Sardinia is an ancient land and its traditional recipes are the perfect idyll of the many different cultures that have left their mark on the Island from age to age.
One of just three Michelin-starred restaurants in Sardinia, S’Apposentu is an utterly charming restaurant set within a beautiful estate in the charming rural village of Siddi, at the heart of the Marmilla area. Fine dining, Sardinian-style, is the mission statement of this rustic-flavoured haunt. The vibe is relaxed rather than formal or pretentious, creating the right mood for a succession of zesty dishes that make liberal use of the aromatic herbs of the wild macchia scrub of Sardinia’s hinterland. This elegant place manages to be both traditional and innovative, with a talent for revisiting old recipes and pepping them up with contemporary touches.
In 2010, chef Roberto Petza moved his restaurant S’Apposentu from the city of Calgiari to Siddi, in the heart of the countryside – once famous for a giant pasta factory. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star in 2013 and has been awarded the Tre Forchette Gambero Rosso, which recognises S’Apposentu as one of the twenty-three best restaurants in Italy.
The restaurant is situated in a historic palace still owned by the president of the former pasta factory. Built in 1900, the building is enclosed within its own estate, with a small courtyard and farm where Roberto grows his own vegetables and keeps his resident donkey and goats. S’Apposentu translates to ‘the best living room in the house’ in Sardinian, and inside echoes the style and characteristics of Roberto himself, with handmade furniture made by the chef and pictures from local artists.
The menu is peppered with references to the island. Chef Roberto and his team use local farmers and even make their own cheese. There is a small but perfectly formed menu of delights providing a sumptuous introduction to the island’s cuisine. Each dish tells a story through the ingredients of – lamb, pork, poultry, herbs, grains, legumes and cheeses, the freshly caught fish are personally selected from the wonderful market in Cagliari. The food puts the ‘oh!’ into slow, all elegantly presented and eaten languidly with lots and lots of wine. The wine list is excellent.
Here, there’s a palpable buzz, but despite having more than a dash of Italian bella figura, this place is discreet, non-flashy and as classy as they come. Molto chic.