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Meet Antonio Gallo and Pietro Vardeu of Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante in South Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Antonio Gallo and Pietro Vardeu.

Antonio and Pietro have known each other for a long time when they both worked at other projects. Pietro was the F&B Director for Graspa Group, the masterminds behind TIramisu and Segafredo and Antonio was managing Ago at The Shore Club. In 2004, the opportunity came to open a restaurant focusing on the Sardinian fare, since Chef Pietro is from the island. The location found was in Sunset Harbour, which at the time was an industrial area in South Beach not known and not commercially popular. However, they decided to go for it, even when friends and other people told them the area was not good. In 2006 Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante opened and quickly became a popular spot serving authentic Italian food and an incredible wine list.

Rave reviews from national publications including Food & Wine, New York Times, Zagat, Bon Appetit, and USA Today, as well as consistently strong local reviews from South Florida media, have made the restaurant a Miami favorite. Sardinia has been featured on the television shows “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on The Food Network; “Check Please! South Florida,” and “After Hours with Daniel Boulud.” Chef Pietro was also invited three times, to cook Sardinian dishes, by The James Beard Foundation.

Today, after 13 years of establishment, Sardinia Ristorante still enjoys popularity amongst locals.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road but it’s what makes the team stronger. Opening the place took one year, between construction and permits. Then in 2014, the City of Miami Beach decided to raise the sidewalk in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood due to constant flooding of the area when it rained. This construction lasted two years which resulted in the businesses losing clients because at times you couldn’t access the area. It was very hard for us and everyone in theSunset Harbour neighborhood because no incentives were given by the city and so much business was lost. Some businesses had to close. Our team is very grateful to the loyal clientele that was supporting us through those times. Like in every business, there are hard times but our team tries to make the best of it and learn from the experience.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante has distinguished itself by serving mouthwatering Sardinian cuisine reflective of the glittering home island of the chef and co-owner, Pietro Vardeu. Most of the meat and fish are prepared in the signature Wood Burning Oven. Sardinian meals are centered around delicious, rustic fare, including a variety of house-made cheeses and flat bread, wonderful fresh fish and seafood, innovative beef and lamb dishes, hearty grains and fresh vegetables, and plenty of fresh pasta dishes including fregola. What sets Sardinia apart from other Italian restaurants beside the authentic Italian fare, is that its also an Enoteca, a wine repository–and the owners have put together an impressive wine list of almost 300 labels.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost the employees that make up our team from the kitchen to the floor. Also behind the scenes, our marketing director, our office manager, our family for always supporting us and of course the clientele who have always been here for us and thanks to them we have been in business for 13 years. Everyone involved in one way or the other has been crucial to our success. We are grateful that some of our employees have been with us since we open in 2006.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Restaurant pictures by Niels Johansen and Food and Onwers pictures by Libby Volgyes

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