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The Campidano, a Samassi (Sardinia)

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Is’ was a courageous choice that of young chef Alberto Sanna, 28 years: After you experience in London, He decided to return home, a Samassi, in Cagliari, to open his own restaurant, “The Campidano”, within the property of the father. Not a modern or luxurious, but the classic country hotel in front of the station, poolside bar, where the young and the old get together for a beer after work. What critics call ' location ', the location of the restaurant, It's definitely not happy, but just sample the cuisine of Sanna for forgetting to not be a fashionable area. The chef made a few tweaks to the old dining room of the restaurant of hotel, with runner black on White tablecloths, carved beakers and plates are transparent or slate, and got in the kitchen with the help of his mother and girlfriend, shopping for now only the indispensable, as the roner and the blast. Professional service, quick and attentive. Wine list with a few select Sardinian and Italian and French bubbles labels with UPS standard.

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The result of the brave and admirable project of Sanna is a creative but solidly based on traditional products, presented in a clean and appealing, paying great attention to the combinations and contrasts of colors and textures. Two tasting menus, one meat and one fish, both at 40 euro (a value far more than fair), Alternatively you can choose à la carte. I tried the seafood menu, but I could not taste at least a meat dish of the Sardinian tradition more veracious: fregola alla campidanese. It begins with a glass of French bubbles and a welcome from our chef: steamed mullet roe mayonnaise. A delicious tidbit, in view of the difficulty of treating the mullet, a fish widely used in Sardinia but with hints of Earth.

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Then a mixture of gambero rosso di Villasimius with fried mushrooms and honey sauce of thistle, that harmonizes well with the sweetness of the shrimp. Minimalist in both flavors in appearance.

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After the shrimp is a sepia to black with cream of peas and ginger. Beyond the simplicity in the choice of ingredients, which follows the traditional pairing squid and peas, the scent of ginger is a beautiful insight that makes the dish cool and pleasant.

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Two first envisaged in the tasting menu. We start with a risotto with asparagus cream, amberjack and black cuttlefish mayonnaise: a high-impact aesthetically dish, good and marked the taste of asparagus, but I would have preferred a cook the risotto more to the wave and increased salinity due to the presence of black cuttlefish. Maybe a little’ grated lemon peel may harmonise better the flavors.

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Very interesting the idea behind the next range: bean curd dumplings with fresh tomatoes, Bacon and mussels. The dumplings are made only with broad bean puree and flour, and they taste unusual and catchy and a texture that melts in your mouth. Definitely tasty, Although I would have preferred a combination able to exploit them more, because the acidity of the tomato covers the delicate flavor of the dumplings. In any case one of the ideas that I liked.

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Off-menu I ordered a fregola campidanese buttery cheese, a typical dish of Campidano: great cooking the fregola, quality sausage, with a lingering scent of fennel seeds, also evident in the quality of Saffron of Sardinia, used in abundance.

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The second expected in the tasting menu of fish is one of the flagships of the chef: an octopus in a crust of bread carasau. The Octopus soft inside, the original Breading, crunchy and flavorful. To accompany a crocchettine potato and parsley sauce. In this case I would have preferred that the dish was rounded off with a fresh or acidic component, to degrease your mouth and prepare it at the next bite. A yogurt sauce? A citrus sorbet? A Vietnamese style spicy dip?

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Excellent, Special and original sweets, mostly because decidedly very fresh and slightly sweet, perfect as a meal. Refreshing the colourful natural watermelon soup, with vanilla ice cream, melon and chocolate waffle Pralines, that finally brings the fruit in the spotlight.

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Unusual the Mille-Feuille of carasau with ricotta mousse and passion fruit, Once again with a gentle but persistent flavor and sweetness measured. Beautiful presentation, with a meringue powder, flowers and fruits to decorate the plate.

Ultimately, If you find yourself in Sardinia, I advise you not to miss this young chef who's cooking, in a few years, will definitely be one of the most original and influential voices of Sardinian cuisine.

(reviewed June 18, 2016)