Thursday, 25 September 2014

Roman Holiday Part II

Ragno D’Oro is located a short walk from St Peter’s square, but far enough take away any worries that you might be walking into a tourist trap. The name translates as Golden Spider, according to Google translate. We started with a very Roman selection of appetisers- fried courgette flowers, a globe artichoke to share and salt cod fritters, as well as some prosciutto and focaccia. I enjoyed it all, and despite the high proportion of deep-fried items, it didn’t feel too heavy.

To follow, I had a risotto alla crema di scampi, and Adam had spaghetti al frutto di mare. They were both gorgeous, but exceptionally rich- Adam struggled to finish his spaghetti due to the sheer quantity of butter in the dish. I found my risotto more manageable, but then I do have a love of fatty and dairy laden food.

Like the previous night, we didn’t have dessert at the restaurant, but went to a gelateria. This time we went to Fatamorgana, which is in the Prati area. They have a large selection of flavours, including a chocolate a tobacco concoction called ‘Kentucky’. Sticking to the rich food theme, I had a scoop of Venezuelan chocolate and a scoop of gianduja, whereas Adam went for a lighter option of strawberry and lemon sorbets.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Roman Holiday: Part I

I've just come home from my fourth trip to Rome, it's been my best trip there so far for a number of reasons, one of which was the food. Any holiday I take I centres around food as much as possible, and this time I was with my partner who is as interested in eating as much as I am, and doesn't seem to mind searching for the nicest looking deli or pasticceria, even if it is 11am and we haven't had breakfast yet.

Our first meal was surprisingly good- I say surprisingly because it was at about 3pm on a Sunday, and most places that aren't tourist traps would be closed at this time. We ended up stopping at the first place that was actually open, which looked unassuming, but turned out to serve very decent, simple food- I had a very tasty bucatini all'amatriciana, and Adam had spaghetti alle vongole. Unfortunately, my head wasn't really in food critic mode, I was too hungry and too tired from the trip to really assess what I was eating, or take down the name of the restaurant.

A nap and a walk into the centre of the city later, we were ready for our next meal. This time we could be more discerning where we went, as the restaurants had re-opened for evening service.  We found ourselves at Da Baffetto, which is a very popular pizzeria with both locals and tourists. It seems to make an appearance in every travel guide to Rome, and in every list of top 10 pizzerias in the city. We joined a queue for a table, where I could take some pictures of the exterior:

The queue moved quickly, and were seated right next to the wood burning oven- not great from a comfort perspective-it was a very warm evening-but watching the 3 chefs prepare the pizzas was good entertainment.

The pizza was as Roman pizza should be- thin, crispy and slightly blistered from the oven.
We didn't stay for pudding, instead continued our walk, stopping of for gelato at Cremaria Monteforte, which is a few moments away from the Pantheon. I went for a rather Middle-Eastern inspired combination of rose and pistachio ice creams, and Adam opted for lemon sorbet.

The rose ice-cream was delicious, flavoursome without reminding me of bath products, which rose flavoured things often do.