town. 6/10