For the series reviews today I'm talking about the restaurant “The tailors of taste” in Cagliari. A former high fashion boutiques where today, instead of sewing machines, ring out pots and pans: in a very small room in the center, Gianluca Fanni and Riccardo Massaiu are the Tailors of taste. Twenty seats just, make a kitchen “tailored”, with seasonal and special attention to the presentation. Two very young guys, one from the hotel and the other from legal studies but with a great desire to change life. They realized their dream starting from a friendship and a common passion, that for good food. We stayed there in 2017 and went back in November of 2021, to see what they had brought 4 years of time to their kitchen.
The minimal cuisine of I sarti del gusto in Cagliari
The kitchen, clean and concise, combines a traditional inspiration with lively finds: the dishes, that in 2017 were not yet perfect, have been perfected and made more minimal. Today a 4-course menu is offered at 50 euros, (70 euros with wines for tasting) but you can also order a la carte. Although the a la carte prices are very high. The tasting menu is definitely convenient. The fact that it is chosen by the vast majority of customers allows the kitchen to work with peace of mind. Typically, in 2021 we found in the dish less ingredients but cooked, matched and arranged more precisely. A positive trend towards simplification that is touching much of Italian 'gourmet' cuisine.
Also today, as in 2017, the tasting does not have any dish in common with the a la carte choice. This time we enjoyed a tuna tartare with guacamole and kimchi (fermented savoy cabbage), simple but well executed. As a first course, we tried some “ravioli del plin” stuffed with lamb with Parmesan cheese fondue and saffron. Very tasty, although obviously a bit’ fat. The wine, a Monsupello Oltrepo sparkling wine’ Pavese Doc Classic Method Nature, it has been helpful in degreasing our mouths from excess oiliness. Single technical note: the ravioli del plin, of Piedmontese origin, are tiny, the 'plin’ it is the pinch with which you close them and they are smaller than the first phalanx of the little finger. These were definitely much bigger.
Also this time, the 5-grain bread and focaccia are made by the chef with the use of sourdough. The tailors of taste have also maintained the good habit of serving an extra virgin olive oil for tasting. This time we tried that of Antonella Corda, wine and oil producer in Serdiana, in the province of South Sardinia. As a main dish, we chose a guinea fowl wrapped in speck and served with mushrooms: well executed, juicy and tender. And a fillet of amberjack with sweet and sour sauce and Belgian salad, that could have been slightly rosier to the heart, but still well done.
Creative sweets, both excellently executed and balanced, without excesses of sweetness. The one based on carrots, with sponge, ice cream, carrot sauce and banana sauce (with a nice acidity) they closed the meal well. The restaurant I sarti del gusto is confirmed as a very valid address and with a good value for money as regards the tasting menu. Between drinks deserves a citation, and compliments, the choice of proposing a Charter of waters. As for the wine list, We proceed by following the different brands and not denominations or territories. Not too many labels, We try to maintain a minimal representation of the main Doc, Italian DOCG and Igt. with some incursions in France. As for the bubbles from Franciacorta in Prosecco, from Trentodoc in Champagne. Well represented Sardinia, from Wine to Gallura. Italian white wines are the wines of Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. Among the red wines, Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia. The wine prices are generally fixed.
The 2017 review of I sarti del gusto
For the tasting menu, as a starter came a marinated salmon on fennel salad, radishes, mustard grains, fennel, cucunci (caper berries) and mango coulis. A big portion, a fresh dish, in its simplicity, well done thanks to fresh ingredients and good quality. To the paper, I chose a soft egg, cooked perfectly to 61 degrees, on potato cream, with pak choi braised and taleggio cheese fonduta. I felt two shortcomings, that of a savory note and that of something crunchy (a bit obvious slice of toast). The egg at 61 degrees is present in different combinations on the menu also in 2021.
As a first course egg pasta tortelli, made by hand, with a creamy filling made from mascarpone, ricotta and cream of rice of Oristano. As a condiment was used a generous emulsion of butter and sapa, the cooked must is typical of Sardinia. I found it a great dish, I would suggest adding a little citrus zest (lime, Orange) to give acidity to the dish. We come to the best dish of the evening, at least in my opinion: I ordered it and it was a la carte risotto made with fregola broccoli, turnip greens, chicory, extract of shrimp, shrimp tartare and burrata. A flawless dish: in the background the scent of toasted fregola, cooked al dente, then a delicate balance between bitter and sweet notes.
As for main courses, for the tasting comes a hearty pork fillet in a crust of Parmesan with baked vegetable garden. Good pork cooked at low temperature, rosy at heart, with a nice variety of crunchy vegetables, Since Tuscan Kale with artichokes through carrots, onions and radicchio. The card I ordered for second a dish that appears among the starters but I ' promote ' a main course. Boned quail in double cooking, with its sauce and cabbage crunchy. Great quail, baked in the oven and Pan, with crispy skin and flavorful, soft and rosy to the heart, very good also the Kale, by season.
For dessert 'Sicilian cannoli' revised, with ricotta, persimmon puree and lime sorbet. The risk of serving a cannoli at a Sicilian is great. Good ricotta, beautiful presentation, pleasing the persimmon sauce and sorbet, But lurking around the corner is one of the most common mistakes. To a non crunchy cannoli zest. Finally, caramelized apples with mango sorbet, mint sauce and crispy. A sweet little sweet and very refreshing: Apples thoroughly cooked and holed up in a thin plate of caramel, the sorbet pleasantly acidulous, fresh mint sauce and crunchy texture with the game fun. A fine meal from manual.
If you find yourself in Cagliari, stop by the tailors of taste. Highly recommended.
(visited in January 2017 and November 2021)