Pane frattau, culurgiones, sheep in coat, porceddu and seadas are the dishes of the Barbagia tradition. And Alessandro Borghese went in search of the restaurant that interprets it best
In the last episode of Alessandro Borghese 4 Restaurants, which aired January 9 on Sky Uno, the chef went as far as Barbagia, the vast, mysterious and fascinating mountainous area of the Sardinia central that rises on the flanks of the Gennargentu massif, in search of the best restaurant in the streets of the shepherds.
In the Sardinian hinterland, where the number of sheep exceeds that of people, the main dishes were those based on roasted or boiled meat, cheeses such as pecorino cheese and the ricotta cheese, the herbs of the Mediterranean scrub, from fennel to mint.
Also this time, the four restaurateurs in the competition voted – with a score from 0 to 10 – location, menu, service, bill of the restaurant that has hosted them from time to time, in addition to a fifth category, lo Special, who in this episode was represented by pane frattau, specialty of the area.
The scores added to the votes of Borghese chef which, in this case, confirmed the result. Let's find out the restaurants that participated in the episode in Barbagia and the final ranking.
4 Restaurants: the best restaurant in the streets of the Barbagia shepherds
To win the title of best restaurant in the streets of the shepherds of Barbagia in addition to the prizes to be won was Abbamele Osteria in Mamoiada (Nuoro), one of the major centers of sheep farming, famous for the Mamuthones, the masks of the Sardinian carnival. The restaurant was recently opened by Mauro, 37, a barbaricino doc who traveled the world and then returned to his country with a mission: to innovate the typical cuisine of Barbagia. "I like to experiment," he says. «Mine is a contemporary cuisine that wants to give a new course to tradition. And so, in a place where the style mixes ancient materials such as granite with modern furnishing elements, it offers a tasting menu with the Ovo frattau (its reinterpretation of pane frattau), the ricotta gnocchi with lamb broth, the his interpretation of the Sheep in a Coat and the Memory of a sebadas.
The other restaurants in the race
Second place on Sant’Elene Restaurant in Dorgali. Lino, 64, a shepherd mother and a farmer father, opened the restaurant in the 1980s with his brothers and continues to run it with the whole family. With a priceless view of the Mediterranean scrub that can be enjoyed from the terrace, here you can taste the ancient recipes of the shepherds that Lino has deepened with readings on the history and traditions of Sardinia. "I propose forgotten dishes where you can find the soul of the Sardinian people," he says. Its frattau bread is made with wholemeal bread, fresh tomato, egg and a mixed cow's milk and pecorino cheese. Also on the menu Dorgalese ravioli, Boiled sheep in coat, Shepherd's Soup, Seadas.
Third in the standings, theCanales farmhouse of Dorgali, the restaurant owned by Giovanni (57 years old), known as Nanni. A shepherd like his grandfather and father, one day he asked the family for a piece of land to build his farm where he rigorously proposes the tradition of shepherds. With the raw materials of his farm (where you can visit the original pinnettu – the refuge where the shepherds slept and transformed the milk – of the grandfather), Nanni and his wife prepare Capretto and roast suckling pig, Sheep stewed with aromatic herbs, culurgiones, Casadina and goat's milk ice cream.
Last in the standings (due to a sheep rope not appreciated by other restaurateurs and for not having remedied the mistake)Agriturismo Su Pinnettu 30-year-old Federico, who defines himself as a "modern pastor". Grandson of shepherds, he graduated in Agriculture with the clear intention of leaving Cagliari and returning to Olzai, his country of origin where he opened a farmhouse. The main room of the restaurant is located inside a reconstructed pinnettu: here you can enjoy traditional dishes such as pane frattau prepared with homemade bread, the porceddu, and more contemporary proposals such as kid with beer.