Arcodoro: A Taste of Sardinia
What I really enjoy most about being a food blogger and writer are the great people that I meet along my journey. Those that believe in opening their doors, sharing their food and treating their customers like family. I had the pleasure of enjoying a magnificent 8-course dinner and Sardinian wine pairing with Chef and Owner Efisio Farris, Leon Sierra, President and Owner of Mid-state Wine Distributors and fellow foodie friend and blogger, Jamie Alvear (@TheDrunkenDiva)
Arcodoro specializes in traditional Sardinian Food and Drink. With Sardinia being the 2nd largest island in the Mediterranean sea I could only imagine the succulent seafood and elegantly luscious wines that awaited me at Arcodoro! The ambiance is comfortable and offers its patrons a backdrop for any occasion with its various private dining areas.
Our evening started with a bottle of Efix; a fresh, crisp, buttery Sardinian sparkling prosecco. Efix, is a “sardesco” that could easily be enjoyed as an aperitif or celebratory wine in place of champagne. A great starter to a looonnnnggg night! We also enjoyed a “Graparita” a Sardinian twist on the beloved margarita. Made with Grapa,(a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin), rimmed with sugar and a lime. This has become my new go to cocktail. Simply delicious.
As we prepared for our barrage of courses we tried several other sardinan classic white wines like Lughente and Serenu which are based on the Vermentino, a very distinct grape varietal produced on the northern part of the island.
All wines were hand selected by Chef Efisio. The Lughente for its soft and harmonic notes of apple and honey, and the Serenu for its serene and delicate flavor. Both paired exceptionally well with our seafood courses.
The red wines were my favorite! I drink red wines regularly with a bodiful bordeaux being my year round selection and when Paolo brought the Terra Saliosa and Fidatu to the table my heart sang. FIdatu means “trustful”, so trust me when I say this indigenous blend of cagnulari, merlot and sangiovese was the bomb dot com. It was well balanced and per my hosts was “reminiscent of the Sardinian country side.” The Terra Saliosa was just as fabulous. A slightly different blend of grapes added a more lushey, velvety finish. Great for pairing with game.
Chef Efisio is a jack of all trades and even has his own Sardinian Olive Oil (found at Central Market or Cost Plus World Market) that I literally put it on EVERYTHING. We enjoyed the starter wines with a dozen of the freshest oysters and Pane Carasau also known as “music sheet” or “music bread.” A paper thin, crispy-crunchy wafer like bread that I literally could not stop eating. It’s an ancient recipe that was originally conceived for Shepherds due to its lengthy shelf life.
The Mare was our opener. A refreshing seafood salad of shrimp, mussels, clams, octopus and cuttlefish lightly tossed with EVOO, lime juice and Mediterranean herbs. If you’re a fan of fresh, earthy seafood this should definitely be on your list to try.
The Duck Prosciutto was grand..the perfect salty meat accompanied by the previously mentioned Pane Carasau, Sardinian cheeses and giardiniera. Fantastic. I could easily eat only this and drink nothing but wine all night long!!!
The Mozzarella Pomodoro was a helping of some of the freshest buffalo mozzarella I have ever tasted. The olive oil made it even more buttery and smooth. Paired with the fresh tomatoes and arugula made for the perfect bite.
The Portobello Croccante was my favorite dish. The crispy polenta cake underneath the roasted eggplant was a HIT. Oh my gosh.. it was so good that I added Arcodoro to the “share with my vegetarian friends as a “safe” dining option in the galleria” list.. yum yum yum…
This item isn’t on the menu but from what I hear was a huge hit at the Sugar Land Food and Wine – La Dolce Vita dinner. The handmade, ricotta stuffed, squid ink tortellini snuggled in lobster broth and topped with shaved white truffles was mere perfection.
The Capesante Caramellate al Riso Venere offered some of the largest diver sea scallops I’d ever seen. Although we requested no black rice the freshness of the scallops paired with the caramelized sea salt and butter, candied tomatoes and roasted curry sauce undoubtedly filled the void. With this over the top, multi-course tasting the rice would have been to much.
The Fregula Belvedere was a quick bite of super-sized rock shrimp a top a bed of delicious Sardinian couscous.
At the point in the evening when the Costolette d’Agnello al Pistacchio arrived at the table we were completely pass the point of being glutted! But as a professional eater I had to at least take one bite. The domestic lamb chops were broiled to perfection and delicately dusted in a pistachio crust and drizzled with a reduction of abbamele and balsamic vinegar.
We ended the evening with the Sorbetto Alla Frutta. It is typically served as a trio but with 7 courses under our belts (literally) we could only stomach one scoop and even that was tough. The raspberry sorbet was light, delicate and just what we needed. At this point I was delirious and my eyes were crossing. I couldn’t stomach another thing, nor could my dinner companions.
I suggest you think of Arcodoro for your next special dinner or celebratory gathering. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and I can almost guarantee that you will as well.. Ask for Paolo!