When you are pointing your travels towards the region of Puglia (Apulia), in southern Italy, there is a plenitude of towns to visit.
Be it any area, the Apulian characteristics are nevertheless notable with its whitewashed houses, pristine beaches along the Adriatic Sea, mountains, tradition, wines, extra virgin olive oil and cuisine. Being a sunny area with Mediterranean climate, locally produced ingredients are considered some of the best in the country. The soil and climate give intense flavors to the fresh produce harvested which directs the cuisine to a higher level of quality, tradition and distinctive tastes.
In the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, in the southern slopes of Monte Gargano and sub-region of Puglia, dining at Ristorante Li Jalantuùmene (meaning galantuomo in Italian and gentleman in English) is one way of getting to know the local cuisine.
Ristorante Li Jalantuùmene is a family-run restaurant (and B&B) that is handled by Chef Gegè Mangano and his wife Anna.
It is located in heart of the town, right in a beautiful tranquil square fronting the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine from the 17th-century. In the warmer months, the restaurant extends an outdoor seating on its right side. Indoors, the restaurant accommodates only a few tables which gives it a cozy atmosphere. It is elegant and casual at the same time with interesting details especially the wine paintings of Vincenzo Veda that give life to the walls.
At Li Jalantuùmene, you are guaranteed with a good dining experience with attentive service, interesting dishes using local ingredients and a good selection of regional and national wines. It is the place where he and his wife’s passion and love for their land comes into fruition. It is not just a place where you sit down and eat because when Chef Gegè finishes cooking in between dishes, he takes the time to go out and speak with the diners and that also includes entertaining kids.
Monte Sant’Angelo is not just about an ancient town built on the slopes of Monte Gargano where an important sanctuary is visited by pilgrims for centuries.
It is about a place where the soil and sun create a harmonious effect on ingredients that the local cuisine continues to live in family traditions.
It’s a place full of history and beauty that the kitchen of Chef Gegè adopts to create dishes abundant of flavors, tradition and passion.
The philosophy of Ristorante Li Jalantuùmene is simply stated in Chef Gegè’s kitchen. Cucina + Passione = Amore (Cooking + Passion = Love)
Appetizer: Pan Fritto con Fogliari di Papavero e Scaglie di Caprino (Fried Bread with Poppy Leaves and Flakes of Caprino Cheese)
Pasta Dishes: Ravioli di Podolica con Bottarga di Muggine e Olio Frantoiano (Ravioli of Podolica Meat with Cured Grey Mullet Roe and Extra Virgin Olive Oil) / Paccheri con Ragù 24 Ore di Agnello (Paccheri with Lamb Ragù Cooked for 24 Hours)
Soup: Vellutata di Zucca con Ricottina di Capra e Crostini di Pane alle Acciughe (Pumpkin Soup with Goat Ricotta and Anchovy Bread Crostini)
Main Course: Stinco di Agnello con Patate Schiacciate e Crema di Melanzana (Lamb Hock with Crushed Potato and Eggplant Cream)
Desserts: Mousse di Ricotta in Guazzetto di Fragole e Scaglie di Cioccolato di Maglie (Ricotta Mousse in Strawberry “Guazzetto” and Shavings of Chocolate from Maglie) / Ostie Ripiene (Sacramental Bread or Thin Wafers Fille with Almonds and Honey)
Monte Sant’Angelo is flocked by tourists and pilgrims for its 13th-century Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo, a church built dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel after a number of appearances in the site. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the streets around the sanctuary and the castle are crowded with tourists and souvenir shops but just a few meters down is a quiet and beautiful square where Li Jalantuùmene Ristorante and Bed & Breakfast is located.
The bed and breakfast has two characteristic locally furnished rooms that face the square and another two that should be opening soon. The spacious ground floor room opens its door to the main square. The position is perfect to situate yourself in the town where the main sights are a stone’s throw away.