Pescheria, Lecce, Puglia


For my Fresno readers, if “Bulldog Grill and Pismo’s” had a love child in Italy they would have named it Pescheria. Pescheria is a restaurant where you order at the counter and have food delivered to the table; in this case, the counter is an open fish counter full of fresh fish. More Pismo's prices than Bulldog Grill prices.


The ‘order at the counter’ model might work for apertivo, gelato, and panini. This concept is probably a stretch for many Italians, as prices are that of a sit down restaurant. My gut says the concept was created to cut costs on staff, so higher level of product, fresh seafood, can be served.

Squid “noodles” tossed with celery, hazelnuts and olive oil, crudo style. Raw squid body, sliced into ribbons, just like a pasta and tossed with raw celery of similar thickness along with some salt and olive oil. Garnished with some crushed hazelnuts and presto, squid crudo. Unlike Pismo’s, this calamari was not deep fried, breaded, or sautéed, it was raw. This might be a stretch for some people. I happened to enjoy it.


Pachierri (oversized rigatoni) stuffed with bacala (salt cod) in a red sauce. Straight up, classic Pugliese style cuisine. A couple ingredients, some red sauce, salted fish; it doesn’t get any more traditional. Plenty of ways to cook salt cod in Italy and it seems popular in the winter. Several restaurants incorporate some form of bacala on the menu, I’ve already forgotten how many times I’ve had it.


I thought the food quality was high and the execution solid. Most Italian restaurants I’ve been to generally don’t have lots of staff to begin with, one person can generally work the entire front of house even in a busy restaurant, so I didn’t feel like I had a lack of attention, but I’m not a native Italian either, just a traveler making an observation.