Isabella Poti

Don’t let Isabella Potì’s age fool you. The half-Italian, half-Polish head chef and partner at Michelin-starred restaurant Bros' in Lecce has become one of the most celebrated chefs in Italy, and Forbes magazine named her one of its “30 under 30” in 2017. This is where she eats when in the southern Apulia region’s city of Lecce.

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My Daily Bread

There is a coffee shop in Lecce where I go almost every day called Caffè Cittadino. It’s in the historic centre, very close to Piazza Sant’Oronzo. Caffè Cittadino is a place I am very fond of. It’s closer to a café than a place to eat, but it has a small menu of very high quality products to enjoy with aperitifs. A few steps from Piazza Sant’Oronzo is Ristorante Semiserio, which has an excellent offer of local and seasonal products with a balanced wine list. Sista is my a new pastry shop I’m working on opening this year. I eat at least one crostata a week from there. By the time it opens, you can pick one up from Bros’.

Where To Enjoy Beautiful Local Dishes

When I’m not in the kitchen and have some free time, I love to eat at Mamma Lupa, a small restaurant close to Bros where we eat great and fast bruschetta (sliced toasted bread topped with local ingredients). I also love Mani in Pasta, a panetteria (Italian bakery) that offers typical dishes of Salento, like polpette al sugo (tomato meatballs) and pizza di patate (potato pizza). Here you can also try a very typical dish from Lecce called le fave con le cicureddre which is a delicious plate of mashed broad beans with boiled chicory.

Fresh Seafood By The Seaside

For lunch go to Taverna Del Porto, on the harbour in Tricase – a little place in the deep south – where you can eat really good and fresh fish. If we want to go near the Ionian sea – part of the Mediterranean Sea – we go to Le Macare in Alezio, where the chef uses the most exclusive ingredients.

Where To Find The Gourmands

L’Altro Baffo, located in the coastal town of Otranto, is an elegant place for gourmets. Here you’ll find super fresh, delicious fish.

Classic Flavours In The Countryside

If I’m going to the countryside, I like to enjoy the taste of more classic flavours at restaurants like Le Stanzie in Supersano and Lilith in Struda, a small village near Lecce.

A Trattoria To Call Home

In 2018 we opened Roots Trattoria in Scorrano, a county 30km from Lecce and where Floriano [Pellegrino; husband and partner] and I live. It’s a beautiful place with a cosmopolitan team of young chefs under 30, headed by Japanese chef Yuta Bise. Everything is closely linked to the territory. It strives to carry on the Salento tradition with technique and awareness. It’s a place open every day for lunch and dinner, with two food menus from 30 or 50 euros.

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