Monday 25 July 2011

Castro Hosteria Vecchie Maniere, Via Roma, Castro, Puglia

With a dozen or so outdoor tables abutting Castro's castle walls and enclosed by a high hedge, Castro Hosteria Vecchie Maniere's restaurant has an appealing al fresco ambiance.  Unfortunately, you have to sit on white plastic chairs and eat on bright orange table cloths, while the waiters can be surly and unsmiling. The menu of the day also tends to be very limited, offering just one starter and three primi courses.  Still, the seafood platter (13 euros) features an array of tasty morsels spread across two plates, including a couple of very fresh king prawns, octopus bites, mussels and other shellfish, plus some salad and a tangy dressing. It is very good, but not huge. To follow, there will likely be a delicious seafood pasta dish (12 euros) and some tasty pasta in tomato sauce, with cheese, for 8 euros. The menu will also include several secondi dishes, typically plates of seafood and maybe a cheaper grilled meat dish. The house wine is cheap, but can be rough. The cover charge of 2 euros per head gets you some good bread, which is useful for mopping up the fine sauces. Castro Hosteria Vecchie Maniere's tends to attract a lot of Italian tourists and the service can get very slow as the restaurant fills up with diners. 7/10