Im going to try to see if this photo story format works better - the pictures (though admittedly not all that good) were displaying very strangely on my first thread for this visit.
Wednesday (new Years Eve) the city was still in the deepfreeze and the breeze was stiff but it was son’s last day and he wanted to visit Ostia Antica so we did. Cold but fascinating with the possibility of making discoveries which we enjoyed. We warmed up in their newish cafeteria but decided to return to the city for lunch.
FLAVIO AL VELAVEVODETTO was convenient to the Ostiense station and open. This was a repeat visit for Jim and me. Still friendly welcome servings ample. I would say that the standard of cooking is quite good but this visit confirmed my view it is a step below the others we frequent (maybe the Prato place is a little better?) or maybe I was just jaded by this point?
For primi, son had a rigatoni carbonara which he liked, my spaghetti cacio e pepe was acceptable but unexciting – when this dish can be really really good. Daughter had Flavio’s take on the carciofi/gricia dish – here the pieces of artichoke were fried and the dish was not mushy but I was still not sold, though she liked it and the guanciale was not as overcooked as on our last visit. Husband’s ravioli with tomato sauce, fresh marjoram and a dollop of delicious ricotta was the best first course, maybe a bit too much marjoram.
For the secondi we had two orders of rabbit labelled cacciatori, alla romana or whatever – it was cooked with white wine and tomato). Very good dish, and so ample that we had almost a whole serving to carry home. I had the carciofi alla giuda, and found it a bit disappointing not crispy enough in texture and did not finish. As on our last visit, their cicoria is at the very spicy end of the spectrum, not my favorite rendition but at least not dry and acrid this time.
We also had Flavio's beef balls – the frying was good but the interior texture (ground rather than shredded, I think) and seasoning were both inferior to the Cesare rendition. We ordered the burrata with anchovies. The burrata, which was intrinsically very nice, was served extremely cold on a slice of dark bread or toast, with an anchovy laid on top. From my perspective the anchovy did nothing for the burrata, and the cold temperature suppressed both the flavor and the creamy texture.
The room of course is special with the layered amphorae visible in the back wall. I like the opportunity to choose a wine from their large display but family opted for the house carafe on this occasion and it was rather warmer than it should have been.