This little gem is situated in the heart of Rome, near Trevi fountain, but can easily be missed if you aren’t looking for it. After reading rave reviews on Trip Advisor about this Italian eatery which also does cooking lessons, I had to try it out.
We began the evening with a taste of dessert wine and appetizers. The wine was very sweet, but nice and reminded me of ice wine, though I’ll admit we were expecting a larger glass of it.
The appetizers were a bit… confusing. My bruschetta came out with some assembly required. I realize chefs like to make their presentation interesting but I can’t say I was a fan of digging my fingers in my bruschetta in order to spread tomato and cheese topping to all three bits of toast. While the taste was fine, I’ve had much more memorable bruschetta in Canada, and I wish the portion had been larger. (8E)
My man’s appetizer (grilled veggies with rosemary foccaccia) was fine but nothing to rave about. It definitely could have done with some sort of dipping sauce as the foccaccia just didn’t approach the amazing foccaccia we had at Grazia & Graziella. (9E)
The place where this restaurant really shines though (for me at least) was the pasta. Made fresh in-house and tossed in flavourful sauce, this is the pasta I came to Italy for! Unlike some of the other very authentic Italian restaurants, their pasta is less al-dente. (Real Italian pasta is crunchy and unpleasant to a North American palette).
Their pasta was firm, but thankfully, not crunchy and I really loved the flavours of the Amatriciana. It seemed the perfect balance between authentic Italian and North American Italian cuisine. I could eat this all day, everyday! (12E)
My better half had the seafood pasta (Spaghetti ai frutti di mare) and enjoyed it, though didn’t seem to love it as much as I loved mine. (14E)
The restaurant was quaintly decorated with old black and white photos of movie stars which gave it a lovely atmosphere, though I found the staff were quite attentive to some tables and quite absent to others (like ours). I wondered whether those that took the cooking class perhaps had friendlier service? Couldn’t quite figure that one out.
Pros: Great Amatriciana, Nice decorations, Great location, Can speak english
Cons: pricey/lacking appetizers, satisfactory service, small portions
All in all, I would skip the appetizers, go straight for the pasta, then head to San Crispino or Valentino Geleteria for some of the best gelato around.
Would I go again? For the Amatriciana, yes, in a heartbeat.