Ristorante Kilometro Zero: Cagliari, Sardinia

culurgiones cernia e bottarga picture

When you think of a restaurant advertising (and indeed naming itself) “Kilometer Zero” you think of staunch traditions that cannot be broken. In Tuscany the designation may imply rickety tables with worn marble tops inside a restaurant with a grandmother in the kitchen rolling pasta dough. Remove the marble table tops and you can say the same for Sardinia, which, as graffiti along the road constantly reminds us: “Tourists—SARDINIA IS NOT ITALY”.

But the name implies only that the food source is nearby. Such a moniker doesn’t prevent you from using such fresh and local produce in creative or unusual ways.

Welcome to Kilometro Zero, a stylish newish restaurant in Cagliari introduced to us by journalist Federico Fonnesu.

The room is long and narrow. The seats are clear plexiglass. The walls bounce every syllable; the place is loud when full.

This isn’t your granny’s pasta house.

(Re: noise. The owner explains that they’ve glued some rectangles of foam to the high ceilings to dim the noise, but it’s not much help. They’re looking into improving the situation.)

But let’s talk about the food. We are 5. The owner proposes a selection of starters and we pick and choose dishes to share. The house red we drink is a Cannonau. Not one of those big, dense, “international” Cannonaus that pack too much of a punch to drink with food, but a nice, subtle one that doesn’t overwhelm the well-conceived dishes, not even those based on seafood.

Most of the starters were seafood based. Standouts included the Culurgiones, little torpedoes of stuffed semolina dough, shown on the upper right, these stuffed with cernia and dusted with bottarga, dried fish roe, a nice interpretation of the traditional dish.

carbonara di mare picture

The Carbonara di Mare was the traditional egg-based carbonara with smoked swordfish substituted for the pancetta. I liked it a lot. I could have eaten it for breakfast.

We chose three plates to share for a main course, a couple of traditional items—baked fish (selected from a platter of the day’s catch presented by the owner) and a tagliata (grilled and sliced steak)—followed by the blasphemous dish, the dish made of two components you’ve been warned by thousands of web sites to avoid combining, ever: fish and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese! But there it was and it was exceptionally delicious: Filetto di Cernia alla Parmigiana.

Then we were in for another surprise. All this food, all this variety, all this freshness and goodness, traditional and innovative, all this noise, the two bottles of perfect wine, all came at a very reasonable price. 25 euro per person, out the door!

kilometro zero outside

Recommended. Can I say more? Well, yes, it will be even better when they cover the interior with softness and you can actually talk to your table mates without shouting.

Kilometro Zero

Address : Via Grazia Deledda 68, Cagliari
Phone : 070668901
WEB: Kilometro Zero

Ristorante Kilometro Zero: Cagliari, Sardinia originally appeared on wanderingsardinia.com May 04, 2013, © James Martin

Cagliari, Food

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