We are in Rome for the month of May staying in an apartment overlooking the Campo dei Fiori. I am trying to repay Chowhounds for all of the advice that I have received in the past so check my user name for other posts.
We have had friends with us for our first week in Rome and had been planning an outing to the Jerry Thomas speakeasy before we left home. We passed by a restaurant around the corner from the Campo during our wandering and thought it looked interesting so decided to book for the next evening as it was on the way to our reservations at Jerry Thomas. The restaurant was Taverna Lucifero. The ambiance was nice and the host was a treat but the menu did now wow me at first glance: fondue, truffles, but nothing that jumped out.
The jovial host told us the specials of the day a little too fast to comprehend but on second pass we ordered the artichoke flan with cheese sauce to share between the four of us. The next thing we knew we had two flans and a plate of grilled vegetables on the table. We managed to finish it all!
We also thought it a little strange that instead of a wine list you go with host to the wine room to pick out your wine but this worked out fine and two separate trips brought us excellent pairings for our appetizers and main courses.
My husband ordered the over easy eggs with truffles and a side of asparagus. The host shaves the truffles at the table and it was a very generous portion though not overpowering. (I am not up on truffles so maybe a lesser variety?) I had the beef carpaccio with arugula and Parmesan and it was everything that dish should be and more than I could finish. Our friends has veal with a side of potatoes and they were both good.
We were trying to get finished and paid in time to meet our reserve time for Jerry Thomas so skipped dessert but the host brought by cookies, meringues and dessert wine gratis so that we wouldn't go on our way without another drink and something sweet!
We will definitely visit Lucifero again. The room was filled with locals, most of whom seemed to know the host. I would suggest going and enjoying the the jovial, Santa-ish host and trusting in his suggestions. Just sit back and let it flow! I believe that our total bill was around euro180.
Now, Jerry Thomas.... I had been looking forward to this for months, ever since a mention in Garden and Gun. I made sure I figured out the password and made our reservation. It has no signage on the street so we trusted our friend GoogleMaps! Dark interior, comfortable couch seating, throw back bartenders and interesting drinks. It reminded me of the Belmont in Charleston but on steroids. My only regret was that we were not seated at the bar to watch the artistry of the bartenders!
We are planning a return trip to Lucifero and Jerry Thomas when our daughter comes in this week!
As an aside, we were strolling back to our apartment after Jerry Thomas and passed by Lucifero. The big, jolly bear of a host saw us from the window, smiled and gave us a thumbs up. I feel like we have made another new friend in Italy!
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