Experience delicious, authentic Italian cuisine at Arco Cafe. Our food is rooted in the traditions of the island of Sardinia, the first-ever declared blue zone, known for health and longevity. Every dish is homemade using the freshest ingredients to provide you with a taste of the Mediterranean without traveling too far from home.
The costliest spice in the world, saffron, thrives in Sardinia. Prized for its intense flavor and beautiful color, saffron has been used in cooking since before time immemorial.
Once a year, stigmas (the female part of the flower) from Crocus sativus, are hand-harvested and dried. It takes hundreds of plants to yield small amounts of the spice, which is why it is so expensive. Saffron adds aroma, taste, and color to dishes like our ragu Campidanese.
Nutritional Value of Saffron
Saffron also has other benefits. In ancient times, saffron was used for medicinal purposes. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. A powerful antioxidant, saffron has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and could potentially help reduce the risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that saffron may help improve cognitive function and contains mood-boosting properties. No wonder it’s nicknamed the “sunshine spice”!
Saffron is one of the ingredients often used in Sardinian cuisines, and we use it in many dishes here at Arco Cafe. Whether it’s your first time having Sardinian food or you are a foodie on the hunt for the best Sardinian flavors, we’ll guide you to our saffron-infused sauces.
Popular Menu Items with Saffron
Our expansive menu features a wide range of Sardinian specialties from housemade pasta to seafood. Malloreddos, one of our popular pasta dishes, is served with sausage, in a tomato sauce, sparked saffron. This shell-shaped pasta is quintessentially Sardinian, and is made simply with semolina flour (whole wheat or refined), water and salt.
Why Choose Arco Cafe?
Taste the authentic flavors of the Italian region of Sardinia without buying a plane ticket when you dine with us on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We believe you’ll become a fan of Sardinian cuisine once you try our flavorful dishes including always-homemade pasta and sauces to locally sourced meat.
We founded Arco Cafe to give both visitors and local New Yorkers a chance to experience authentic Sardinian Italian cuisine in our cozy restaurant. Have a chat with our staff, let us know your dietary preferences, and feel free to ask any questions. We’re more than happy to share the story behind our food and our culture.