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33c Via Toti
Cassano delle Murge , Puglia
Tel: 39 080 764 520

Vincenzo de Mola

2 Via Giulio II
Cisternino , Puglia
Tel: 39 080 444 8063

La Taverna del Cavaliere

2 Via Mazzini
Crispiano , Puglia
Tel: 39 099 616 266


57 Via Verdi
Martina Franca , Puglia
Tel: 39 080 480 1547

La Tradizione

68 Via della Resistenza
Sammichele di Bari , Puglia
Tel: 39 080 891 8467's insider take:

The fornello is a brand of ultra-local osteria that exists only in Puglia. A throwback to a time when poverty—and the fire risk—meant that few people had proper ovens or grills at home, fornelli are essentially butcher's shops, with an attached grill room where clients can tuck into such delicacies as gnumarieddi, a mix of lamb and goat organ meats stuffed into a casing made from lamb intestines (it tastes better than it sounds); bombette, plump sausages made with cured pork shoulder (capocollo), pecorino cheese, and herbs; or simple pork chops, with or without a dusting of bread crumbs and Parmesan. The drill: First choose the meat at the counter (it's charged by weight), then file through to the back room (or next-door locale); sit at one of the simple wooden tables and salivate while you watch your selection being grilled or roasted on the wood-burning range. Other items on the menu consist mostly of hunks of freshly baked local bread and a flask of robust Primitivo red wine. Some fornelli offer a small antipasti selection, though you'll be hard-pressed to find a salad: This is unrepentant carnivore territory. The fertile Valle d'Itria is fornelli heartland, especially the picturesque hill town of Cisternino. Expect to pay around $25 a head. Here we list a few of Puglia's most renowned fornelli, but most inland villages between Bari and Brindisi will have at least one, and it's invariably good.

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