Thursday, September 16, 2010
Portico, Nuoro - Sardinia, Italy
Ristorante il Portico is THE place to eat if you are vegetarian or vegan and you find yourself in Nuoro, Sardinia. In fact, if you are anywhere near Nuoro while you are on Sardinia, I suggest making the trek to eat dinner here! Of course they specialize in gourmet cuisine including fish and other meat, but the chef spent his years training in Copenhagen and Switzerland among other places, and is completely enlightened about food and the ways to make it creatively. We were so happy to walk into a restaurant and have the waiter and chef know and understand "vegan" and not laugh at us or offer us only spaghetti and tomato sauce. The waiter suggested the chef starter menu and said the chef will make it 100% vegan. We sat back and waited, wondering what would come out!
First let me introduce the people who took such great care of us. On the right is Graziano Ladu, the chef, who on top of being amazingly kind to us, also makes some of the best food we have ever consumed. And on the left, his brother Roberto who spoke great English, and was very patient with us and probably got a kick out of how excited we were about every dish that came out.
When the dishes started coming we devoured them quickly, and before we could even finish one dish, another came out...
We called it the Parade of Food, because it just kept coming and coming. Each dish unique and different, and devoid of any 'fake' veggie food such as seitan, tofu, or tempeh. Just vegetables, and prepared with tender care and with great imagination. Below is a long photo line of the dishes we ate over the week we spent at Portico.
After the first day we realized we hit the jackpot, and came back every night we were in Nuoro until they closed for Holiday, dashing our hopes of eating here for another week. Let the parade begin:
I can't even begin to describe properly what all of this is
Toasted bread with artichoke puree.
Green beans rolled in Sardinian flat-bread.
This dish is called Fregola, and is a Sardinian specialty.
This was INCREDIBLE! Tempura style arugala.
What looks like a cupcake paper is really a hollowed out zucchini.
A pineapple dessert.
Fancy napkin design for Deanna's birthday.
Birthday dinner at Portico, what a treat!
Endive in foil.
Never dreamed we'd have vegan sushi on Sardinia.
Ending on a traditional note, Spaghetti with tomato sauce, and it was exquisite.
Check it out when you go the beautiful and wondrous island of Sardinia.