Last night I ate at a picnic table indoors. I sat on a long wooden bench stool. Had cold meats and porchetta served to me on brown paper. There was no menu. I drank wine and water out of the same glass and food was eaten on a paper plate. Then waiters and customers broke out into Roman folk songs.
The food was fantastic and I could have just about rolled out of there! But the casual atmosphere in the trendy and extra cool (or e’ molto figo as you say in Italian) neighborhood of Pigneto was just as much a highlight.
The restaurant is I Porchettoni and I was invited by friends for a Holy Thursday feast of eating and clapping!
With its name derived from the porchetta that is famously synonymous with Ariccia (just outside Rome in the Castelli Romani provinces), I Porchettoni is a replica of a fraschetta, the simple taverns that characterise this area of the Lazio countryside.
Our share meal started off with different types of salami and mortadella, mozzarella di bufala and buratta with toasted bread and olive oil. Then came out the star of the show in a brown paper bag – porchetta (it’s not called I Porchettoni for fun!) This roast pork rolled with spices was succulent, served with just the right amount of crackling and was just divine!
Full at this stage, we still couldn’t resist trying their pasta dishes so out came one of their signature plates – gnochetti with pesto and ‘nduja (a spicy pork paste that originates from Calabria) and of course a Roman favorite, cacio e pepe.
Sugar topped wine biscuits finished off the meal to perfection.
This place gets so packed but if you can’t get a table, there’s no need to worry. You can order everything off the menu at the street window counter! So basically, you can grab a quality amatriciana at the equivalent of a ‘walk up’ drive thru! I thought to myself, “And this is why I live in Italy” 🙂
Anyone visiting me anytime soon is guaranteed a visit!
Via del Pigneto 68
Signing off from Rome