Via Gaetano Sacchi, Rome; January 22, 2013—WHAT! TWICE TO THE SAME place in one day?
Well, there were extenuating circumstances. We are here in Rome with two sets of friends, R. and M. from Verona; H. and A. from Apeldoorn. The former arrived two days ago; the latter, this afternoon.
We moved the former from our apartment into their hotel this morning. Where to lunch afterward? I asked a woman on the street, obviously a local, bent on her shopping expedition: c'e in vicino una trattoria abbastanze buono? Si, signor, non una strada ma due, dopo alla destra…
So we continued not one street but two, and turned to the right, and found ourselves confronting a seated man, serious-looking, hatted, newspaper in hands. Is the kitchen good here, I asked. Yes, the man answered, It is my wife will cook your meal.
Inside there were many paintings on the walls, some as big as the walls, say four feet — three, anyway — by six or eight. Two or three dining rooms. A maître d' who smiled us without falsity to a table.
I had a quite acceptable spaghetti carbonara, one of the tests of a Roman kitchen; L. had spaghetti caccio e pepe, ditto; a green salad afterward, basta così e grazie.
THEN, TONIGHT, with all four of our friends, back again. Since I'd had pasta for lunch, no pasta tonight: instead, this fine Saltimbocca alla romana, a little gluey, that raw tomato apparently irrelevant and not attempted, but a good meal nonetheless, with a nice artichoke to warm up.
White and red dalla casa
• Alle Fratte di Trastevere, Via delle Fratte di Trastevere, Roma; +39.06.58.35.775