ittiturismo cooperativa pescatori tortolì.

If my blues don't match in this post, it's because the pictures came from three different cameras.


The Cooperativa is going to take a lot of writing to do it justice, so I'll put some pictures up until I have time to get to the justice-doing.


In the few days we'd been there we'd not eaten at a single place I'd researched, and frankly the cooking we were doing at home was way tastier than what we'd been having at sit-down dinners.

So Saturday we made it a point to drive over to the Cooperativa (5km?) to buy some shellfish for dinner and see if we could eat at the restaurant. We were lucky to sneak out of the driveway without running into Remo, otherwise we never would've made it to the Cooperativa before siesta.

Remo is the patriarch of the family we were staying with, and the primary manpower behind the farm. He's easily 65 years old, but more likely closer to 75: Sardinians are among the longest-living people on Earth. In fact, 4 of the 10 oldest people alive on Earth right now are Sardinian.

The picture below is from Wednesday night, when we were on our way to the grocery store for the first time, and we mentioned going to the Cooperativa. This launched Remo into a charmingly enthusiastic presentation regarding what he would do with the fish if it were he doing the cooking.

We were dying of hunger and trying to somehow graciously extract ourselves, but he couldn't stop giving us recipes, the highlight coming when he got down and began drawing pictures of clams in the dirt to assist with translation between Sardinian and Italian names for sea creatures.


On Saturday we managed to get to the Cooperativa just before they closed for siesta (almost every non-bar business closed from 13:00 to 17:00 every day). They were sold out of a lot of things, so who knows what we missed, but we ended up scoring two kilos each of clams and mussels, a kilo of shrimp, a package of bottarga, and four of the shrimp arancini pictured below, all for €30.00. More about the resulting dinner later. We also made a reservation for lunch on Monday, for "some time between 12:45 and 2pm". Ah, Italy.

I think we almost cancelled lunch for some reason or another on Monday, and man what a mistake that would have been. They called us twice to make sure we were still coming, so we should've known this was something not to miss.

We show up and start walking towards the place where we'd bought the fish on Saturday, but the parking attendant yells to us "you're going the wrong way", and points towards a series of bridges leading towards the water.

I think the beauty of it all was heightened by the fact that we had no idea where we were going. There were no signs, no people, no indication of a destination, just a dirt road leading off into the distance. And other than our own footsteps and the rustling of marsh grass in the breeze...no sound.

So we just kind of ambled through their beautiful, silent aquaculture installations and the surrounding dunes, carried along by a warm and toasty sea breeze, until we ended up standing in front of a wooden pavilion.

You go inside to a mostly-full restaurant and sit down for a three-hour lunch. Fried cuttlefish ravioli, octopus salad, polpette di spigola, mackerel in vinaigrette, anguilla alla marinara, bottarga, steamed mussels, charcoal-grilled dorade, scampi, fritto misto with whiting and calamari...they just kept bringing surprises until you explode. Then they bring you a limoncello sorbet.

All this, plus wine, for...€30 euro per person.

Then you walk back to your car, a bit more slowly now, and prepare to nap.

1 comment:

Klary Koopmans said...

that looks so wonderful. sun. blue. fish. tan. kitties. booze. more, please.