Sunday 24 July 2011

Alle due Corti, Corte dei Giugni, Lecce, Puglia

Creating an almost-ecclesiastical atmosphere, Alle due Corti has a cloistered ceiling and austere, white walls, sparingly decorated with crucifixes and Catholic prints. Although there are no outdoor tables, this restaurant draws plenty of locals and tourists, thanks in part to its listing in the Rough Guide. The menu, featuring a photo of the owner, promises authentic Salentino cooking, but choose carefully. You might want to skip the stingy starter of cheese and chorizo, served with a selection of juicy, but salty, olives, (8 euros) and the "vegetables" (7 euros), which turns out to be a small bowl of green beans. The tough grilled meat, accompanied by a single sausage, is also disappointing. A better choice is a bowl of fresh and tasty pasta in tomato sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese. The cannelloni, filled with veal, is succulent and delicious (9 euros), while the lamb on the bone, served with onions, (11 euros) is very moreish. The respectable house white wine is also good value at 3 euros for half a litre. You pay a cover charge of 2 euros a head for the basket of reasonable brown bread. Service can be a little dour, but is quick and the waiters will sometimes chat to kids. 6/10