Monday, November 24, 2008

Salt cod

Via Dionigi, Rome, Nov. 23—

  • Grappolo d'oro Zampanò, Piazza Cancelleria 80/84, Rome; tel. 06.6897080

  • saltcod.JPG

    Baccalà alla Romana

    NOTHING IS MORE AUTHENTICALLY Roman at the table, I think, than baccalà: salt cod. Of course it's authentically Sevillano, too, and Lisbon, and for all I know Boston. But like artichokes and puntarelle it's a Roman standby, and Lindsey hadn't had enough, and today was our last day in Rome, and it was Sunday, so off we went to another Gambero Rosso pick, Grappolo d'oro, across the street from Ditirambo where we ate a week or two ago.
    I began with a Tortino di alice, which turned out to be really quite delicious: Swiss chard at the bottom, then anchovies, then bread crumbs, the whole passed under a broiler. Raisins and pine nuts were also involved, and a bit of olive oil. A wonderful dish. Then the baccalà cooked alla Romana, lots of tomatoes and just enough raisins and pine nuts again to give the dish a whiff of the exotic. A good mixed salad finished things off, and did I mention the very good warm crusty bread?
    Bianco della casa in caraffa

    AND THEN OUR NEW favorite gelateria, nine o'clock at night after a supper of doggie-bag pizza from yesterday. The Gelateria Gracchi, on via Gracchi just off the Cicerone in Prati, has the smoothest, most consistent, truest-to-flavor gelato of any we've tried yet in Rome, and we've tried a number. Tonight I had half roast chestnut, half deep deep fondente; yesterday it was riso (Yes! Riso at last!) and crema. Excellent, extraordinary gelato; I hope we find something near its quality tomorrow in Milan...

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