Tutti a tavola~

When in Rome…

In a little more than a week, we will be in Rome and, although there are many reasons to be excited about going to Rome, the one thing that I look forward to the most is EATING in Rome. For me, the excitement of eating in Rome is more than the meal itself. It is the hunt for a ristorante–restaurant–tucked out of the way enough that we end up being the only Americans in the place.

I am not exactly sure why I enjoy that feeling, maybe it is the notion of being secluded by one’s own language (although it seems that just about everyone in Rome speaks English). If we find a restaurant where the host or proprietress does not speak English, then I really feel like we have discovered a hidden treasure. It forces me to use my Italian–infantile as it is–and it also adds to the “flavor” of being in a foreign land and enjoying the local cuisine.

Here are some of our favorite ristoranti in Rome. Ristoranti so cherished that just by mentioning their names I grin wide–and salivate. Each of these ristoranti has a completely unique feel, some are more upscale (true ristorante), while others are more working class (trattoria) and one is a wine bar (enoteca). We have favorite dishes at some of these ristoranti and I will try to mention the dishes we look forward to eating there. These establishments don’t have websites, but I have no doubt you can hunt online and find reviews and more information.

Here’s the list:

Trattoria da Settimio all’Arancio
Via dell’Arancio, 50
*wonderful fresh gnocchi in a basil cream sauce.

La Carbonara
Piazza Campo dei Fiori, 23
*the photo above is of their antipasti buffet as you first walk into the restaurant. It is a definite must have.

Hosteria Cannavota
Piazza San Giovani in Laterno, 20
*Enjoyed a plate of wonderfully spicy linguine with langoustine.

Enoteca Corsi
Via del Gesu’
*a wonderful place in the neighborhood surrounding the Pantheon to stop and enjoy a great glass of wine and some simple family dishes.

Osertia dell’Angelo
Via G. Bettola, 24
*north of the Vatican and tucked away in the Prati neighborhood is this rustic gem of a place. It is very old, rather rundown, and very good. I have never enjoyed rabbit more than at this restaurant. The entire meal was simple and truly amazing. I wonder whose nonna they have chained to the stove in the kitchen. It was that good.

Ristorante Monserrato
Via di Monserrato, 96
*Simple but well-appointed, their food is very good, but the reason we love it so much is for their sgroppino–a drink made with prosecco, vodka, and lemon gelato. Wow!

Via Emilio Faa’ di Bruno, 26   www.siciliainboccaweb.com
*This trattoria is tucked deep into the Prati neighborhood. They specialize in seafood–they are a Sicilian trattoria after all. I had the most sublime cold seafood salad of baby octopus, squid, and scallops in a tangy lime vinegrette. A+



About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.