The history of our restaurant Lo Scalo is the history of our family, starting from grandfather Cesare.
Authentic flavors, quality food raw materials and hospitality are the values that distinguish us. A “dip” between the Salento’s colors, flavors and emotions.
It all began in the early 70’s on a spring day with despair in the eyes, from a family that could only count on the yield of the catch but, with six dependent children, there where many problems.
So one day the family man, Cesarino the fisherman, gathered the family on the rock where he collected the fishing nets and, looking at the sea, his boat and his hopeless poverty, said to them: “From today we change our lives and on this rock we will open a small place where everyone will come to eat”. And so it was.
Cesarino, despite being a fisherman, had a lot of brilliant ideas, with a soul of an entrepreneur.
And so began this new journey with bread, oil, flour, a three-foot kitchen, vope fish and “pupiddhi”.
Maria Vittoria, the hostess, passed away and she was a cook. She filled the entire Marina of Novaglie with scents and flavors, preparing diligently the catch brought by her husband Cesarino with skilled hands.
Cesarino was not only a fisherman: he was an entertainer who loved to stop and dance barefoot with local customers and enchant them with his magical stories, showing off his oratorical skills despite he was unschooled.
Soon Cesarino became the soul of the restaurant, a friend of all, happy and proud of what he had created, proud of his “Scalo”.
The Marina of Novaglie was full of people, Cesarino was surrounded by loved people and friends and was proud of it. When they finished work, it was a duty, for him and his family, take a dip in the transparent waters of that enchanting sea that was a background to their restaurant or stop to sing a song accompanied by young guitarists who lay on the rocks all night. It was the 70’s, the years of “Peace&Love”, Hippie and freedom.
Lo Scalo has always a lot of popularity and, when colorful umbrellas and plastic chairs were no longer good, the daughter who took over the reins of the restaurant, Maria, along with her husband and brilliant chef, Pippi Longo, who for ten years was a cook on board the blue ships of the Lauro fleet, have been able to transform it into that pearl that now shines like a gem in the rocks.
The furnishings were changed, the colors (which still remain the candid ones of white and blue as if to make us jump into the islands of the Aegean sea), eliminated random planters and wild bushes to be replaced by a garden of succulents. Finally the menu was changed, that simple menu characterized by simple, sober but delicious dishes that was then enriched with new dishes designed to satisfy the palate of demanding customers.
The attention to details has been put above all by the new generation, namely of Pippi and Maria’ sons, Cesare and Agostino Longo, who have been able to intelligently welcome the love for cooking and the passion for work handed down to them by their grandfather Cesarino, who, as long as he could, was present in his restaurant, even just to give to customers and tourists, jars of wild fennel, capers, sea critims and anchovies in oil, prepared by himself.
And here we are now, in this place that offers, in addition to its main activity, also two terraces for sunbathing, in complete tranquility and peace, always having as a horizon the blue sea; in this restaurant where everyone, at least once in his life, want spend their time and where many famous people (not only celebrities) have already left their mark.
Anyone who goes down the stairs to the restaurant is amazed to see a place that, from the street, could not be imagined.
And when winter comes and the cold weather stop from having lunch or dinner on the rocks, the restaurant opens the doors of its indoor room, heated by a warm fireplace and amber lights, to make them feel at home and always surrounded by a family atmosphere. This is the real secret to keep a customer loyal and this is the secret thank’s to which the restaurant Lo Scalo has turned off the long-awaited fifty candles.