Saturday, May 23, 2015

Back to Perilli

Via Viale Pamphily, Rome, May 23, 2015—
WE HADN'T KNOWN YESTERDAY when we decided to lunch at Perilli that tonight's dinner had already been reserved there — a family affair in honor of our granddaughter's graduation from the American University in Rome. There were six of us at table, three generations; we arrived a little late, about quarter of ten; and we were welcomed with very friendly hospitality.

I ate simply: an artichoke alla romana , a plate of spaghetti carbonara; another of fave with guanciale; zabaglione for dessert. Others ventured further into the menu; we were all more than content.

The artichoke was delicious, and I asked the waiter about its flavor. C'e cotto con timo ? Is it cooked with thyme? No, signore; mentuccia. In a flash he was back with a small saucer on which lay a spray of catmint and a small bowl of chopped ordinary mint. Considerable discussion ensued. It's a nepeta, says Wikipedia, who kindly provided this photo; and it's selvaggio , wild, said our waiter — another roadside botanical contributing to the rich and locally specific Italian kitchen, like the silex that flavored a memorable risotto four years ago.

We were too much immersed in family and in celebration for me to think of taking photographs; I'll refer you to yesterday's — which as it happens shows the precise table we occupied well into the night.

white and red in carafe
•Perilli a Testaccio, Via Marmorata, 39, Roma; 06 575 5100
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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