A LATE START and a quick ramble to the Campo de' Fiori, where I had my hair cut by a favorite barber, and then lunch in the remarkable inside room at Roscioli. There's a three-sided counter open at the end facing the bar; I suppose each side has room for five, maybe six high stools. It was so late we basically ate alone.
The room is severe and seductive, black, magically lit; the bar a marvelous still life of luminous bottles — an alchemist's laboratory.
The contessa and I each ordered the Niçoise, here called Nizzarda: potatoes, tiny tomatoes, green beans, artichoke, tuna, hard-cooked egg, anchovies, olives and capers — and, of course, lettuce. As you see one might object to the expertise behind the hard-boiled egg, but the salad was generous and well balanced.
Before it, a delightful amuse-guele: a tiny piece of cracker, let's call it, with soft ricotta and tiny tomato and honey.
Pecorino, Castello di Semivicoli - Masciarelli (Abruzzi), 2015: fruity and pleasant
•Roscioli Caffè, Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 16, Rome; +39 06 89165330