Histrionic. Whimsical. Blunt. A lyricist of the kitchen. This is chef Gegè Mangano, the owner chef of Li Jalantuumene Restaurant in Monte Sant’Angelo, a pretty town in Gargano area and place of pilgrimage where the Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel was recognized in 2011 as Unesco World Heritage. In his dishes there are emotions, nature and… Puglia. Gegè, self-taught chef, has put his knowledge every day, for over 15 years, in his kitchen, the result of the sun and the earth, with a touch of class and modernity.
“Food and passion = love” is his philosophy, written on the blackboard that stands in front of his restaurant and on his black apron, always accompanied by laughter, which never hurts in life.
Gegè tells the territory, his own territory, the Gargano. With sincerity and availability. Li Jalantuumene surrounds visitors with history and elegance in the center of the town. Outside there is a balcony overlooking Largo Le Monache. A table for a romantic dinner. An unforgettable experience. Also thanks to the feminine touch of his wife Anna, aka Ninni. In the restaurant two rooms maintained with attention to detail and the mise en place of the tables. Below the cellar stocked with regional and national wines. Out of the restaurant a large raised terrace for summer dining. Li Jalantuumene now also has rooms to stay in the beautiful Monte Sant’Angelo. Comfortable and cozy with class. Another good reason to visit Gege Mangano.
The menu includes fresh pasta, market products of Monte Sant’Angelo, herbs, podolica meat and citrus. A mosaic of colors and flavors of Puglia that stand out depending on the season with the canche to choice between à la carte or tasting menu.
The summer is all enclosed in the fresh cream stracciatella and red medallions of eggplant in tomato sauce with basil. A quail egg gives a surprisingly original and colorful touch that intrigues the palate.
There is the sea you do not expect in troccoli with Senatore Cappelli wheat flour with bottarga from Lesina. You see troccoli. You think of the earth. But you smell the waves. For those who want something light, we suggest a fresh salad with crispy zucchini with arugula and sprinkling of goat cheese shavings.
The tradition and home flavors come alive in Benedetto Cavalieri paccheri, cooked to perfection, with old-fashioned ragu and goat ricotta mousse, a flavor that gives an important sprint to the dish. And if you talk about Puglia you can not miss the orecchiette, dipped in a puree of fava beans with colorful pink pepper berries that make truly elegant a classic dish of regional cuisine.
Among the main dishes, the tender podolica meat with poppy leaf and toasted almonds in Etruscan sauce, a balsamic vinegar reduction with chestnut honey, accompanied by smoked salt Margherita di Savoia.
Do not miss the luscious ice cream with hazelnuts expertly prepared by Gegè. While the soup of cantaloupes with pistachio ice cream, chocolate shavings and caramelized orange will give you a burst of sunshine and summer. Sublime colors that stimulate the eyes and a treat for the taste on a hot July day.
Gege will have so much to tell you through his dishes, his experience and determination. And through his recipes, contained in the book ‘Terra Cultura Cucina del Gargano’ (‘Land, Culture, Cuisine of the Gargano’). In the first pages the introduction of the greate gastronome Luigi Veronelli. ‘One day I called him. I told him that I wanted to write a book with him. When he said that he didn’t know me, I answered that he cannot stop a man from dreaming’. Gege is this. Because, as it is clearly written on his menu, ‘being a chef teaches us not to be afraid of the dark, do not be ashamed when you are wrong, do not get excited when things go well. It helps to remember that without the land there would be no flight’. In the kitchen, yes, but also in life.
Ristorante “Li Jalantuùmene”
Piazza de Galganis, 5
71037 Monte Sant’Angelo (FG)
Presso il centro storico, largo “Le Monache”