YORK restaurateur Paolo Silesu is changing things up at his popular Sardinian restaurant by launching a tasting menu full of the flavours of home.

Paolo, who runs Il Paradiso Del Cibo, in Walmgate, unveiled the new menu to a team of food writers this week, and invited The Press along to give its verdict.

The evening began with an aperitivo - a lurid red-orange Campari con Vernaccia, fragrant and bitter tasting, it certainly cleared the palate for what was to come.

Plates of Sardinian bread and a platter laden with Sardinian cheese, cured meats and olives the size of eyeballs were a welcome starter.

"Don't eat too much bread - there is a lot more to come," warned our generous host.

The tasting menu, which launches on Monday, comprises of six courses and costs £55, or £70 when paired with wine. It is for a minimum of two people; the price is per person.

York Press: Sharing platter of mixed meats and cheeseSharing platter of mixed meats and cheese

Paolo also runs a sister restaurant in Sutton on the Forest (he sold his Leeds eaterie last February). The tasting menu is only available in the Walmgate restaurant.

Next up was the seafood: sharing bowls of mussels and clams in tomato, garlic and Vernaccia wine and a giant plate of large king prawns, with blackened shells, and sweet, succulent flesh full of the favours of summer - rosemary, lemon and tomatoes.

It was a messy, but fun business, de-shelling them, and even more enjoyable when washed down with a glass of lovely Italian white.

By now it was time for the "Primi piatti" - an impressive parcel of black pasta (made with squid ink) and filled with a moreish meld of white fish, prawns and mussels in a luxurious lobster bisque. Wow.

The level continued at impressive with the follow up: "malloreddus al ragù di agnello", tiny shells of hand-made Sardinian pasta tossed with a classic lamb ragu, finished with a potato, pecorino and saffron foam.

York Press: Paolo at Il Paradiso in WalmgatePaolo at Il Paradiso in Walmgate

By now, we were on the red wine and enjoyed a rest before the traditional "Secondi" dish - a choice of meat or fish. We enjoyed "porchetta al mirto", a melt-in-the-mouth piece of slow roasted, young, free-range pig fed mainly on a diet of milk, acorn and sweet corn. Paolo told us that once it is cooked, it is left to infuse on a bed made of branches of mirto berries. It came with a serving of braised baby broad beans "to cut through the fat" and was utterly lovely.

The fish was oven roasted sea bream, cooked to perfection and with every bone removed, we were reliably informed.

We didn't try dessert, but make sure you leave room for a choice of "seadas" - a light pastry parcel filled with fresh cheese and orange zest and served with mountain wild honey or saffron orange and dark chocolate panna cotta made with ewe fresh cream.

To finish, enjoy a coffee with a chilled limoncello.

Paolo says the menu will change seasonally.

For more information, visit: www.paradisodelcibo.uk