When you enter the cozy restaurant that houses Il Vecchio Gazebo in the center of Molfetta, your gaze is immediately captured by the two strong presences that characterize the place: the wide glowing mouth of the oven in which the pizzas are cooked and the wall-window of the delights produced on the spot.
Teamwork and warm atmosphere
The two rooms with a modern and clean touch, made warm by the blond wood of the coverings and furnishings, immediately invites you to feel at ease. The rest are done by the well-laid tables, the comfortable chairs and, above all, the grace and professionalism of the staff under the guidance of Giuseppe Petruzzella, owner of the restaurant. And the work of a well-knit team is what emerges and that, Giuseppe emphasizes, has been the real fortune of Il Vecchio Gazebo and its loyal clientele for about 26 years.
The oven’s guardian, controlling the right temperature and perfect cooking of the over 60 pizzas on the menu, is Domenico Piccininni, who together with the second pizza maker Sharoxan De Leo, takes care of preparing leavened doughs from 24 to 48 hours with sourdough, to white flour base, but also of the most varied alternative flours.
If pizza, even in greedy gourmet versions, remains the centerpiece of the place, Il Vecchio Gazebo is also a restaurant with refined proposals and always in line with the seasonality of chef Pantaleo Mezzina.
Among the starters Giuseppe has chosen for us a tuna tartare with artichokes steamed with beetroot chips, marinated salmon with parsley-flavored oil, confit tomatoes and a salad with cialledda and octopus ragù with parmesan cheese fondue: three dishes that when brought to the table they were a pleasure first for the eyes, then for the nose with the intense perfume and finally a delight for the palate. Alert the taste buds with this fresh trio which was matched by the head chef and sommelier Alessandro Camporeale with the highly enjoyable Blanche of Apulian artisan production, the Rebeers by Michele Solimando, pizzas arrived on the table.
The first is the last born, and excuse the play on words, on the occasion of the upcoming Easter festivities: a rye dough with chickpea cream, songino, low-temperature cooked lamb, sesame and confit yellow tomato. A pizza without the “warm” presence of mozzarella, in which the base acts as a tasty tray with very high quality ingredients which, while remaining distinct in taste, texture and character, blend perfectly into a savory and at the same time harmonious morsel.
And the harmony between the decisive tastes of the smoked buffalo mozzarella produced in San Giovanni Rotondo, the friggitelli, the baked tomatoes and the Martina Franca bacon, distinguishes the pizza to which the thin fried peppers give the name, “Friggitelli” in fact : incredibly tasty and fragrant as well as perfectly digestible, with a high soft and airy cornice. And if at first glance I thought that I would never be able to digest, moreover in the evening, a pizza like that I had to think again: no up and down of the peppers and in the morning after no headache and a dry and clean mouth.
On both we tasted another Rebeers product, the Golden Kick, a top-fermented beer, unfiltered and unpasteurized, while on desserts Giuseppe served us the new proposal from the Foggia craft brewery, the dark Alekseevna, with hints of coffee and licorice .
A “full-bodied” beer that is perfectly matched with truly exceptional desserts (underline it one like me that generally appreciates more the salty one) prepared by chef Valerio Giancaspro and presented at the table on a slate plate that has exalted shapes and colors. But the good was yet to come! In the mouth a real explosion of taste took place in which the delicate sweet of cheesecake with baked figs, the freshness of creamy pistachio, the creamy and irresistible soft of the chocolate cake and the intriguing combination of semifreddo nougat with salted caramel.
Even our Otto was welcomed with kindness and warmth in the dining room. Although he could not enjoy such goodness, he patiently waited for the end of our meeting at the top of the taste buds and finished with a small glass of a typical product of the Molfetta tradition obtained from the quince apple proposed by the Antichi Elixir artisan liqueur factory.
And yet a typical product was the farewell gift of Giuseppe exchanged with our promise to return soon to taste the other delicious proposals of the full-bodied menu: the Prik O Prak, based on peppers with extra virgin olive oil, parsley, garlic and chilli, now jealously guarded in our pantry.
Il Vecchio Gazebo
Via Guglielmo Marconi, 18 – Molfetta (Ba)
Info: +39 080 3344877