Wednesday, November 12, 2008

La Taverna dei Monti

Via Corsini, Rome, Nov. 12—

WE SAW AN EXHAUSTING exhibition of Bellini paintings today, spending nearly four hours on two floors of the Scuderie — what a show! But it's eating, the subject here: I asked an attendant in the museum if there might be a good restaurant in the area; she thought for a moment, then said that all the nearby restaurants were fast-food or tourist affairs, but that one, Jubileo, wasn't far off, and was good.
Off we go then, in gathering rain, looking for the Via del Boschetto off the Via Nazionale. I ran ahead, thinking restaurants would surely be ending service by now and I'd best poke a head in and reserve. We didn't have an address or a phone number. I poked my head in the first place I came to, an empty but inviting place, but saw a name on the doormat that wasn't Jubileo. This isn't Jubileo, I said aloud, more to myself than anyone (but in Italian): No: further down, on the corner, an invisible voice answered.
I hurried down to the corner and found Jubileo. The door stood open, so I walked in, then through a number of pretty damn fancy dining rooms, past bars and bus stations, calling out from time to time: Nessuno? nessuno?
No answer, so I went back to the first place. Can four of us get something to eat? No problem, came the inviting answer. We ordered off the menu, just a pasta course and a side dish. Everyone had gnocchi but me; I had spaghetti caccia e peppe, apparently house-made spaghetti, very nicely dressed with grated cheese and black pepper; on the side, spinach in olive oil with a half lemon. Delizioso; and the others said their gnocchi was also very good.
Bianco da tavola, 2007
La Taverna dei Monti, 41, via del Boscchetto; tel. 06 4817724

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