Words by Elisa Cazzato, photographies by Giulia Guida

The founders define it as ‘the restaurant that wasn’t there’: and in fact calling it just a restaurant is reductive, since it is an old house full of works of art in the historic centre of Matino, teeming with life and renovations. It is a house that surprises and enchants like a real gallery, dedicated to the currents of the 20th century, the layout of which is the work of Luca Pavia, founder, together with Marta Carichino, of Foscolo Ristorante.

The love for art can be felt everywhere, starting with the external sign designed by Ugo Nespolo. Also striking is Lucio del Pezzo’s Russian Ark, kept in the main dining room, together with a majestic and magnetic 19th-century Venetian mirror that serves as a counterpoint.

Other important signatures wind their way through the various rooms: Burri, Guttuso, Tosi, George Gross and even local artists such as Massimo Maci.

Climbing the stairs between one work and the next, we arrive at the place where the masterpiece is signed instead by the stratifications of history and nature: an unforgettable sunset in fact spreads like a thin orange veil over the roofs of Matino’s houses and the façades of the churches: magic is assured.

Chasing the last reddish strip of light on the horizon, until the quiet of the evening, on the terrace of Foscolo, time remains suspended between delicate music, beautiful conversations and the flavours of the cuisine, where the focus is on the freshness of the raw materials, especially Apulian.

The chef welcomes us with a delicious almond cream on which a red mullet is grafted, we continue with an unforgettable tuna tartare seasoned with lime and EVO oil, buffalo water and coconut extract; then with tubettini with redfish ragout, gurnard tartare flavoured with lemon peel, and finally we end on a sweet note with the tart with vanilla cream and ice cream.