Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday.

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Viale Trastevere, October 3, 2018—

WE HAVE BEEN preoccupied, as I think I've suggested, with family and festivity; and as I have not mentioned with colds and fatigue, and so I'm reduced once more to a catchup post. Sorry.

Monday we ate simply, taking the tram 3 into Testaccio to lunch on panini at a pleasant pasticceria I've always liked the looks of. Sorry about the photo; I took it offline and it is small.

     ๐ŸทBianco della casa
•Caffรจ Barberini, Via Barberini, 15, Roma ; ๐Ÿ“ž+39 06 5530 0488

In the evening we ate pizzas in front of the television, the whole family, watching our Cubs lose their tie-breaker with the Brewers. Very dispiriting, of course, and there was worse to come the next day. But man muss essen.

TUESDAY: Breakfast at our superb local pasticceria-gelateria, right next door: as usual, a croissant and two cappuccinos. Perhaps before leaving Rome I'll get around to a proper description of this place — serious but friendly, studied but du quartier, comfortable but almost austere.

Around the corner there's a supermarket, and there I had two mortadella panini made at the deli counter, serving well enough for our lunch.

IMG 1255Dinner: a farewell for Pavel, who would leave early next morning, at a local trattoria much praised by various travel sites and specialty dining blogs.

Others in our party were happier with the choice than was I, and not for having ordered differently: at least two of our party of eight had the same roast suckling pig that I ordered. Mine was charred on the outside, succulent within, difficult to get off the bone (I should have used my pocket Opinel instead of the provided "steak knife").

I liked the potatoes that came on the side, but thought the mixed vegetables mushy and lacking in character. Others disagree on this point. I should return when I'm over this cold, I suppose, but there are so many other places to try…

     ๐ŸทWhite and red, as usual house wines in carafe
•La Tavernaccia da Bruno, Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 63, Roma; ๐Ÿ“ž +39 06 581 2792

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WEDNESDAY: Now we're talking: Lunch at a very favorite spot, discovered last time we were here. I almost wished it had been raining; the dining room is elegant and comfortable. But the terrace is equally comfortable, and the secluded piazza, through which we saw no vehicular traffic the hours we were at table, is lined with interesting, picturesque buildings — no one could complain about outside seating here.

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On our last visit I was struck by the complexity and flavor of the tortino di baccalร  e patate; I ordered it again today. It was beautiful.

Grace, conveniently on my left, offered me a few bites of her carciofi alla giudia, crunchy fried-and-flattened artichokes: this is I think the definitive version: you can't find them better.

My main course was tonarelli carbonara. Piperno is justly proud of its pasta, all made in house of course, and this carbonara was marvelous, balanced and unctuous. I forgot to photograph it, of course: too bad, as the egg yolk was particularly photogenic, even though well mixed into the pasta.

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I did however photograph the dessert, a crostata di visciole, a traditional Jewish cherry tart — did I mention that we're in the Ghetto? — as notable for its beautifully made pastry as its deep, very flavorful fruit jam. I'd have loved a grappa after this dessert, but it's midday…

     ๐ŸทRibolla Gialla, Vinnae (Jermann), 2017, a lovely wine; and a glass of Tuscan red

•Piperno Ristorante dal 1860, Via Monte dรจ Cenci, 9, Roma; ๐Ÿ“ž+39 06 6880 6629

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And this evening I went out alone, the Contessa having adequately nourished herself at Piperno, for a modest plate of gnocchi alla romana al pomodoro e basilico at a neighborhood bistro-wine bar across the street from the railroad station.

As you'd expect from the location, the place was casual and tending toward hip, and the pasta could in truth have been better, ditto the sauce. But it was satisfactory, and my plate of mixed grilled vegetables — eggplant, zucchini, and peppers — was better, I thought, than those of the previous evening.

     ๐ŸทBarbera, 2017; sorry, forgot to record the label
•Shabby Bistrot, Via Pietro Manzi, 1, Rome; ๐Ÿ“ž+39 3927424379

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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