If there’s one thing I love to do when I travel, it’s eating wonderful food at little hidden gems where you’ll find a mostly local crowd. In the southern Italian region of Puglia, it’s easy to find these hidden gems in nearly every city you visit. Earlier this year, I was able to visit the slightly inland city of Locorotondo (known as “The Wine City”), and ate at a gorgeous little restaurant called U Curdúnn.
Featuring traditional Apulian plates and an intimate, cozy interior – U Curdúnn is a wonderful spot to try if you’re visiting the city.
Traditional Apulian Plates to Salivate Over
I had a hard time deciding exactly which plate was my favourite here. I tend to say that about quite a few places that I’ve visited – but when you’re incredibly blown away by 98% of everything you’ve tried, it becomes a bit difficult to crown a winner.
If I had to choose though, I would say that it was a very difficult toss up between the eggplant parmigiana and the fried platter with zucchini blossoms. I loved the spicy salsa that arrived right in the center as well. In my book, spicy and fried food is divine.
Another plate of high esteem was the burrata. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE cheese.
You really can’t go into an Italian restaurant without trying a cheese of some kind. Whether it’s aged, fresh, creamy, salty, crumbly, herby, you name it – it should be pretty easy to find something you like.
What to order in the Wine City? Well…
Wine, of course! We started our meal with a gorgeous bottle of Tramari Rose di Primitivo by Cantine San Marzano.
When you’re in Puglia, you should aim to try as many wines from the San Marzano region as you can. In 1962, nineteen different wine growers in the region came together to form Cantine San Marzano – which has now expanded to over 1,200, incorporating advanced technology and practices to preserve the ancient tradition of making Puglian wine. You can taste the history in every bottle. Because the grapes are grown between the Ionian and Adriatic seas alongside groves of olive trees, the flavours come through much more strongly. You’ll get the crispness of seaside air, fresh leather and red fruits from the terroir and clay-based soil. Even with the oldest vineyards, whether you’re going for a white, a rose Primitivo or a Primitivo di Manduria (my personal favourite), you’ll end up with a robust, full-bodied wine that you can’t afford to miss trying.
However, after a meal – it’s always a good idea to go for an amaro.
If you ask my partner, he will tell you to go for Vecchio Amaro del Capo. Me, whilst I like Amaro del Capo – I also like to branch out. Branca Menta, a beautiful bourbon whiskey, Amaro Nonini, Padre Pepe. You name it, odds are, I’ll be keen to try it if it pairs well.
Pro Tip: An amaro is a typically a vermouth-based liquor that is infused with herbs and other botanicals, and is usually had after a meal. You can also use wines or other alcohols to make an amaro, and the alcohol content is usually between 16-40%.
Where to Find U Curdúnn in Locorotondo
U Curdúnn is tucked away at the top of a charming staircase on Via Dura, central Locorotondo. When there’s no events going on in the center of the city, street parking is usually easy to find that’s a short walking distance away from the restaurant in itself.
Below, you’ll find a map that you can use to find the exact location from wherever you are in this beautiful city.
Have you ever been to Locorotondo before? If you have, did you try U Curdúnn?