We’re still living in a hotel, so there’s no cooking going on in casa nostra (our house) … so we’ve been trying to find some good restaurants, while we’re being forced to eat out anyway. A few nights ago we went for atmosphere and ended up having a terrible and overpriced dinner in a great atmosphere by the Pantheon. Reluctant to end up there again, we purchased the Zagat’s Guide of Rome, Il Gambero Rosso. We carefully chose a restaurant for tonight’s dinner, and then failed spectacularly when it didn’t exist, and every other restaurant within reasonable walking distance had either received a terrible review or was closed on Mondays. (or Mondays and Sundays, or the whole month of August??).
Ok, Plan B. Pick a random restaurant that we pass that seems appealing. <sarcasm>Because that has worked sooo well in the past.</sarcasm> Something on a quiet street … outside tables … small menu …(turns out big menu doesn’t mean more good food, it means more different pastas with the same sauce). We got lucky, and we absolutely hit a pot of Gold tonight. (Albeit an expensive pot of gold …) Great service, fantastic food. I ordered some sort of eggplant & mozzarella concoction, mostly because people keep telling me to order what’s in season (eggplant, apparently) and because I <3 mozzarella di bufala.
aMAZing. yeah. It was mozzarella baked inside eggplant slices with a little bit of amazing tomato sauce with fantastically fresh tomatoes. (They even passed Ryan’s fresh test … and he eats things off the vine.)
Black truffles with Tagliatelli …
I recall some pine nuts …
It was really pretty great. *sigh* This is the kind of Roman evening that one fantasizes about.
Oh, and a (mildly unrelated) word to the wise: If you are a served a meal at a restaurant in Rome, expect to be charged for ‘Pane’ or ‘Pane e Coperto’. Technically it says ‘bread’, but really it’s a cover charge. They’re not trying to pull the wool over your eyes, all of the italians expect this charge … you should too. Pretend it’s part of the tip or something. There was an awkward situation with an angry american woman upset about being charged for bread that she didn’t order. In the US, it’s a perfectly valid point … in Italy, not so much.