10 recent Rome dining experiences
Between social gatherings and friends being in town, as usual, I’ve had my fair share of eating out over the past few weeks.
While returning to some old faves, I also checked out a few new places which is always nice.
Here’s a round-up of 10 of my most recent experiences – all good, some downright amazing!
(Of course La Pergola doesn’t make this list with a well deserved dedicated post last week)
Porto Fluviale (Ostiense)
Located in Ostiense this place has been the talk of the town of late. With a light, open warehouse style look here you can enjoy everything from aperitivo and snacks to pizza. While I wasn’t completely wowed by the food, I loved the (very cute) wait staff and the atmosphere and that’s enough for me to return. The focaccia with speck and burrata could also lure me back!
This latest joint venture between famed Glass chef Cristina Bowerman and the Roscioli brothers (of Forno and Salumeria / Enoteca Roscioli) will captivate you from the get-go with it’s uber modern fit out and bakery and salumi section entrance. Bringing together two of Rome’s best, the concept is ‘chef’ and ‘baker’. I enjoyed the spiced beef carpaccio served with polenta and seasonal roman puntarelle (like an endive) and the coppa (cured pork) with fresh ginger.
Osteria Fernanda (Trastevere)
This is casual fine dining in Trastevere without the price tag. Their degustation menus of 3-4 courses range from €30-€50. I have dined here for both lunch and dinner and continue to be impressed. Try the amatriciana – you won’t regret it and the ricotta in kataifi pastry is just divine. Also loved the grilled calamari and the delicious tiramisu is made to order.
Becoming my favourite Trastevere special occasion restaurant and with it’s Michelin star in hand, Glass never fails to impress. The amuse bouche was a fresh beetroot carpaccio with pecorino and orange. I loved the beef tartare so much the first time I dined here that I couldn’t help but order it again! I could have cried when I finished my risotto with black truffle but was consoled by the homemade breads that came round constantly – my favourites were the corn and the black squid roll. While the food here is plain faultless, being a sweettooth at heart, I really love the desserts that are presented like works of art and the complimentary petit sweets are also phenomenal.
Aroma, Palazzo Manfredi (Celio)
While the food was of course good quality, I would return here only to impress someone – as I did with visiting friends from oz last week. The view here – unobstructed of the Colosseum – is beyond spectacular. I enjoyed my main course of homemade ravioli stuffed with baccala (cod) and a pesto sauce but in all honesty it just couldn’t distract me from the view – the ever beautiful illuminated colosseum seems so close you could touch it.
Fish Market (Trastevere)
I like to call this place a casual cheap seafood eat. It’s not many places around town (or anywhere really) where you can dine on a couple of courses of fish for under €15. In the evenings you need to get here early – doors open at 19:30 and it’s first in, best dressed. You mark what you want on your paper menu with a pencil and bring to the register to pay (where you can order your wine too). Everything from the tuna tartare to fish burgers to fried calamari and prawns in cartoccio (paper cones) is great.
Da Enzo (Trastevere)
Just about hands down my favourite trattoria in Trastevere (if not Rome) this is where I come for authentic carbonara that is to die for. Not to mention a burrata d’Andria (from puglia) that is beyond creamy and the size of a small money bag and amazing carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style fried artichokes) and fiori di zucca (stuffed fried zucchini flowers) …and the dessert.. Oh the dessert. Simple yet amazing. A small glass filled with marscapone mousse and topped with baby strawberries. The lamb and meatballs are also fantastic and the tiramisu with a Nutella surprise not bad either! 🙂
Osteria der Belli (Trastevere)
I dare people to say there isn’t anywhere good to eat cucina romana in Trastevere. Try Osteria der Belli! Even with Sardinian influences, this trattoria could not be more Roman if it tried. Perhaps overlooked by foodies because of it’s proximity to Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, I’ve had many Romans who know their food recommend this place and it’s fast become my new local. The homemade ricotta ravioli served with a tomato sauce turned pink with a touch of cream are delicious and I always start with the carpaccio di spigola. The gnochetti sardi and the homemade egg fettuccine with mushrooms are great too as are their seafood mains, like scampi alla griglia.
Da Danilo (Esquilino)
I’m not sure if it’s Gambero Rosso but there’s a Top 10 Carbonara in Rome list going around and Da Danilo is on it! Finally tried the carbonara a few weeks back and wasn’t disappointed. It was nice to have it served with spaghetti (Romans argue over whether it should be served with spaghetti or rigatoni and while I’ve become accustomed to rigatoni, this was a nice change). Cacio e Pepe here is served out of a massive pecorino wheel and I enjoyed my dessert of mille foglie (Mille Feuille) with strawberries too.
Ai Marmi (Trastevere)
Still my local favourite for pizza. While I usually stick to my usual pork sausage and zucchini flowers pizza, I recently tried the classic margherita and prosciutto as well as the speck and gorgonzola. Their fritti are also great – especially the baccala (fried salt cod) and stuffed zucchini flower. I often take visiting friends here for a real-deal pizza and they never let me down. The service is classically Roman and you will most likely be sitting elbow to elbow with other diners but that’s the true fun of it!
Well until I eat again,
Signing off from Trastevere