I’ll be the first to admit that Trastevere is packed full of tourist-trap restaurants. Places that are charging a fortune for less than mediocre food, mostly trying to pass it off for cucina romana.
There are also some real gems in the neighbourhood. I should know! I’ve been living in this lively quartiere for over four years and spent most of my time trying to find them. In fact I list many of them right here.
Tonight’s experience was no exception. La Tavernaccia da Bruno is located in the area between Porta Portese, Trastevere Station and Piazza della Radio. A long way away from the rose and selfie stick sellers of the commercial heart of Trastevere. Opened in 1968 by Bruno Perisiani (of Umbrian descent), his daughters Patrizia and Paola (and a friendly and dedicated group of staff) now run the place.
At 10pm on a weekday, you may even have to wait for a table as locals fill the joint, devouring plates from the true cucina romana repertoire like rigatoni con la pajata (a sauce made from the pan-fried intestines of unweaned baby calves), coda alla vaccinara (braised oxtail) and all the staples like amatriciana and carbonara.
We feasted on bruschetta with lardo and honey to start, accompanied by a pecorino and goats cheese platter (all local Lazio produce). Followed by gnocchi with mutton ragù (it’s gnocchi day on Thursdays in Rome!) and la gricia (basically a carbonara without egg or an amatriciana without tomato – whichever way you prefer to describe it!). We just, just fit in a dessert – only because they are all homemade and the millefoglie with Chantilly cream came highly recommended by our waiter.
The menu here is updated seasonally, is printed on paper and the wine list has something for everyone.
This was my first time at La Tavernaccia da Bruno. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll soon be a regular around here.
Signing off from Trastevere,
La Tavernaccia da Bruno (Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese 63, ph: 06 5812792. Bookings recommended)4