Monday, January 5, 2009

Trattoria S’Aposentu, Düsseldorf, Germany

Kaiserswerther Strasse 77
Tel. +49-(0)211-5136579

Here comes another addition to my list of Italian restaurants in Düsseldorf: S’Aposentu, located just 1.5 km north of the Old Town and 500m from the river Rhine. The name reads “Living Room” in Sardinian, and the choice of language already points you into the culinary direction of the menu. In addition to well-known basics such as an excellent pasta e fagioli with salsiccie (a stew-like soup with white beans, pasta and bits of sausage), the chef offers Sardinian experiences such as pasta with Sardinian bottarga (dried fish roe). The regular menu already features an interesting variety of starters (the obligatory antipasti misti, carpaccio with truffle oil, swordfish carpaccio amongst others), a nice selection of pasta (eg. gnocchi with salsiccia sausage, or _wonderful_ ravioli in butter and sage, stuffed with figs and parma ham), and a number of meat, poultry and fish main courses, rounded by a more standard set of desserts (tiramisu, tartuffo icecream…). But in addition to this, S’Aposentu features a quite impressive changing daily menu on the chalk board, offering a choice of about 15 additional starters and mains.

The wine list continues the Sardinian focus, and of course the Cannonau di Sardegna is represented here by a couple of producers. In addition to a vast array of Sardinian wines, it offers drops from elsewhere in Italy.

While I am yet to sample one of their “real” main courses, the pasta and starters have already won my heart: The tastes are clear and simple, the ingredients always fresh, and the prices reasonable. The place has a relaxed, sometimes almost loungy ambiance, amplified by a ceiling about 4 metres high, and a simple, slightly rustic interior. The service is very warm and welcoming, and always there for a chat (in German or Italian).

As the year comes to an end, one thing to especially mention is their new year’s eve dinner - if the quality of the six courses is only close to that of their regular kitchen, the 48,50€ is a fantastic deal:

Goose breast carpaccio on lamb’s lettuce,

Pasta duetto of ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms and garganelli with lotte (a fish - sorry, my culinary English seems to reach its borders),

Lemon sorbet with prosecco,

Lamb with a herb crust on thyme sauce or alternatively Dorade (another fish) gratinated with squash slices on pernod sauce,

Fruit mousse tartelette,

Sardinian midnight (lentil) soup.

As S’Aposentu has quite many seats, you should be able to get a table even without reservation. It might become a bit crowded during trade fairs, though.

Visited: August, September, October, November & NYE 2008.

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