On a tip off from an Italian work colleague 3 of us went to Sardo - Grafton Way, near Warren St tube station.
The decor in the restaurant is quite horrendous Ionic columns and sidelights made with a plasma cutter. The food though was exceptional and the staff were very helpful though when the place got busy they were quite stretched.
I originally thought the menu was overlong. 8 starters, 8 pastas and 8 mains and then a special board with 4 starters and 4 mains. starters were £6-8, pastas £8-10 and mains £8-13.
Apologies, I dont speak italian so some of the items are approximations as a result of the waitress translating and a bit of guessing.
Stuffed Calamari in a tomato sauce.
This was superb the squid had been cooked to perfection, the stuffing was delightful and the lumpy tomato sauce was a wonderful sweet accompaniment.
Faux Risotto with Radiochio and Onions ( a special )
Errr this wasnt a risotto as it was made with tiny pieces of pasta - I have no idea what the name of this type of pasta is but the resulting dish was a "risotto". This was certainly well executed but perhaps lacking in interest - I could imagine a huge hearty bowl of it with some parmigiano as an enjoyable staple.
Tagliatelli with Porcini
Good pasta with porcini - excellent.
Well this wasnt my choice and it was fine as far as it went but it just seemed to be chopped up indiscriminant seafood.
Quails with prunes and balsmic vinegar ( a special )
This was a stunning dish to look at. It was just legs but initially there seemed to be hundreds of them, actually there were 8, but it is the blackest food I have even seen. The whole dish had been soaked in the prune/vinegar and hence it looked like the plate had just been charred. I have never had this sort of combination before and it was stunning and then we discovered under the quail legs strips of courgette fried in a wonderful light crispy batter - wonderful.
Loin of beef with sardinian blue cheese ( a special )
Beautiful strips of excellent beef on top of spinach - still with bite and sauted potatoes and the cheese favoured jus. This blue cheese is like no other blue cheese I have had. The flavour started off as classic blue cheese but it had another slightly later taste that I cant describe. I dont think there is another cheese that tastes like this of course there could have been something else in the jus but I dont think so. This was wonderful as well.
This was a pastry shell egg-shaped in 2 halves containing a dollop of a mixture probably riccotta based containing pecorino, orange peel and honey. It was served with filled with pecorino cheese and flamed. I have no idea what the alcohol was. This was very interesting dessert. The pastry was strange, it reminded me of a poppadum and it was brittle yet when you chewed it, it was chewy. I believe that this is a sardinian speciality, though my friend John who is greek ordered it as his grandmother used to make it.
An excellent rendition. How they made it that it stood "firmly" on the middle of the plate and yet when you placed in your mouth it was pure creamy fluff and it was flavoured with both amaretto and coffee. I have tried to tell people that there should be amaretto as well as coffee but people in this country dont believe you.
A return visit is on the cards as we also enjoyed the sardinian "bread" - wafer thin, crispy and dusted with rosemary. Apparently imported direct from the island. Also missed out on the Sardinian dishes 'spaghetti bottaga' and 'mallorreddus' ( a sardinian sausage ).
If anyone knows what the cheese was I would be delighted.
I am afraid that I am no connoissuer of wine. We had a perfectly acceptable bottle of sardinian red......errr I cant tell you more than that.
Cost £36 a head including wine water and coffee.