Last March I traveled to Puglia with my dad while doing research for the Rough Guide to Italy. I had heard about Da Tuccino in Polignano a Mare (just south of Bari) from a friend and made reservations a few days in advance for their notoriously packed Sunday lunch. Da Tuccino is an elegant place with snappy waiters and an enormous range of fresh fish. In fact, they don’t serve anything else. While the restaurant is very high end, the dishes are straightforward and uncomplicated: sea urchin roe served in the shell with sea water, red shrimp from Gallipoli baked under salt, and spaghetti con le cozze (with mussels; pictured above). In each dish it was the sea food itself that played the protagonist, its taste and freshness taking precedence over any impulse to change, cover, or adulterate the flavor. Brilliant.