Dining in Italy: Ispinigoli

This was our third meal at Ristorante Ispinigoli, after earlier visits in 2017 and 2019 that I did not blog about. The hotel and restaurant is located in the mountains on the east side of Sardinia, near the town of Dorgali and beach town Cala Gonone. The photo shows the view from the terrace during lunchtime, made in 2019. This time we were there for dinner. There is à la carte as well as two degustation menus: typical/meat (48 euros) and fish (55 euros), each consisting of several antipasti, a primo, a secondo, and dessert. The restaurant has a very extensive wine list with many wines from Sardinia, the reds also of older vintages. Since we had tried the meat degustation the previous time, we now opted for seafood.

The amuse bouche was krupuk colored with squid ink with beetroot and ricotta.

The first antipasto was fried bites of monkfish with sweet and sour onions and tomato. The fish was moist and very crispy.

The next antipasto was oyster with mutton tartare and samphire (finocchietto di mare). An unusual combination, but very nice.

The following antipasto was cold-smoked tuna with corbezzolo (fruit from a strawberry tree, which is not related to regular strawberries), mirto, rosemary, and a dressing of olive oil with lemon juice.

Next was lightly charred squid with sautéed zucchini and a sauce of burned onion. The squid was very flavorful and tender enough.

The final antipasto was raw local red shrimp with a reduction of orange juice and raw zucchini. The shrimp was impeccably fresh and very flavorful.

The primo was ravioli from dough made with nettles and basil, stuffed with grouper and served with bottarga and cherry tomatoes. A very elegant dish.

The secondo was grilled octopus, very flavorful, tender, moist, and crispy, with a cream of potatoes.

For the dessert we could opt anything from the menu, and I chose juniper-flavored cremoso with chocolate crumble and apricot compote.

The meal ended with some nice nut-based friandises.

Inispigoli looks like an old-fashioned hotel and the decor is outdated, especially on the inside. The quality of the food is however very high, expertly prepared from the freshest high quality ingredients. The dishes stay close to classics, with some twists that respect the original. The prices are very low compared to the quality, so this is extremely good value for money.

So far we’ve eaten at Inispigoli every time we were in Sardinia, and we will certainly do so again next time!

6 thoughts on “Dining in Italy: Ispinigoli

    1. May I suggest there is a difference twixt the value of cultural and historical status quo and the helter-skelter throw-away ‘modernism’ the term ‘outdated’ seems to denote !

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        1. If everything is ‘outdated’ in Europe why ever go there at all ? I am quoting another . . . and disagreeing vehemently having read other comments by the particular person . . .

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  1. Thank you so much for posting about the restaurant this time around ! Love the fishy menu and the way it is plated ! The ravioli dish attracts above others – nettles in pastry and bottarga atop . . . oh yes ! And I’ll vote for well prepared octopus on any occasion !! Cannot believe the reasonable cost . . .

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