Even though it opened shortly before the holidays, Bros by the Pellegrino brothers in Lecce (Puglia) is probably the most talked-about new entry in Michelin-style dining in Italy for 2016.
The three young Pugliese brothers have cooked and trained in some of the most famous kitchens in the world, with the likes of Eneko Atxa (Azurmendi), Renè Redzepi (Noma), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz), Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), and Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère).
That’s the “lacquered” leek topped with tapioca above (which was delicious).
It’s clear that they are going for the super modern style of cooking. But at the same time, the aromas and flavors of the dishes we were served the other night at the restaurant were very pure and focused.
I don’t know how else to describe the dish above other than as dumplings or gnocchi made out of white fava beans. This dish was also a winner imho.
It was pretty exciting to be there on a Friday night. The restaurant was packed and although I didn’t know all the players, it was pretty clear that Lecce’s glitterati was working the scene pretty hard.
That was my favorite dish above, housemade linguine with pistachio (cream?) and colatura, southern Italy’s famous anchovy essence. It was the simplest of all the food we were served but it was simply brilliant.
The Pellegrino brothers’ slogan is l’essenziale è visibile al gusto (the essential is visible on the palate). The may sound like an awkward or slavish translation but I actually think that it renders the idea and the play-on-words
perfectly aptly (and I do know something about translating from the Italian, after all!).
A lot of Americans are surprised to hear this but I’ve never eaten better beef than the beef I’ve eaten in Italy over the last few years. From hamburger to steak, it’s easier to find affordable high-quality beef there than anywhere I’ve traveled. I loved how the steak portion was just enough to satiate my palate.
Paolo (Cantele) and I were there that night with a group of American wine writers he was hosting. He talked about how this is Lecce’s first Michelin-style, high-concept restaurant. It definitely had a great vibe and people were super excited to be there.
It’s going to be exciting to watch them develop their concept and to enjoy these young and immensely talent brothers’ evolution as fine-dining auteurs.
If you happen to be heading to Lecce, you are definitely going to want to reserve there. I really enjoyed it, as did our group, and I highly recommend it to you.
Thanks again to Paolo for treating us! And thanks to Federica for swiping a menu and making a note of everything we ate!