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Sardinia: Flavorful and fresh Italian delights

ERIN MCWHORTER
Contributing Columnist
ERIN@lbknews.com

Often times the best kept secret dining locations are found through word-of-mouth in Sarasota. The restaurants are typically quaint in size and do not advertise frequently. They are always worth the excursion, no matter where they are located. Such is the case with a recent discovery, Sardinia, one of the best Italian finds in Sarasota.

Sardinian cuisine is known for its purity and flavors, and Chef Dino Carta brought this tradition to our table during our dining experience.

The entire menu is farm fresh and features locally grown food. The bread, known as Pane Carasau, is baked daily, and the pasta dough is made fresh too. Chef Carta offers a captivating variety of appetizers, pastas, meats, and desserts. My favorite selection of the evening, the Calamari Ripieni, was a rich combination of stuffed calamari with fava beans, fregola and marinated Mediterranean olives. Once my first order was relished, I had to order a second for the rest of the dinner party to revel in. The meal continued on with the Fregola Paella, which is authentic Sardinian paella made with fregola. As satisfied as I was at this point, I was still excited to taste my way through multiple desserts. The Crema Bruciata, or Crème Brule, was in a tough competition with the Seadas al Mielle (the classic Sardinian Dessert) for the winning choice.

The most impressive focal point of the kitchen is the authentic hood wood-burning oven which was imported from Sardinia. All of the chargrilled meats and local fish are cooked in the oven, just as Chef Carta did back in his homeland. His culinary passions first began in his family’s kitchen and continued to grow as he attended culinary school in Sassari, Sardinia. His apprenticeship took him to Tuscany, where he worked in the kitchen at the famous Emerald Coast. Carta then moved from Tuscany to Paris and then to London, working for Alberigo Penati at the world famous Harri’s Bar. This experience cemented his respect for food and people, which apparent to any guest who has the pleasure of experiencing the culinary delights at Sardinia.

Erin is a Sarasota native and Real Estate Professional at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Erin loves hearing from readers regarding anything culinary. You may contact Erin at ERIN@lbknews.com to share your favorite recipes, dining adventures, and for a chance to be featured in Key Dining. 

 

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