From the very moment I laid eyes on the “Puglia Cave Restaurant,” a Pinterest photo-gone-viral, I knew I had to see it for myself. Last night, after traveling across the globe, I finally had the opportunity to explore this dream location first-hand.
The restaurant is part of the Grotta Palazzese Hotel in the town of Polignano a Mare, which is in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. With a restaurant as captivating as this, one would expect the hotel that houses it, to be in a luxury resort. However, this is not the case. The Grotta Palazzese was a small, mediocre, two or three star hotel. Parking anywhere close to the hotel is an absolute nightmare.
The restaurant itself is beautiful, given it’s location, but it was missing the enchanting feel that I gleaned from the Pinterest photo. The right music and some candles would have gone a long way in creating the ambiance expected from the photo I saw so many times on Pinterest. In addition, the staff seemed unhappy and not very welcoming. A photo can only tell you so much about a place.
The presentation of the food was elegant and I found the meal to be satisfying enough. Ordering was a bit of a challenge for me, as they don’t provide many vegetarian options; however, they were very accommodating and offered to compose a dish based on my preferences. For anyone who loves seafood, this seemed to be their specialty. It is definitely worth a visit, but don’t let Pinterest set your expectations.
In this case, my imagination was better then the reality.
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