I was expecting the gate from a couple of years, and finally opened in Cagliari, in June 2017, the restaurant Josto, by Pierluigi Fais. Same name, the same kitchen, Although more mature, focused and aware. Finally the path of Fais, promising at a very young age in the restaurant “Hussein al Duomo” the family hotel in Oristano, is emerging. After you have moved in the Sardinian capital, but with the measure and pragmatism that distinguish, and have opened a pizzeria, Selection, that in a few months has codified that which in my opinion is one of the best pizzas in Italy (rewarded with three cloves in the Gambero Rosso Guide), FAIS eventually is back in the kitchen. The goal is to offer very personal style dishes, that draw inspiration from the ingredients and raw materials most characteristic Sardinian dishes and come to rework and combinations led by fil rouge of acidity, always present and well calibrated, true stars of Fais.
UPDATE: We returned to try Josto in August of 2019 and in the bottom of the article you will find pictures and the review update on the Pierlugi Fais restaurant.
The context of Cagliari of Josto, today, is completely new compared to some style restaurant’ gone back to Oristano. Located next to the central Piazza del Carmine, Hussein is a modern and minimal, but warm and comfortable, post industrial style: concrete walls, paintings arranged geometrically, scaffolding in tubes to support wooden modules seventies, in the same style tables and chairs soft Orange, hanging lights, with an eye to vintage, given the presence of a turntable and loudspeakers suspended playing rock music, Blues and soul. The room is dominated by the area completely in view of the kitchen and a grey okite countertop, where the chef composes dishes along with the sous chef's Companion of pans’ Since its inception, Matteo Russo.
Very soon, the restaurant Josto will open a second room, adjacent to the first, where the chef Pierluigi Fais chose to retain their original finish and that will be decorated in a softer style: parquet, round tables, softer background music. In the Hall, a wooden staircase will lead to an additional space for a small private room adjacent to the cellar, I personally care and constantly enriching Fais.
At lunch, the restaurant offers a menu 15 euro Josto (The CHOW lunch), While for dinner you can choose between two affordable tasting menu, or to the paper. The first tasting menu, “Short but sweet”, It consists of three courses of chef choice, including water and covered, at a price of 33 euros. The second tasting menu (“Far and wide”) costs 48 euros and, When we visited the restaurant, It was composed of five dishes: summer vegetables, sole Parmesan, Risotto Grenache and casitzolu, pig, Nougat and pan ' e saba. The paper you can choose from six entrees between 10 and 25 euros: They range from beef, peanuts and Laurel (10 euro) to the selection of crude (25 euros). The first courses are four, between 13 and 15 euro. There are five main courses ranging from 16 euro “boiled sheep 2.0” to 23 euros “cow steak loca”.
Welcome chef Pierluigi Fais is a acidulous lime bread croutons, with butter with tuna. At the same time, in the table come the carasau bread with thyme of Sadali and bread made with yeast. Elegant but casual on glazed pottery, from tumblers to water pitchers, as well as napkins with the “J” Hussein's embroidered. As a Starter, We chose the “summer vegetables”: a soup made with a brunoise of mixed vegetables, accompanied by a cold stock that conceals a quenelle sweetened pecorino sardo. A very cool appetizer, with a pleasant acidity, well balanced by creaminess of cheese. Perfect for open a dinner and work up an appetite.
To follow, a first course: risotto alla vernaccia and casitzolu. Made with a Sardinian Carnaroli rice, creamed with butter acid to the vernaccia di Oristano the company Silvio Carta, and covered with double cheese casitzolu seasoning and fresh thyme. The dish is really well run, with a rice al dente and creamy texture and acidity in this case too strong, that dampens the full flavour of casitzolu, making a pot potentially too fat very pleasant and intriguing.
Also good “Eggplant ravioli”: the delicate filling of creamed Eggplant, flavored with a generous helping of, creates a nice contrast with the acidity of the lemon sauce and eggplant peels dust amarostica. The only fact is that the taste of Eggplant in the filling was a little’ in the background than the other ingredients.
Entertaining main course, by Pierluigi Fais during his Oristano and become one of its ' recipes ': the “boiled sheep 2.0”, that revisits a dish icon of traditional gastronomy in Sardinia. It's mutton, defatted and boiled in vegetable stock, then frayed and composed in a bowl. The meat is ironed and sautted meats in pan to get a crispy crust. To finish the dish, mayonnaise mustard and bitter herbs very fluid simply boil. Also in this case the acidity and good balance of herbs and herbal bitter notes while slight oiliness of mutton.
To finish the meal, a Sardinian tastes very sweet by and another more fresh and summery. The first, called “Nougat and Sapa”, Tonara is a nougat ice cream, served with Sardinian carasau bread soaked in sapa (on grape) and kiln dried until it becomes crispy again, and garnished with orange powder. A sweet little sweet, from pleasant and persistent bitter end the Orange powder and caramel aftertaste of sapa.
The second dessert is an eggnog cold, served with green melon Pralines (variety “piel de Sapo”) flavored vermouth, embellished with a crumble pastry. A very fresh and definitely suitable for the season. In the kitchen, with Fais, There are two other cooks, one attendant to pasta dishes and a second courses. The service is very attentive, courteous, quick and casual.
The wine list follows the chef's selection personnel Pierluigi Fais, lover's of the great wines of Sardinia, the Cannonau the Carignano del Sulcis, both the French and the great red bubbles of Piedmont. In paper, even some good Sicilian name, as passito di Pantelleria. Given the high quality already achieved from the kitchen, We would next visit find even more manicured and very enjoyable in the original Josto restaurant, able to enhance the tasting journey.
Cagliari is without doubt the most dynamic reality of Sardinia's catering: Finally the most important guide books also realized the high level reached by this city. I mean chefs like Stephen Dang (Dal Corsaro) and to the many restaurants that offer a modern and trendy Sardinian cuisine: by the whimsical Luigi Pomata up to The tailors of taste via Osteria Kobuta and Cucina.eat. In this culinary landscape in great turmoil and in constant motion, the restaurant Josto fits with the best conditions.
(visited in August 2017 and August 2019)
- UPDATE August 2019
We returned from Josto and Pierluigi Fais in August 2019 and tried the chef's menu (65 euro for eight courses). The cost of the paper plates remained much the same menu and there is also the option of ordering an appetizer, a first and a second choice from the card at 38 €. Is’ opened the second room, furnished with antique tables and modern chairs, always minimal and post-industrial style, and cuisine of Pierlugi Fais and his staff is always prepared, focused, need, with the same great attention to the acidity. Perhaps even more gaunt and essential: The flavor combinations are calibrated, always balanced but each time with an original note, obtained with a few high-quality ingredients sourced almost exclusively from Sardinia. The restaurant has also now corner for cocktails, which also includes the Sardinian vermouth; The wine list has been expanded, always with labels both Sardinian and international, especially France. The service is attentive confirmation, accurate and very quick in the management of a total of 38 covered.
We start with the shrimp chupito, a simple raw prawn Villasimius served on ice, to be enjoyed in combination with a cocktail made with gin, lemon and mutton broth (filtered and degreased). Then, a red tuna tartare, daikon, of sea fennel extract (Crithmum coast) and chopped parsley stalks. It continues on the path of the raw, enhanced by the taste of the vegetables with the beef carpaccio and reduction of fermented carrots and paste of hazelnuts from Piedmont Langhe. And you end up with the interpretation of the chef Fais of zucchini in scapece: small grilled zucchini, crispy, covered with horseradish (grated horseradish) and a froth of zucchini lightly acetic. It is these acidity that mark the transition to the rest of the dinner.
Worth a special mention bread, made with a long autolysis, 30 hours of leavening, the use of wholemeal flour and semolina semolina flour, ideals with the selection of cold cuts produced in Sardinia (16 euros) or ham made with meat from local pastures (17 euro). As a first course, we tried the interpretation of Pierluigi Fais of pasta with cheese and pepper, without the classic cream, You carry so many Romans. A spaghetti al dente with plenty of pecorino (raw milk cheese), plenty of pepper and exalted by the intense flavor of dried leaf powder and reduced the false pepper, the so-called pink pepper (botanical name: Schinus molle). We particularly liked the risotto with butter and lemon, gel with lemon and soup caper leaves. Rice (a type Carnise company Stara) it was cooked to perfection, with the fatness of the butter and the lemon acidity it has been enhanced by the bitter taste of the soup of capers. Josto The restaurant also has three fresh pasta lines with different flours which are prepared gnocchi (with stracciatella and sardines), i ravioli (with eggplant and lemon) and pappardelle (with beef and bay leaves). We particularly appreciate the chef's penchant for risotto, always present in the tasting menu. This shows the strong bond of Sardinia with rice. Did you know that Sardinia, particularly the plains of Oristano, and area of crops for different varieties of rice, both for the japonica subspecies (they belong to the varieties Carnaroli, Arborio etc.) both subspecies indicates (basmati, thai, jasmine). In the plain of Oristano climatic conditions are ideal for growing.
Even the sheep is always present in the menu Josto, either version 2.0 we have described above will (It is one of the traditional dishes of Pierluigi Fais), both in this simpler version: cooked on the barbecue, underdone, accompanied by a mild hazelnut cream and acidity of blackberries. off the menu, We wanted to taste the egg with cream cheese and caponata, technically a mixed vegetable ratatouille not sour. A simple dish but good and well executed.
Among the desserts, good but a little’ too sweet chantilly with a savory crumble and cherry compote, but we preferred the lavender panna cotta with apricot puree pronounced acidity, accompanied by a creamy white chocolate: a sweet really well balanced. For us, two years later, Josto the restaurant Pierluigi Fais was confirmed as a safe destination for those who enjoy a local cuisine but contemporary, in an atmosphere of European high-level bistro. Not to be missed.