Restaurant Review: Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana in Dallas

Plump clams with squid-ink-infused spaghetti; chef Francesco Farris, who learned to cook in Sardinia. Photography by Kevin Marple.

In the spring of 2005, I took a press trip to a hotel on the island of Sardinia, about 120 miles west of Italy. Forty-five seconds after the tour bus entered the walled community, I realized the property was a horrid Disneyland version of an Italian resort. It could have been in Frisco. Brand-new buildings were painted to look like ruins, and the hotel workers were dressed in various historic Italian costumes. So I planned an escape.

From my room, I called Lori Farris back in Dallas. Her husband, Efisio Farris, and his brother, Francesco Farris, then co-chefs and co-owners of Arcodoro & Pomodoro, were born and raised in Sardinia. For more than 20 years, the Farris brothers have fought to get Sardinian food the respect it deserves in Dallas. When Lori answered the phone, I asked her to help me get to Orosei, the hometown of the Farris brothers.

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