If you want a dining experience that you can only find in Italy, you must look a little off the beaten path. So many of the restaurants in or near the tourist traps simply serve the food that can be found at an Olive Garden here in America. They are overpriced and the food undoubtedly comes out of a can or a box. I guess my point is, do not go into a little local place such as this one and expect a gourmet, American style Italian meal. You won't get one. What you will get is a truly authentic experience with the types of food that the locals eat prepared the way it was meant to be prepared.
I was bound and determined to find such places while visiting Rome. I stumbled upon this one on a side street in Trastevere and was intrigued by the number of locals I saw sitting outside of the restaurant which is, to me, always a good sign. I greeted the host in Italian before inquiring if he spoke English, also in Italian. He beamed and replied that he did and quickly had me at my table with water and wine served in about 3 minutes. Throughout the course of the meal, I spoke with a few of the other waiters in scattered Italian wanting to know what they recommended, what certain dishes were, etc. They were all very friendly and readily answered all of my questions.
The food itself was very good. No, it was not gourmet and I think that's what I liked about it. It was a nice, simple, well prepared Italian meal that didn't try to push too many exotic flavors in one dish. True Italian cooking is characterized by its simplicity and use of very few ingredients which is why the restaurants that use recipes with a huge ingredient list tend to not taste as authentic to me. The pasta was as it should be: not mushy but a little bit firm and springy. The meat was cooked perfectly and all of the portions were perfect sized. The bruschetta was crispy and the topping was not overly salty which was a strike that the restaurant I had dined at the previous night had against it.
With the overall feel of the restaurant, the friendliness and promptness of the servers, and the reasonable prices of the menu items, I would not hesitate to highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Rome. It truly was one of my favorite dining experiences that I have ever had in Europe.
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