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