Oristano

Restaurants

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Sardinian cuisine lives up to the expectations that visitors may have when approaching an Italian restaurant. Despite its openness and general hospitality, the island remains tightly rooted to its social and cultural traditions and food is no exception. Sardinians are jealously bound to the old recipes, passed on generation after generation. Even if Sardinian cities are by all means modern and European, inland it remains essentially rural and represents a culinary goldmine. Restaurants have access to an official and unofficial market of fresh goods, coming from the countryside, the hills and mountains. Often city chefs rely on a thick network of small farmers, butchers, fishermen and hunters from whom they get the freshest vegetables, traditionally made cheeses, hams and sausages, but also game, such as wild boar, hare, dear and different types of birds.
Oristano is also blessed by the constant inflow of fresh seafood, both in markets and in restaurants. This tradition has been enhanced by top restaurants and chefs, which often blend the classic local dishes with more modern and sophisticated atmospheres, cooking techniques and tastes. The final result is a culinary experience which is more often than not enticing, surprising and fulfilling.
Restaurants generally serve ample portions throughout all the courses. The typical meal is made of hors d’oeuvres, consisting of different small plates, whose given intention is to set your body and soul for more food, but are often so generous that they represent a whole meal. The first course is mostly based on pasta or rice, in a virtually countless variety of shapes, sizes and condiments. Second courses are usually meat or fish, and maybe a vegetable-based side dish. Therefore the concept itself of a main course doesn't really exist in Sardinia, so forget those large plates with a mixture of rice, meat and vegetables, which are typical of Northern European cuisine. Having said this, when ordering food in a restaurant do not in any way feel obliged to go for the whole shebang. You can easily browse through the menu and carefully select your options, especially when you have company to share your meal with.
Sardinians eat quite late, even for continental Italian standards. In this respect, Spanish influence is still to be felt. Lunch won't be much before 13:00 and can go on until 16:00, depending where you are and how much you're prepared to eat. Dinner is not before 20:00, but is often much later... Most restaurants, having been open for lunch, give their kitchen staff a few hours break in the afternoon, meaning that chefs don't get back to their stoves and start preparing for the evening meals before 18:30. Do give them enough time to do what they're best at, or else you might be disappointed.

Price Guide
€ expect to have more than enough to eat and not spend more than €12 - €15
€€ a two course-meal and some table wine could cost you between €20 - €25
€€€ a full three-course meal won't cost you less than €35
€€€€ you're in a top-end restaurant and be prepared to spend over €50 

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