Salento’s Italian-Greek Cuisine

Historical fact: Sicily and much of southern Italy were once colonized by the Greeks. Even during Roman times, much of southern Italy spoke Greek and a Greek dialect called Griko survived until the present day in Salento.

Chef Davide Faenza of Salento is from, surprise… Salento. Over at the Inquirer, Craig LaBan mostly liked the restaurant. However, he found issues with the side dishes, while noting the Greek influence:

Salento feels vaguely like a bustling basement space, though I now understand that its whitewashed plaster walls, linen-draped four-legged tables, and pale-blue fabric accents were intended to evoke the austere Greek influence common in Faenza’s home region (Salento) at the bottom of Puglia on Italy’s heel. […] Chickpeas, a legacy of Puglia’s connection to the Middle East, are cooked to a creamy puree and tossed with homemade pappardelle in ciceri e tria, a hearty dish I loved even if the garnish of fried noodles wasn’t as crisp as it should have been. […] Faenza also makes an intriguing Gallipoli-style “pesto” from zucchini, cooked down with garlic and pureed, so it thickly coats linguine that tangles with sauteed shrimp. His ricotta gnocchi, crisped into little plugs and tossed with sauteed mushrooms, were also memorably light and airy.

Salento [Inquirer]
Salento [MenuPages]


Salento’s Italian-Greek Cuisine