A Benihana chef “Agriturismo”, especially in inland Sardinia, It is not easy, If who is at work in the kitchen has the expertise and capabilities to propose an amazing cuisine, original, who plays the products of their land and exploiting them creatively. It is not easy because, as explained by Andrea Pani, 31 year-old chef at the helm of the House Marmida, tourists and customers have come to expect from the kitchen of a cottage those great traditional Sardinian dishes that we all know: ravioli, malloreddus, pig, meats and cheeses. Is, for the chef, propose its kitchen staff becomes a subtle game of balance between the desire to create and the need to satisfy customer needs.
The contrast between what comes in the pot when Pani ' exercises’ his idea of creativity and the layout of the restaurant is glaring: the restaurant is decorated in a rustic style, , Sardinian ' peasant '. Then, in the table come dishes that is impossible not to photograph. Especially if you agreed with the chef at the booking stage explaining to want to taste her’ kitchen in an original and funny dishes tailored path. The costs are very small: 30 euros for a menu of meat (4-5 appetizers, a first, a second and sweet) and 35 for a homologous sea menu. My dinner began with several appetizers. a fresh image raw fresh tuna and mullet, with excellent quality raw materials, as for mullet, from the ponds of Marceddì.
And even mini burgers of sheep on cheese fondue and cabbage stew, a nice combination that plays on the vegetal notes of cabbage that dampen the strength of mutton.
Really great fried octopus on puree of potatoes: tender Octopus, crunchy bread coating but without a trace of grease.
Finally, another traditional Sardinian product reinterpreted in a modern way: the pork liver, breaded and fried, served on a creamy friggitelli (Maybe a little’ too bitter) and softened by caramelized onions. In this mixture of traditional reworking a classic, how great, Mussel soup with tomato. Andrea, mostly self-taught, backed by some master classes at the Accademia di Casa Puddu by Roberto Petza, is a tireless Devourer of books dedicated to the kitchen and its techniques and working in his father's farmhouse (where you can even sleep in one of eight rooms): the property is located along the County Road 65 leading to the famous beaches of the Costa Verde (Scivu, Ingurtosu, Piscinas, Pistis and Torre dei Corsari), and it is only a few kilometres from the fish pond of Marceddì, home to clams, mussels and especially mullet and, at the same time, located at 15 km from Guspini, Center of Campidano plain famous for the production and processing of meats, cheese and honey.
As a first course, I tasted a broth soup original mullet, fregola, mullet Bottarga and marinated in soy sauce and herbs. Sea and land, In short, live together under one roof in the kitchen of Andrea Pani, serving different dishes every day: on one side, out of necessity, its menu looks great regional tradition, with the Sardinian pastoral classics; take your pick from expressing creatively exploiting the variety of raw materials on hand, starting from the local fish and meat and sausage in the same family business, breeding sheep and pigs and also produces extra virgin olive oil, cheese, fruits and vegetables.
The main course was a classic Sardinian cuisine: Lamb and roasted porchettone family farms, served with the usual pinzimonio of fresh vegetables. Andrea prepares the meat even with modern methods, including low temperature and vacuum (as the vegetables) and serves as an alternative to traditional Sardinian cooking in compelling ways.
You return to the creative cuisine with a sweet delicate and original: ricotta cheesecake with pearls of sapa (cooked), ice-cream and chocolate sponge. And right in the sweet Andrea is expressed at a high level, with a happy hand that gave birth to a dessert that would look in a top restaurant. A cake to remember. A young chef to keep an eye on.
(reviewed 2 August 2016)