Vicolo Savelli 12 (near Piazza Navona)
Pretty good thin crust pizza with quality toppings. The crust was a little cracker-like for my taste. I prefer the crispy/crunchy middle ground of something like Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn. This was also my first realization that the fresh mozzarella in Italy has a bit less moisture than the fresh mozzarella I’ve had in the US. When melted on pizza, the texture is somewhere between the fresh and regular mozarella I’m used to.
Dinner for 2 including tip – 20 euros
Piazza delle Cinque Scole, 30 (Ghetto)
This is a tiny place in the Jewish Ghetto without a sign. We first tried to go on Sunday after reading that they closed on Mondays, but they had new hours posted on the door and were now closed on Sundays. I’d call first. I think this place technically a private club. Something about the fire code. So you have to fill out a (free) membership card if it’s your first time there. They sat the two of us at a table for four, but asked that we sit against the wall in case they needed to seat another party of two with us. Like I said, it’s a small place, but we ended up having the table to ourselves the whole time. We started with a carciofo alla giudea – a fried artichoke “in the Jewish style”. Being quite the artichoke fan, I’d been looking forward to trying this Roman Jewish specialty, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The heart was great, but the leaves were pretty tough. I would have thought they’d have used a younger artichoke with more tender leaves. After the artichoke, we split agnolotti con sugo di carne (meat-filled ravioli with meat sauce). The pasta was delicious. Then a mixed salad with very bitter greens (typical in Italy) and excellent tomatoes (also typical in Italy). For desert, we ordered what we thought was just a bowl of peaches that the man at the next table was eating. It turned out that they were soaked in grappa, and would probably have been good if you were into that sort of thing.
Lunch for 2 including tip – 29 euros.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie 2/a (near the Vatican Museum)
The best gelato we had in Rome.
Via del Leone 2/4
A typical (I’m told) Roman Osteria with great atmosphere and service and terrific food. We started with a plate of juicy, fresh tomatoes. For primi, the waiter recommended the Tagliatelli alla Tartufi (egg pasta with black tuffles) and Fettucine alla Romana. The fettucine was very good, with a meat sauce of chicken liver and beef. Not a ton of liver, just enough to give it that little extra something. The pasta with truffles was transcendent, with a very light sauce (maybe just oil even), that let the truffle flavor stand out. After that, we split a crispy, succulent piece of roast lamb with roast potatoes. Both the lamb and the potatoes were moist (and in the case of the potatoes, creamy) inside, crispy outside. Unbelievable. For desert, my wife had a huge slice of watermelon and I had a small bowl of the tiniest strawberries you’ve ever seen (“fragiolini”) with a not too sweet vanilla gelato. The strawberries, which were pretty tart, went great with the gelato. This meal was awesome.
Dinner for 2 including tip – 63 euros
Via Frattina, 94
I got the name of this enoteca out of the Slow Food guide. It was way too trendy for my taste. The food was only so-so and quite forgettable. In fact, I’ve forgotten most of what we ate there. I do remember some somewhat dry chicken with a mildly spicy pepper sauce. This is probably a decent place for a glass of wine and a snack, though.