Sardinia, 6 Kedumim Square, Old Jaffaby Sarit Goffen | 31.07.13
Sardinia is an authenitc Trattoria, situated in a magnificent stone building in old Jaffa, overlooking the sea and town square. The atmosphere is warm and inviting composed of a small bar and intimate dining inside along with a beautiful stone terrace lined with various types of trees, a fountain, and an even larger dining area. Red and white tablecloths drape over the small tables to complete the look.
Chef Sofer bases the restaurant’s menu on the south-Italian cuisine, specifically the Campania region, from the heel of the boot in Puglia region, to the toe at Calabria region.
Sardinia has a fresh and colorful cuisine with distinct Mediterranean influences. It cleverly utilizes the available raw materials, including fine vegetables, fish and freshly gathered sea food, garlic, different kinds of flower and olive oil while preserving traditional cooking methods. Sardinia has a “home-made” vibe to it – smiling welcoming faces greet you along with Italian music and straight-from-the-cask lambrusco.
I have known the chef, Roy Sofer, for over 30 years. We grew up together in the same neighbourhood, attended the same school and grew to be close friends. Unfortunately, as it is in Israel, people are drafted into the army and lose touch – and I haven’t met Roy for over 20 years.
Over the past decade I have heard Roy’s name in context of great restaurants in the Israeli culinary scene and for some reason, I still did not cross paths with him. Then Sardinia opened and it was a potential meeting I would not miss.
I visited Sardinia on an early Monday evening, while the restaurant was preparing for service. The gentle twilight sun, the view of the Jaffa Sea, and the magical colors created in this bewitching hour, completely transcended the moment from time and place, and I felt as if I was on holiday in the south of Italy.
What particularly caught my eye were the very attractive prices. I asked Chef Sofer, how it is possible for a chef-restaurant, so strict with mostly Italian imported products, to keep prices so affordable? Roy explained that his credo is to serve gourmet food for accessible prices. Even the alcohol prices are some of the lowest in Israel, to allow for a happy experience and a wonderful time.
Now, I was ready to eat. In front of me I had:
Fresh tomato salad with capers and buffalo mozzarella: perfectly complimenting the setting sun which colored the sky red.
Red tuna Carpaccio: light and accurate.
Pizza Marcelo with smoked duck breast: every bite was a delight.
And for dessert: cannoli stuffed with pistachio cream- the delicate taste lingered on.
Towards the end of my meal a couple entered the restaurant and caught my attention; she was a beautiful and impressive woman, and he a handsome man. I asked Roy who they are and why they were so familiar to me. He reminded me that the woman is one of the most beloved and influential food writers in Israel – author of nine best-seller cookbooks. Respect!
There is no doubt that Sardinia attracts culinary enthusiasts and provides them with a winning combination of wonderful food, Italian Peroni beer and a perfect view, all gift-wrapped with affordable prices.
6 Kedumim Square, Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv, 03- 683221, Sun – Thur 19:00-24:00, Fri – Sat 12:30-16:30, 19:00 -24:00, Facebook, Sardiniaitaliantrattoria@gmail.com