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Culurgiones served with tomato sauce, basil and Pecorino cheese.

A Sardinian Feast at Su Cumbidu

Cagliari is the most Italian of the cities of Italy and in many of the restaurants you will find familiar menu items. You can also find places that specialize in traditional Sardinian fare and while in Cagliari, the Publisher’s Tour visited one of the city’s finest. Su Cumbidu Ristorante embodies both the spirit and pride of the Sardinian people

The owner of Su Cumbidu, Luigi Dedoni, describes himself as Sardinian with a capital ‘S.’ His passion and love for the island is infectious. It is also evident in every aspect of the restaurant, from how the staff treats their guests, to the preparation and presentation of the dishes, to the offerings on the menu itself, which thankfully are in English as well as Sardinian. Luigi feels that Su Cumbidu is more than a restaurant; it is a place where guests can truly enjoy the food and wine of Sardinia, where the finest ingredients are prepared according to ancient local traditions.

The menu offers a delightful mix of dishes that were often unusual and in some cases unique, even to these well-seasoned travelers. An example of the unusual among the appetizers is Sas croccas – snails served in a spicy tomato sauce, while in the unique category are Is tappadasa – grated snails with bread crumbs.

Marion Fortunato selected the items for the group’s dinner, including appetizers, first course, main course, dessert and wines in advance of the visit. Working with the restaurant’s special events coordinator, Luisianna, a carefully curated menu was selected.

Upon arriving at their destination on Via Napoli in Cagliari, Maitre d’ Alessandro Frau greeted the travelers as though they were family. Wine was poured – Vermentino, a light-bodied white wine that is deliciously complex and Cannonau and the luscious red wine, which is the most famous wine of Sardinia. It was then that the extraordinary feast began!

For appetizers, enormous platters of cured meats (prosciutto, salami, sopressata, speck and lardo) and an assortment of cheeses, were presented to the group, seated at a beautifully decorated horseshoe table. The cheeses, including Pecorino, Ricotta with honey, Casu Axedu, sheep’s milk Mozzarella and oddly enough, a pear-shaped cheese called Pasta Filata, were primarily different types of sheep’s milk cheeses, with the various Pecorinos as the standouts – the cheese that Sardinia is most well-known for. In addition, fabulous crusty breads, olive oil, eggplant and peppers completed the first stage of the culinary journey.

Primo – The first course consisted of different pastas. Culurgione in a tomato sauce is a delicious Sardinian pasta filled with potatoes. It is not the same as gnocchi, nor is it a ravioli, although it is a stuffed pasta (in Sardinia, ravioli are called curzones). Culurgione have an elaborately ‘braided’ top to close the pasta. It makes for a fantastic presentation, creating a distinctive and unique dish! It was prepared with tomato sauce and basil, topped (of course) with grated Pecorino cheese. Malloreddus was also served and is the famous pasta of Sardinia. In addition to being a small pasta, it is made from wheat. The pasta was served in a rich tomato and sausage gravy.

Secondo – The main course was simply amazing. Served family-style were three different meats, which included roasted pig, roasted veal and grilled goat. The preparation was superb, from the tenderness of the suckling pig to the fresh seasonings of rosemary and oregano used for the grilled goat. These dishes were supplemented by an assortment of sausage, vegetables and potatoes.

The travelers of the Publisher’s Tour showed their true grit by also indulging in dessert after enjoying a feast of banquet proportions. Sardinian cookies, cakes, fruit and pastries completed the dining experience. It will surely provide cherished memories for all of them. If you plan a trip to Sardinia with southern Cagliari as part of your itinerary, make sure to dine at Su Cumbidu. The restaurant is located at Via Napoli 13, Cagliari, Sardinia. Make sure to extend best wishes to Alessandro from Marion and Buddy Fortunato.