Viale Germanico 136
O! and the Oscar goes to ...hint read right to left!
"Yes it is a elegant restaurant, with about 80 meats from around the world including the exotic ones such as Crocidile and Zebra of which I have personally tasted," says the very lovely Fathem who is creating specials events for her boss Massimiliano. "One of the events that we do every Tuesday is the 25.euro wine tastes event. We keep it only 25.euros which includes some exotic beef slices with each wine since we want people of all culture to enjoy and try the restaurant. This event isn't about making money. It is about introducing Beef Bazaar to the international tourists and the Italians of Rome to let each have fun and enjoy the event and evening." https://www.beefbazaar.it/
With it's many levels and a huge square balcony to see the tables below, the design is super chrome and modern and yet gives a feel of warmth and comfort with it's leather sofas! https://www.instagram.com/p/
"You know Massimiliano loves wine. That is his passion. He has about 250 bottles of wine and about 80 types of meat. I love the exotic meat dishes, and when you ask me what Zebra tastes like? I could say the meat looks like Tuna!" Says Fathem. Masimiliano says, "I have about every kind of meat you can find, except one. Horse. I love my horse very much and that is a pet to me."
So, DON'T mention Cavallo in Beef Bazaar!
"I want people to come here at 8.00pm and stay til 1.00am enjoying the dinner, friends and the wine. It is a comfort place and it is funny for me. It is very funny since I spent 30 years working with building people of a certain profession and now I meet people from everywhere in the world," says Massimiliano.
"It is Massimiliano's passion. He worked in the building development and maintenance business many years, of which he has a security company and building company and yet he loves his restaurant. It is him," says Fathem when she introduces me to her boss adding, "You are VERY lucky that he has 15 minutes for you; he is so busy that he is always everywhere!"
Massimiliano says, "I met Fathem riding horses, she was riding her's at the stables where mine is kept and we met. I loved her energy immediately," he laughs and Fathem laughs too saying, "Yes he is very fast and I am slow with the forests, yet I loved his restaurant the minute I entered and it is very much his passion."
Massimiliano says, "We have beef from about 30 countries and I want my life and restaurant to be accessible to everybody. You can have a burger and beer for 18 euros or you can have the Japanese Matususaka wagyu for 500 euros. The choice is yours. The reason we have the 25 euro wine taste event on Tuesdays is that I want people to come here and experience my restaurant that I have put my heart into the last 2 and 1/2 years. To introduce it. I hope they experience something they haven't before and that they come back." PS he is super nice and super sincere! I believe that when you read the menu you see it new!
And yes Cooking CLASSES and a room for children...a huge room on another level where the children can play while you have a romantic dinner. Good for the children who are bored with sitting at a table, good for the adults who want to laugh and smile and not have to tell their children to behave in public! https://www.instagram.com/p/
The place has a buffet at lunch with way too much food, a very friendly and attentive team that smiles and laughs all the time and yet is professional and has many comfort places to taste that great steak!
"I would love for the people around the world to be able to come to Massimiliano's restaurant and try each meat. Perhaps in the future we can develope a tasting menu that gives just that. For now on Tuesdays, you can come and taste a little bit of food with each glass of wine, choose from the menu or taste a degustation menu of 100 euros. Yet in the future I am proposing to Massimiliano a taste of life in the restaurant," laughs Fathem and I hope he says yes!
Address: Viale Germanico 136
phone reservations: 06. 6940 2150 (outside italy add 0039)
"The Bistro 19 is my love and dream that I have waited 20 years, since I am 25 to do. At the age of 25 I wanted to open my own restaurant, yet I had to become a accountant. I have been a very successful accountant the last 20 years and now at 45, I am a chef the last year. And still, I am a accountant. My mother and father were aghast when I first said that I am giving up being a accountant and opening my restaurant at 25. Now they come to eat here and they love it," he says very happily I should add. His eyes smile when he introduces himself as a chef! (his accounting clients probably prefer his accounting services since he must be pretty good at that too!) https://www.facebook.com/
Located in the Vaticano Museum area at: Via Dei Gracchi 19, of course.
The one thing to remember about Italy is that the Grandmother's rule the kitchen and the Grandfathers, too, if you watched the movie The Godfather! If you are lucky enough to have lunch or dinner at the cute and modern yet totally Grandmother's recipes and preparation kitchen of Guiseppe's, you shall eat as if at his home.
"I have very talented artists,too, which as I see you laughing, yes that is a totally opposite side of the brain. Accounting isn't creative passionate cooking and art. Yet here is my passions!" says the friendly and very happy and talented accountant turned chef!
My Tagliolini had creamy shrimps and pistacchio cream and after I ate I felt very heavy and could take a nap and imagined my grandmother's comfy couch with the handmade quilts on it. If you have to hurry, maybe you should go somewhere else, but if you can take another 10 minutes for lunch, as he prepares EVERY plate himself and makes it when you order it, definitely come here for a traditional Italian Roman cooking.
The Bistro 19
Via Dei Gracchi 19
"Yes I attended the academy here in Rome, and that is to learn the craft and art of cooking the Roman cuisine specifically,yet the recipes are mine, my family's and my ancestors, especially my Grandmother. I don't really want to invite all into my home to cook you dinner, because then I wouldn't have a personal life," jokes Guiseppe, "yet I hope the feel and the food is as if you are at my home."
Il Porto di Ripetta and Anna are two of the most elegant and charming combinations that you shall find in Roma. The menu's pictures of the innovated exotic selections are literally some of the most beautiful I have ever ever seen. Anna is the epitome of charm and grace, kissing each and every guest, that is if they don't kiss her first. She greets and knows everybody in her 70 plus seated linen covered restaurant and if you are new, soon you shall know her as a host in her home. She loves her guests. Totally. She pays little attention to me, only when her guests are completely satisifed and turns constantly to their side waiting to be of service. "I know, am I being rude?" she asks as she turns to me for the 10th time. I tell her that I am actually very impressed and can see why her guests come again and again to the restaurant that has been in existence the last 60 years and in the hands of the competent young owner, Andrea and his director of choice, Anna, the last 6. https://ilportodiripetta.it/
Located at: via di Ripetta 250
"Would you love to try Sashimi di salmone con olio carbonato e verdure croccanti, or perhaps Polpo caramellato in salsa di ostriche or Capesante scottate e fiori di zucca ripieni di ostriche? Some of these are my suggestions, too. We, me and Andrea and our 40 year old amazing cook, sit down and try new local ingredients with twists, and we always try to be innovative." she says.
Located at Via dei Ripetta 250
"My main feeling is of warmth and service to my guests. That is number one. They of course must love my food. It has to be special. It has to be something that you can not find elsewhere in Rome. That is the case here. Yet, it is the linen service, the attentive care and the fact that I would say we are a inexpensive formal restaurant. If a guest wants to come and spend between 35.00 and 50.00 euros with a nice glass of wine, they can. And a beautiful meal. If they want to spend more, they can buy the entire bottle!" jokes Anna.
Anna flips through her gorgeous picture book of the recipes of the last year. Yum, wait!, o! Yum! again, I keep saying. She laughs, "We have many new items and recipes and the chef loves to create. We always sit and try each other's suggestions and if we love it and it is special, we add it for our guests. You must come and try," she says as she gives me hugs and kisses!
"The sister Restaurant, which is actually a Trattoria is Buca di Ripetta, about 50 meters from here."
Trattoria Buca di Ripetta is located at Via di Ripetta, 36.
"It is elegant, yet the Il Porto di Ripetta is more elegance and sophistication and a little higher priced, yet same high quality. If you want to find the typical Roman traditional items such as Oxtail or Carbonara, you need to visit the Trattoria Buca di Ripetta since here at Porto we are famous for non-traditional presentation and innovative menu items using only local ingredients," says the VERY elegant and sophisticated director of Il Porto di Ripetta the last 6 years, the lovely Anna.
Alright are we here to have fun in Rome or what!
Ristorante Maranega on Campo de Fiori
is here to show you a historic and lovely morning, day and night in Rome. Majd, the Capo, has had the Campo de Fiori Restaurant the last 9 years. "We want Rome to be shown in a good light. Rome is a historic city and the international visitors have many choices in the modern days, I want the experience of my city to be a good experience. What can I do? Show my guests great hospitality and enjoy the life of the Mercato of Campo de Fiori."says Majd. "We have good things about Rome and maybe the usual things of a big city. During the day you see the vibrant Mercato in the square and at night, I hope a square that you are proud of. For me, the traditional foods of Rome is why you should come to me. If you want breakfast, come at 8.00am and if you want to come back and feel like a late dinner and drinks til 3.00am closing time, come on. After all you are on vacation. Enjoy it," he says.
Located at: Campo De Fiori Piazza Campo dei Fiori, 47
open: 8.00am til 3.00am...come have these cocktails! and Shisha!
"I've had the Maranega, which is a personal name for me since it is the letters of my family that make up the name," laughs Majd, who by the way is one of the funniest people I have ever met and had me laughing way too much during the interview! "We try to give the people the best we can, of the ingredients, the wine, the tastes of Rome. I am a very honest person and a very caring one. I am very conscientious person. I care about my image, my presentation of my restaurants and my Rome." he says. He is serious, too. Although his stories made me laugh so much! They have families, they have friends and they want you to enjoy Rome and to have a great experience that you bring home and tell many friends...Come to Rome and especially come to Campo de Fiori, which is fast becoming the better Piazza than Piazza Navona!
Okay, but with 12,000 restaurants in Rome how do you choose the one here? Because I take the entire 8 years to find these jewels. It took me 3 to 5 years to try to interview Majd to add his restaurants,which have changed over the years, yet the Maranega remains the solid restaurant, the traditional local menu on a very toursity square. If you would of came last night at 22.00pm you would of heard the 5 member live band playing for free for the visitors. YOU MUST VISIT CAMPO DE FIORI.
The kind sweet Director of Majd's, Mimmo!
YOU SEE HIS YOUTUBE VIDEO OF CHEF MIMMO ROMA...11,000,000 VISITORS ON HIS YOUTUBE WORLD WIDE!
The Maestro's of Virginiae, the famous Roman Culinary kitchen of Piazza Navona's hidden alleys, Daniel and Bernardo De Luca. They are both entertaining and charming and masters of what they present. Located at: Via di Parione 41, 00186 Roma.
The restaurant is Bernardo's recipes that are traditionally Roman with a innovative twist that is each master chef's signature. Everyday Bernardo prepares the local traditions of Rome with care. Among the typical specialties you can taste the artichokes alla giudia, the tonnarelli cacio e pepe, the rigatoni alla paiata, along side the Amatriciana of which the famous Virginia is known for having created the recipe and carbonara, the most requested Italian dish in the world! 0039 06 8901 72 6 1
"My wife is a television famous personality. Me? She can be in front of the camera. I prefer to own my domain of the kitchen. My brother, Daniel is with the guests and he is more a social person. I am more the perfectionist and want to present every night my creation. The way that I keep it fresh to make my traditional carbonara everyday is the fact that each person is special and different. They try my dish for the first time and each time is new to me. That is what makes it special. And my dishes are my special little touches. Every chef in Rome can make Carbonara yet it is the way he makes it with feeling that makes a difference.
"The people that come here are my friends. I am not going to say that I am a big thing or famous, but when you ask if I am a very good chef, yes I am. If you ask if I am a famous chef, what is famous?" asks Bernardo. "I hate myself on television. I am not a limelight person. I prefer to shine in the kitchen."
A lot of times I shall write the menu on the article such as Bernardo's "Love of cooking. Love of the kitchen. My passion is the kitchen and I love creating my plate everyday. If you didn't love it, you couldn't do the job everyday. It is a passion yet it is a very hard job," he says as he shows me the pictures of the food. Yet, I believe the people eating his food is a better representation of just food pictures...so!
The wine is Italian, of course, chosen with care and with the knowledge of each vineyard owner. Since the restaurant's conception in 1997, it has become known both for its high quality innovative cuisine and its fine selection of high quality wine, yet at a most unbelieveable reasonable price.
"The name Virginiae came from my first great chef that taught me in the kitchen named Virginia. She retired and I named my restaurant after her. The first person that taught me the way to cook. I honored her with her name. The restaurant that I have now is my perfect one. It is not too big and not too small. It is a perfect size near Piazza Navona yet a little tucked away in privacy down a alley. The locals love the food and the internationals love it. It is elegant, yet families can feel comfortable here. If you see the decor of the restaurant it is a combination of both me and my brother Daniel's taste. It is both of us. It is my last restaurant I hope and the culmination of everything before it," says the very famous chef who is humble and doesn't tell you that he, himself, is very famous too.
I asked Roberta if her and her young husband, Gianni, ever have romantic dinners out? She laughs,"Um, no." She says. Okay how about the team sets aside a little table and light candles and they do romantic dinners once in a while in the Bella Napoli? Roberta says, "Um Never!" laughing, "We have twins, daughters who are 5. And we have a Pizzeria. A very good one, yet it is a Pizzeria, Naples style. We have authentic Naples cuisine and local prices and yes it is beautiful, yet usually families come and the kids run around and you know." she says. "Yet, I met my husband here when me and friends came to eat dinner and he came to my table.!" Okay now that is romantic! "Yes, in 1995 the Pizzeria Bella Napoli started with my husband's father and mother, Emilia and Franco. Yet, we have it now. It is fun, yet on Saturday nights it is totally full and very busy. It is a little stressful!" she says laughing again. https://www.instagram.com/pizzeriabellanapoli_roma/
Via Alessandria 11 https://www.facebook.com/pizzeriabellanapoliroma/
"The family has Bella Napoli 2 near the Vaticano at Viale Giulio Cesare, 120." https://www.facebook.com/bellanapoli2roma
"My husband's sister Rosalba and her husband run that one and me and Gianni do the one here. We have more locals and Italians here since the Vaticano has many tourists and our area is more residential. Both have the same food and we hope the same friendly family service!" says Roberta.
"We have the local Naples dishes at both places and here at Bella Napoli Roma 1 we have Gnocchi Sorrentina, for instance or Spaghettoni alla Vesuviana, both Naples pasta specialties. We prepare each dish for the person, and that is why it takes a little long for your food to come to your plate. It could take 15 minutes for each plate of pasta to be made especially for you. That is the real difference between us and others. For instance if we do a plate of sorrentini for you it will be at least 15 minutes to prepare and to cook. At least that. You have to drink some good wine, eat a appetizer and enjoy your company!"
"As a family restaurant, the prices are very reasonable and we want to keep it that way. I don't want my restaurant to be too expensive for families to come to." says Roberta. who by the way is GORGEOUS and her young husband too! A perfect loving and hospitable couple welcoming you to their "home"!"
The place is beautiful-Absolutely stunning with a huge pizza oven and elegantly styled counter surrounding the pizzaiolas as you enter. The food is great and for me, a white pizza afficiando, it is heaven. They literally have 20 versions of White pizza. "The white pizza, bianca, is a little more expensive since the Bufala cheese from Naples, the best in the world, is a little more expensive. Yet it is so good, it is worth it. We only have 3 red wines, Chianti, Corvo and Montepulciano, and we only have 3 white wines, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avelino. The house wine is usually from the Lazio region, yet if they don't have what I want for that month, they suggest Naples vineyards or Tuscany for instance. It depends. It is always good though."
Bella Napoli 2 located at Viale Giulio Cesare, 120."
"The Bella Napoli 2 is just as family and kids friendly oriented as the Bella Napoli 1 here, too!"
The Tavernetta 48 of Rome , located down a hidden alley on
48 via Degli Spagnoli
I love Federico, he is a totally real person, hard working, with a lovely team and he is always laughing and joking. He has recently purchased a jewel near the Cornelia Subway named Via Vai Bar, located at Via Paolo Emilio Bensa, 13, near the metro Cornelia and open now, yet with Federico's leadership on November 15. "It is totally less stressful. A fun adventure for me with about 22 seats outside. The backpackers, locals, the parish of the Vaticano is near. Everybody can come and enjoy the happy hour fromj 4.00pm to 7.oopm a great fun BAR BUFFET and I plan on extending the hours of food til midnight, 12.00am since the hotel and hostel people are hungry and they say they complain that nothing is open. WELL, NOW I AM OPEN!" he says.
Federico, the very suave latin owner of La Tavernetta 48 is a sweetheart. The nicest and most honest person, totally loving his guests, his restaurant and his team 100%. I have known Federico and for that matter his very funny assistant, Allessandro, the last 4 years and written about the restaurant twice already. The fact is it started with Federico at the helm as a cute restaurant that had lovely food with modern presentations, yet has graduated from cute to very elegant and romantic. A VERY MUST find while in Rome.
And while the presentations are creative everyday since the chef has a fish special that changes daily, they have very traditional recipes of Roman and Italian cuisine. I just love the team and the capo. They are ALWAYS LAUGHING, ALWAYS.
The seafood is the specialty
of Tavernetta 48.
The restaurant, La Tavernetta 48, is a jewel. Full every night and although freezing in the winter months, the people are very willing to sit outside with the heat lamps if they must. The reason is a couple, really. Federico, the Capo is as kind and friendly as you shall ever find, his right hand person, Allesandro the funniest and friendliest, and the rest of the team super nice. The food is the best with such a elegant understated formality that you are at once elevated to sophistication and at ease as if with family. The laughter and conversation always VERY lively! Soon, Luca Brasi approaches my table and invites me kindly to sit with him. WOW! an honor invitation from Ancona, Italy. I jump up, grab my coat and run to his table where I am happily entertained from a very kind person about Italy. Now, I must go. I accept his invitation to visit Ancona some day and wave.
I kiss Federico who now is my friend from the last almost 5 years and ciao ciao to my team.
A lovely lunch in the eternal city of Rome where I have ventured 8 years.
"The chefs that I had is when you first came, Allesandro's father, yet I wanted a new fresh creation on the lunch menu everyday. That needed a new chef, and hence another Allesandro. Now the last 1 year and 5 months, Ahmed has been my head chef and I really enjoy working with him. He knows my vision yet he has a creative mind of his own and everyday he does a new menu for lunch of 3 course with 1/4 wine, water, dessert for only 15euros. Of course at dinner it is a little more," laughs Federico. ps i am coming to lunch.
Every year I have eaten here. I love the team which is very funny every time, they care about the guests, especially Federico, who could care less about bullys! He has succeeded with care and with hard work and appreciates every person who comes to eat! Love him. He is a very kind person.
I must confess that my favorite appetizer in the entire world is had here. It is cheeses of Italy with honey drizzled on and pears. Exotic and seductive with especially the very sinful red Chianti wine!!!!! Okay, you say what happened at lunch? Well, I came, sat in a tiny two person seat, waiting for my friend Alberto. About 5 minutes into the service, Allesandro turns my table and a table of 5 come. Lively family, yet they wait. Another 12 minutes and they are joined by the father of the table's mom and dad. Okay. Now my mussles come. Um Yum. They are the most scrumptious and I eat these very slowly since they make me full.
Wine comes, a priest from the Vatican and another very charming fellow that reminds me of Luca Brasi sit at adjoining tables, together yet separate. About 5 minutes later, the Grandfather at my table aside asks if I would love to share the wine they have on their table. I laugh a little since my wine jar is empty(I love wine and already drank my little decanter!), yet the table grabs my wine glass and FILLS IT FULL! O o..okay, thankyou very much, and I drink the white wine, the house wine, which is some of the best cheap wine I have ever had. Now, the table orders the mussles with linguine, which I had had, and they order 6 of the same for each of the 6 family members! Hmm...now comes my second course which is Sea Bass and fresh vegatables in season. I must tell you, that I LOVE Sea Bass, having discovered it while at Italy a couple of years now. I had always loved swordfish from Key West, yet I ate Sea Bass and now that is my favorite.
As I am eating my Sea Bass, the table of 6 receive their second course, which is of course?:that is right, Sea Bass...6 of these. Well, at least we have the same taste.
And if you want some Guinness at Majd's Pub try Bar Giganti on Campo de Fiori, too.
The bartender's are VERY KIND and sweet and happy to chat with you, they just look intimidating!
I must confess, I didn't know that Majd is the Capo here! I just really enjoyed laughing with the bartenders who always greeted me happily whenever I entered the last 2 years. I love Guinness and I love Campo de Fiori and if I only wanted a glass of wine or a beer, here is a great people watching place on the Campo to do that!
The bartender jokes that if you give him tips he gives you better service. I tell him that is serious in America. The bartenders only serve you drinks IF YOU TIP! AS IT SHOULD BE! I tip. I love his cocktails.
Yes, but with every Guinness Bar there is usually Sports, right! OF COURSE WE HAVE SPORTS AND TELEVISIONS... ESPECIALLY EUROPEAN FOOTBALL...it's Rome. You do know they have one of the TOP WORLD FOOTBALL (SOCCER TO US AMERICANS) TEAMS , RIGHT? THEY DO. And sports is just as important to the Italians as to the Americans and Canadians and Russians and Europeans...you do know Qatar, the Middle Eastern Country, is hosting the World Cup, right! So, come enjoy a cocktail or a Coca Cola or a Beer and have fun while in Rome.
A casual friendly, yet RIGHT ON THE CAMPO De FIORI PIAZZA...THE PLACE TO HAVE A DRINK IN ROME! BAR GIGANTI
CAMPO DE FIORI 26
I love the bar since the bartender and his team are REALLY FRIENDLY and soon everybody is joking, laughing and actually talking to each other!
Alright, alright, it is a Guinness bar, Irish Folks, and yet the bartender really knows his drinks. So, do elegant, or do special Guinness or do a casual Italian beer, or sophisticated Italian red wine. Your choice. But totally believe me when I tell you you will NEVER see MORE CHARACTERS than IN CAMPO De FIORI at night, plus they have great live musicians, whether legal or not...who cares. The music is hot.
I love the purity of Japanese Restaurants and to my surprise, Majd owns TORA, the
"kind of Japanese, Thai and a little bit Chinese restaurant. It is odd since my entire team is from Japan. The cooks, the team etc. The food is 100% Japanese and we are like super super high on Trip Advisor as the best Japanese restaurant in Rome. It is right opposite the Senate. They love to experiment with Asian Cuisine and hence 80% is Japanese with a little Asian twists thrown in." says Majd. Which is great since I LOVE THAI! Corso del Rinascimento, 71
...serious...look at that gorgeous food! https://www.torasushiroma.it/
Located at Corso del Rinascimento, 71
"I'm most proud of the quality of that restaurant. The cooks are 100% Japanese, totally authentic and you can tell with the quality of the food presented and the actual presentation. The reviews are excellent. I love asian food, too, and since visitors come here about 5 days, maybe they want Italian food 4 days, I thought and a little something special the other day. So, I opened and researched with my cooks and we made Tora!"
Okay, I wanted the seafood and pasta fettucini or gnocchis or ravioli at the Maranega, but then I saw the JAPANESE FOOD AND THOUGHT...WAIT A MINUTE...then Majd said Thai and I am definitely eating Thai one day. PS I eat a lot of food!
How about Octopus* croquettes with melted cheese,or Japanese octopus* salad with cucumbers, or Homemade Japanese grilled dumplings with shrimp*, vegetables and ponzu sauce, or Fried prawns* with spicy mayonnaise, served with shrimp chips, or Carpaccio King with Red shrimps*, scallops*, salmon, sea bass, tuna and oysters carpaccio with ikura (salmon roe) and a slightly spicy ponzu sauce, or Fried organic tofu with dashi ginger sauce. Starting to see the lovely varied specialties of Tora? Come try it, just literally steps from Piazza Navona, yet tucked down the alley opposite the Senate and full of happy locals during lunch. Say hi at lunch, Discover the Coliseum and the historic museums of Rome, come to Maranega for dinner and stop at the Bar Giganti for A Guinness after dinner!
INDUSTRIAL EAT in Rome located at:
"Here it is important that the guests can taste a little bit of everything. It is Italian yet has American style hamburgers and steaks. The best Black Angus American beef we use and personally I love the cheeseburgers and hamburgers from it. We have our own Industrial Pizza, let us say. It is not really Roman and it isn't really Naples style, it is Industrial style. We have red pizza and white pizza and we do a couple of the Naples style if you really love that. Yet, you should try the Industrial style pizza since the pizzaolo is from Egypt! You know for some reason the Egyptians do great pizza," laughs Allessandro. I tell him that I heard that Pizza is originally from China.
"Yes, I heard that too, let's google it!" he says and when we google it we see that actually the pizza originated in Naples, Italy! Alright now we know pizza is Italian! http://www.industrialeat.it/
The coolest items about the INDUSTRIAL EAT modern italian restaurant is the owners! One is Allessandro and Massimiliano and they are totally fun and sweet and funny. Non-assuming and laugh when you ask about their totally modern steak and hamburger and just basically Italian menu with modern twists. They have great wine and fun conversations and pretentious people need not apply! Located at Piazza Allessandria 11, Roma.
Allessandro says, "My father comes here everyday at lunch and eats with me. He loves the food and the buffet. All of the neighborhood people come at lunch since we have a huge buffet and they can taste everything. The place is very big and we love when the tourists discover us and meet the locals. The locals love it to, to here all the languages!"
And the wine? The wine Allessandro let me try is his favorite, and a rich red full-bodied wine that is simply heavenly even after only being open 8 minutes! I counted! Scrumptious loved it. "We have many Italian wines, since after all that is what Italy is famous for, and we welcome your guests to come in, ask for our advice and taste the wine!" http://www.industrialeat.it/
How about some cooking classes loves! Here it is and since we all love our own homemade pizza here is a chance to try it!
Via Catone 10
063 97 305 61
I know that Trattoria Vaticano Giggi looks like you are stepping into someobody's home right near the Vaticano where it is abounded with tons of stores and restaurants, yet Trattoria Giggi is as home cooked as you can actually receive anywhere except in their home, perhaps! https://www.facebook.com/trattoriavaticanogiggi/
"My father was a very famous actor, as you know, and as the story tells in the restaurant's photos, with friends such as Alberto Sordi, yet he always loved cooking more and cooked on the movie sets for the actors. He said one day that he wanted to present the guests of his with the creativeness in the kitchen and turned to a full time chef. For 35 years he has had involvedment in Rome, where he is a native, and the last years here a total of 14. He passed away last year and I want to carry on his tradition of love of the Roman culture which he shows truly in his 100% Roman traditional products, traditional wine and traditional recipes that have remained the same on the menu the last 10 years at restaurant," says his daughter, Floriana, the very accomplished artist and my friend. My father too passed away the last years and I know how difficult it is to deal with life on a daily basis without the kinship and friendship of my best friend.
"My father went each day shopping and addressing his trusted suppliers and vendors to help him to chose the best ingredients to present the very simple Roman food. Rome, traditionally was food for the common folk as the nobility when to the countryside to their castles and it is VERY IMPORTANT TO SAY, THAT ROMAN FOOD WAS A POOR MAN'S FOOD," Floriana says. "The wine,however, is from a nobil family that has had their castle many centuries on the outskirts of Rome!"
"The photos on the wall of Osteria Al Chianti vary between Fabio's relatives and mine. My grandmother is on the left side, and Fabio's family is on the right side. Our cook is Cesarana who is 76 years old and the fellow you met early today at lunch who is about that age! They, along with me since I am the cook, sit and sift through recipes that are old traditional ones. They know how to make the real Italian cooking that we would eat as children at the table. And I have learned from the two in the kitchen, along with Giacomo, who I understand you have met to?" says Leonardo. "I hope that they learn from me, to. The menu is Tuscany, with special items such as Pappardelle with Faraona, a wild bird of Italy, that only a couple of restaurants in Tuscany serve. It is a regional menu, yet a exotic menu, as I said of the old-world traditional recipes that we still use."
located at: Via Ancona 17/19 for reservations https://www.facebook.com/Al-Chianti-276101559182102/
Osteria Al Chianti opened it's doors in 1913 as a wine osteria, after World War II, the family of Fabio and later, Leonardo in 1995, started the Restaurant side,which specializes in only Tuscany cuisine. The 65 year old warm brown chairs restored with care and love adorn the Osteria sitting quietly at each table. "Some have the signatures of past celebrities who have graced our tables," says Leonardo is a sweet and funny conversation of old and new...Italian and English!
"The restaurant's atmosphere is to include you as a guest with security and privacy as if in me and Fabio's home. We want people to feel as if trasported back to the age of the 1920s when hospitality was the foremost concern of a Capo inviting you to dinner," says Leonardo.
As I am invited to a glass of wine, Chianti of course, I notice the little details around the charming old-world decor. Such as the biscuits. Remember when you had a fancy special dinner with family and you always looked forward to having your grandmother's desserts!
I loved the dusty look of the Osteria, as if you could find some real great old bottles of wine hidden in the cellar, although the Osteria is perfectly clean and beautiful, it has that worn feel to it. A real Italian restaurant.
OSTERIA Enoteca Cul de Sac in Rome's Piazza Navona section
located at: Via Del Governo Vecchio 73
Special since you can call for a QUE TIME ONLY! 0039 06 68 80 1094
It is such a treat to spend a afternoon sitting with a Capo, in the restaurant here named Enoteca Cul de Sac, for instance, Renato, chatting about life...
"It is very rare that you shall find a Osteria that has 7 socials for such a long length such as we do. The two families, me and my brother, Guido, and my wife Silva and the other family of brothers and sisters and wives, have been friends and partners about 41 years now. That is a very rare find," says Renato who says I can call him Rene if Renato is too difficult!
Along with the meat and cheese plates you can create, they have fresh homemade pasta dishes with a couple of different touches such as Pheasant pate with truffles, Venus black rice and mussels, Guinea fowl and wheat, Tagliatelle with hare ragu...some very special treats!
"When we add and decide the menu about 3 times per year, we all talk about it. Maybe I say that I could add that dish, etc. It is literally impossible for each of us 7 to have a pasta dish, a meat dish, a fish dish, yet we try the best!"
Okay, famous for Meats and Cheeses
40 plus cheeses and 25 specialty meat platters! plus make my own platter!
"The specialty graduated from meats and cheese platters, of which we have many high quality selections from farmers, to each of our 7 member social's recipes, such as my brother's duck raviolis, or my onion soup, and just so you know every pasta is made homemade. Every day. What else makes us different? Well, we have collected, and I tried until a couple of years ago, to drink every wine that we carry which today is about 1,000 plus labels in the restaurant," says Renato.
What shall you find at Enoteca Cul de Sac?
Warmth, both in person and comfort, and traditional marble bar with heavy wooden furnishings and a great outdoor terrace.
Great wine 1,000 plus bottles.
Homemade pasta, wild game dishes, and about 41 cheese and meats platters to create !
"Over the years, since we became very respected of the locals of Rome and since we became quite frequented by tourists who started to find us, we added a restaurant in house and kitchen adjoining to make hot dishes instead of just meat and cheese and wine platters," says Renato.
As we chat near the windows, the waiters, all young neighborhood guys, rush back and forth laughing at us as they bring food and wine to tables. "The young ones help us out now. In the last years, it used to be all of us cooking and making the food and all of us are sommeliers of the wine, yet now it has gotten so big that we need a little bit of help."
"Sometime a little different that we have at the Osteria, since many people come, yet we want it to be informal, is the Que time. We have reservations only in the sense you can tell us what time you want to Que in line! That way if you come at 8:00pm and there is a full room, have a glass of wine, stand outside and talk and as soon as we find a table we sit you. Yet at least you can be first in the que at 8:00pm!" hmm...me thinks it is very busy here!
You feel so much when you are surrounded by the beauty of the Vatican, the ethereal spirits, the Collsseum and the Ghosts of the Gladiators and Christians, the gorgeous countryside of Tuscany and Rome, the Private Tours of Italy that you create with a phone call to Joseph, the young Capo of What a Life Tours and his very qualified team.
The beauty of the Sistine Chapel is very easy to see, difficult to describe and other worldly when you enter that sphere that is holy in and of itself; yet so much more when added with the true spiritualism of Micheangelo's art. I physically got a little wierded out and dizzy at the pure colors and the mix of these in the world of the Sistine Chapel and although I didn't need to be told that Micheangelo painted the entire ceiling a total of 4 years STANDING UP to be impressed. Take the tour in the morning, the early one and with about 125 people be totally inspired and trasported back in time to the closeness to something of such different spirit that perhaps only with putting yourself into that extreme condition you find yourself able to create something that is not of this world. Click on the link:
Or perhaps you would want to do a Collsseum Night Tour with special access to VIPsections, Named Coliseum under the Moon Tour, you are allowed inside the Collsseum Underground and Arena Floor while the Colosseum is closed to the Public. If you are superstitious and believe in Ghosts of Gladiators and Lions, maybe bringing a friend and a phone in case you have a close encounter might be a good idea!
"Have you ever taken a good look at the Laocoön and his Sons?" or been a statue yourself! Says Joseph, "The marble sculpture, displayed proudly in the Vatican Museums, is amongst the most admired and influential pieces in all of Western art. For centuries, it lay buried in a Roman vineyard until unearthed by chance in 1506. Michelangelo praised the sculpture as a "miracle of art" and it was hailed as the classicist ideal of "noble simplicity and quiet grandeur”. The Laocoön became the quintessence of ancient art and, to this day, the scene of the Trojan priest and his sons, desperately struggling for their lives, is a theme frequently parroted by artists. "
I met Joseph's marketing director, Peter, who is a American married to "a Italian girl and we spent the last 17 years here. Soon we move back to America where my very Italian wife will be able to experience America. I shall miss having the Forum in my backyard, of course!" True, you have so much to wonder about in Rome and so many places to wander to!
Food Delights of Rome walking tour including the Jewish Quarter,where many modern Roman recipes come from, or Rome Underground Tours with Roman Catacombs and Crypts, or one of many tours of Florence Italy and a tour of the Wine Country. Just click on the What a Life Tours and find your special day or create one with the young Capo, Joseph, and team! ENJOY
You can also take a day trip to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast of Rome, or a private Tivoli day tour from Rome with Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa if you choose to do that. And if you plan on traveling from Rome to Florence, Italy, they can provide you with transportation and plan the Ufizzi Gallery tour in Florence along with great wine country along the way. Just ask!
When you enter the Collsseum if you are in tune to the air around you most people say they feel something. They shudder, they feel the people who lost their lives here, the feeling of something...difficult to explain; afterall, you are in the eternal city where strange things happen. The tours of What a Life's Collsseum Tours are with the best guides who make it fun. You could be very dreary and depressed underground where they held the prisoners til they entered the arena floor, where if you take a private tour you can actually step foot on that sacred arena ground, yet the guides make it fun. Mine made us all be lions and archeologists and we started laughing and joking. Yet you do feel the people there before you if you take a private silent moment and imagine.
At Bici Baci in Rome, Claudio has built his empire upon wheels you might say, little cute one person cars that people can zoom around the city in, driven safari type rugged charming cars that the guides take couples in pleasure on vacation to see Rome, Bicycles, Electric Bicycles, and of course Claudio's famous Vespas! +39 06 94 53 87 13
Claudio, who looks identical to Christopher Walken, says as he shows me the cool Vespa museum in the downstairs of the biggest Bici Baci location in Rome, at Via Cavour, 302, I have a passion for Vespas! And as we see the cool Vespas from the original purchases that Claudio has done over the years, such as the 1,000,000th Vespa ever made in 1950, to the present, including the very original one from the movie ROMAN HOLIDAY, YOU understand that he definitely is telling the truth when he says he loves Vespas!
And if you've always wanted to see Rome on a Vespa the way that Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck do, hop on a Vespa of your own or ask one of the many guides to drive you around the city!
"A young Indonesian man of about 25 took his Vespa, with the seal from the President of Indonesia and traveled 1 year and 3 months from Indonesia, through Thailand through India, through Turkey through Pakistan and eastern Europe to arrive at my store with his Vespa. Here it is." says Claudio happily as he shows me the photos and the original stickers the young man collected on his journey! Cool.
Via del Viminale, 5, Via Cavour, 302, Vicolo del Bottino, 8, Via Rosmini, 26/28
Roberto, who is Claudio's trusted director, shows me the map of the locations of Bici&Baci as a group of Americans rush in to rent bikes.
He whispers laughing to me, "They ask worried if we can accomodate a very big group for 25 people! Ha! That is easy since we usually have a couple of biking tours that have up to 100 and 200 every day! We are very known in the city of Rome and people love us. And we are always crazy in here." And Claudio laughs, as when he showed me his daughter and her friends in the Vespa Museum downstairs doing a video of a nightclub dance party in the museum, "You have to be crazy to come to us or we don't want you. We're all crazy. Crazy with passion." he says and I say, "Crazy with love."
Please visit the locations and rent the WHEELS OF YOUR CHOICE TO SEE THE CITY OF ROME
Met Andrea today, the other partner of Simone who I interviewed a couple of years since, and he is just as nice as Simone! "I started the restaurant 9 years now and it's concept has always been to use the local producers of Lazio and the best products of Italy. In addition to the wine, which is selected on the same theory as the Slow Food concept. I am the person who usually chooses the wine, yet my team and Simone's team and Antonello's team, since the 3 of us own the restaurant, all go to visit the vineyards and to learn about the wine. I believe that it is important for everybody to know the product and that way we can educate the guests better. Plus it is fun for all of us to have a day at the vineyards trying the wines and getting to know each other. Sometimes they bring about 10 wines here and we all try these to. I believe that some of the best wine that we have is not necessarily the most expensive. The vineyards that we choose have the specialty of using only their own grape in the wine. One grape can make the best wine, you don't need to buy grapes from other people." he says.
Osteria Grappolo D'Oro in Campo Fiore 4 years for Slow Food Award Best of Italy.
We laughed as Andrea is explaining how fun it is at times to own the restaurant such as the choosing of the wine! "The house wine is especially one of the best around and is only 7.00 euros a bottle. Yes we have much more expensive ones, yet that one is one of the best." he says.
"You know it is always difficult when you start a new project. People have to know about you and tell each other how good of a experience it is and the reputation becomes good. That is how you build a great restaurant. Yes, it helps that people find us on the websites; however, it is most important the service and the food and wine that we serve once they come here. We have great food. From the bread that we hand bake with only local and pure ingredients to the pasta our cook hand makes fresh everyday. People love our food. When the original owner of the Slow Food came 4 years since, he wrote about us and added us to his guide two months later as it is published. Then my director at the restaurant calls me and tells me that there is a line of 100 people outside the restaurant and asks if I forgot a group for that day! I couldn't remember any group. Then she said they said they all saw the restaurant in the published editon of Slow Food! So, I totally believe in that publication!" he says.
Me? I love to eat the food at the Osteria!
It is a beautifully elegant restaurant, with the Maestro, Allessandro ready to serve you his mother's kitchen at the door. He takes your coat and greets you warmly, yet professionally. Two tables are in the foyer surrounded by the wine stunningly displayed. Allessandro is a Juxtaposition of professionalism and playfulness. As I read his wine and champagne labels, I ask if he has the rapper Jay Z and Beyonce's label. We google on the internet and see it is one he doens't carry yet. "Maybe I shall, although it is a special label, Ace of Spades, that he has at around 900.00 euros I see here on the internet!" You know, playful in that respect that you can talk to him as a normal person. And as you enter the huge stately mansion with his precious restored rooms and the historic wine cellars, which are some of the most breathtaking rooms I have ever seen.
AS I eat in the beautiful 14th century dining room, the first time I have ever eaten here, I am surrounded with funny waiters that are either on their best behaviour or are always very fun and friendly to the guests. Considering that it is a Michelin restaurant since 2010 every year til 2018, I am guessing that they are always that attentive!
The food, lovely. I had a great pasta red sauce with octopus and it is delightful. In addition, some of the best wine that I have ever tasted in my life, the family is famous for their wine list and champagne, and some cute yet very fattening brownie and cookie desserts! Most of all I had a ball! Loved it. Dining in a 4story palace ballroom is rare, at least for me!
The Bleve family discovered the Roman walls and have restored these downstairs from the Augustan age to its original splendor. CASA BLEVE
06 686 5970
06 686 5970
The cool great ancient cellar of the Casa Bleve where the wine is kept, is "quite cold and smells musty since it is very ancient so we don't do dinner in the cellar; however, sometimes we open a great bottle of wine for the guests to start the dinner and they enjoy it a couple of minutes here." Allessandro says. "I am very happy to have the refrigerated glass case in the front of Casa Bleve, since it allows us to show all of the wine and champagne. We try to be professional here," he says as he takes the coats of the lunch guests graciously. They are all nicely dressed and he says, "Yes during lunch they come from the professional offices and occaisionally we have tourists, yet they mostly come at night. Families are welcome, after all we are one big family here, yet I tell them when they come and ask if they can bring 5 young children that want to eat french fries and pizza that we don't have pizza here. We can do all kinds of pasta or dishes to help you with children and it is alright if they want to play and run around the elegant restaurant. We love children. But Casa Bleve isn't a pizzeria. It is a elegant lovely restaurant with my mother's recipes in the kitchen. We can try to do any kind of pasta dish you ask for to help the children be happy." "With glossy cared for floors, white elegant linens, fresh flowers artfully arranged daily by the cousin Gino Bleve, and the kitchen expertise of Tina Bleve, it is a must when in Rome!
"I don't know why we are in the Michelin Guide,"says the VERY funny Allessandro. "You know I think they must have 2 categories of Michelin, for the very important restaurants and for us!" he says and although he seems serious as I see his restauarant, food and clients I think um I believe that I know why. I say that it is very elegant and it must definitely be up to Michelin standards since it has been on there 4 years. "Yes, except we don't have degustation menus, we change the menu a couple times per year and my mother does specials sometimes everyday, yet it is a family restaurant. Elegant, yes, a little expensive in the sense lunch is about 30.00 to 40.00 euros per person simply because the parliament and guests must go back to work at lunch, and at night maybe 60.00 to 70.00 euros since they can drink more wine and champagne."
Casa Bleve is one of my favorite restaurants simply for 3 reasons, the beauty of the majestic building, the Bleve family and the food! These are lovely reasons to visit and try some of the Chef, Tina Bleve's dishes, to sample some of Gino's flowers he does fresh everyday on the tables, and the grace and service to be greeted by Allessandro, Tina's son. The restaurant is located at:"O! I want that!" I say always when I see food coming from the kitchen and yes it is a real plate that you see here.
Via del Teatro Valle, 48 to 49, Rome
He is a funny guy! Nice and very family oriented. "My brother is Antonio," says Allessandro, Gino's brother is Antonio, and my mother is Tina, the chef. We used to have before 5 years the Osteria which is more the family Trattoria and we had a great reputation and since moving to the huge beautiful space we have been in Michelin." he says.
And yes the stars love it, as Allessandro is shown here with one of my favorites, the hugely talented Roberto Benigni!
The Bleve family bought the building in 2000 and it took 3 years of excavating the underground tunnels to find a Roman Empire treasure, which they immediately told the City of Rome about, and since the Casa Bleve is already a Historical site, they started turning the space below into the gorgeous wine cellars that it is today. If you would love to visit the underground mysteries of the Roman Empire in the 14th century Palace, dine, ask and visit!
The lovely charming ring of the family that owns Casa Mia in Trastevere, a 3 star elegant hotel and wine bar restaurant with the happiest Cuoco aka Chef that makes fresh gnocchis in front of the wine bar entrance every Thursday night. Donatella, Luciano's wife, pictured sitting with Fabio standing, tells me her favorite food on the menu? "EVERYTHING. I LOVE IT ALL. ESPECIALLY THE CARBONARA!"
Diego laughs and I tell him that I am happy he remembered me from 3 years since and I am happy that his English as improved since before Diego only spoke Italian. Now he says, "Hi" in English and makes a quaint little plate of my favorite food in the world, gnocchis, to try!
Casa Mia Trastevere Restaurant and Hotel located at Via Della Renella 89/90
http://www.casamiaintrastevere.com/ "I find it fun, I guess we do, right?" answers Fabio as he asks his uncle Luciano the same question. "Yes it is fun. We have a lot of fun with the guests in the hotel and the guests in the restaurant. Sometimes it is known for a restaurant that is a quiet place to come for a romantic dinner, especially the garden. Of course on Friday and Saturday it isn't so quiet. Okay and on Sunday." says Luciano and me and Fabio start laughing and say, "and on Monday and Tuesday and o yes maybe on Wednesday and on Thursdays, " and Luciano nods his head as he drinks the great white wine Vermentino, "Yes sometimes it is fun and yet sometimes...." he trails off as he gestures toward his nephew.
http://www.casamiaintrastevere.com/ "I find it fun, I guess we do, right?" answers Fabio as he asks his uncle Luciano the same question. "Yes it is fun. We have a lot of fun with the guests in the hotel and the guests in the restaurant. Sometimes it is known for a restaurant that is a quiet place to come for a romantic dinner, especially the garden. Of course on Friday and Saturday it isn't so quiet. Okay and on Sunday." says Luciano and me and Fabio start laughing and say, "and on Monday and Tuesday and o yes maybe on Wednesday and on Thursdays, " and Luciano nods his head as he drinks the great white wine Vermentino, "Yes sometimes it is fun and yet sometimes...." he trails off as he gestures toward his nephew.
"Yes we forget that it is a business and let me tell you running a restaurant and wine bar and a kitchen with fresh products everyday and a elegant hotel that the guests must be happy with, all of that reminds us if we do happen to forget" says Fabio.
Trastevere is such a traditional local section of Rome, and yet although the tourists have discovered its existence in huge numbers, thanks to the tram number 8 and 3, it remains a family historical place with tons of great restaurants that serve only fresh products of the region Lazio. I tell Luciano the one thing that I loved is the fact that when you walk into the little elegant wine bar entrance you are immediately greeted warmly and with friendship by Sandro who smiles and speaks Italian waving his arms constantly. "Yes he only speaks Italian and he is always happy and always smiling and if he sees you don't speak italian he starts gesturing with his hands to help you understand him. Always happy. In fact we are all always happy here. We love the guests and we're always sitting with them to chat as they are our friends when they come here."
The famous Chef with the colored hat, Diego, and his buddy Sergio in the Casa Mia Kitchen.
Diego says, "Every Thursday I make fresh gnocchi in front of the guests, yet when you eat my food it is all fresh and prepared the same way as when you see me in front of you. And you can watch us make your dinner in the kitchen window, if you wish."
"The food is local products, done simply and with the Roman traditions. Every one of the plates. We have Tripe on Saturdays and Fish on Fridays and Gnocchis on Thursdays...and if you want a dish and Diego has the fresh products he can make it for you." says Luciano.
Casa Mia Trastevere Restaurant and Hotel located at Via Della Renella 89/90
On the one side of the hidden in plain site sophisticated Casa Mia Trastevere is the quality of a 3 star hotel, with Giorgio and Fabio at the helm!
The lovely rooftop terrace room...romantic!
"We have 12 rooms and one is a triple room that is at the top with a terrace that the guests can enjoy all day and night seeing the garden below. The garden is open 24 hours to let the guests relax in the fresh air and open to dine in for the outside guests from 11:00am to 12:00am Midnight." Courtesy of Fabio, Luciano and the very Italian only speaking, Sandro!: the bits and pieces of conversation that went from the garden to the wine bar to watching Diego make gnocchis to eating the gnocchis(one of my favorite parts!) to drinking Vermentino wine as Luciano ran home to his very beautiful Donatella, to chatting with Fabio as he wrote the chalkboard of the day.
The first couple of years I interviewed Nicola, Mama Venerina's son and Domenico, and last year had the lovely experience of eating lunch with the matriarch herself, Venerina. She is gracious and kind and yet when the "boys", meaning the very capable Capos, Domenico and Nicola say let's do this or this, it is essentially Venerina who says yes or no!
"Yes my grandmother rules with the iron fist and when we started to remake and open the newest very chic cocktail bar and restaurant that is fresh and young and not like the other Trattorias or Osterias named after her, she kept insisting that it be named Venerina. It is her namesake, afterall, yet the youngsters named it Passpartout which means the keys to the rooms. The newest addition is to have 12 rooms and a rooftop deck which opens in the new year, and tomorrow night, the 25th of October is the opening party open to the Public, yet it is open now if you want to do lunch and dinner," says my newest intro to the family, Camilla who is the daughter of Domenico.
Just a little FYI, as I am walking from the Mama Venerina where I interviewed Camilla today, guess who comes walking briskly OUTSIDE near me with purpose and PASSES me? You guessed it right, MAMA VENERINA, who has received finally her wish for the naming of the restaurant, PASSPARTOUT!
So after all, Mama Venerina has gotten her wish, MAMA PASSPARTOUT!
Basically at the Mama Venerina you can find the Pizza, Pesce menu, Pasta Degustation menus.
Il ristorante Mamma Venerina a pochi passi dalla Basilica di San Pietro, IS "a BAR ESSENTIALLY, although it does look like a restaurant, we had the first Venerina eatery here and it is a bar, and we have the Osteria Venerina and the Restaurant Venerina. Since my father runs the one here that is the one that I am at and if you come tomorrow to the opening of Passpartout on the 25th you can find me!" Says Camilla who is a very gorgeous girl that is only 21! and loves her family, the business and of course her Grandmother!
Restaurant Venerina has some of the best pesce and seafood dishes in the San Pietro area and if you're lucky maybe you can have fresh pasta made by Nicola himself, pictured in the video!
Open to public opening party from 19:00 pm to 23:00 pm and everybody is invited to come and drink some great aperitivos and fingerfood that is going to be typical of Passpartout, the newest Nonna Venerina's success in her long lineage of restaurants of the Borgo Pio region in Rome.
"Okay, at Osteria Venerina, which is located
http://www.osteriavenerina.it/ at Via Mascherino, 80, you can find great Roman dishes, the best pizza and did I mention tons of crazy fun!
"You know me and my brother and cousin are the 3rd generation and we all love learning the restaurant business and being a big part of it. We as the youngest ones are especially excited to be a part of and help shape the newest restaurant, Passpartout. My other cousin, who is Nicola's daughter just graduated and she doesn't decide to do the restaurant business yet. Maybe in the future. Me? I love it and I have fun and I say to my Nonna when are you going to retire and me take over and of course my Nonna doesn't think this is too funny or possible at all." says Camilla.
You come with Camilla's cousin to eat at the Osteria Venerina, you might end up in a cooking class learning the tools of the trade! It has been such a famous institution for so many years in the San Pietro area that it is always super busy with waiters zooming in and out of tables carrying huge bowls of pasta and specialty plates of the day or the famous pizza, yet they're always smiling, laughing and friendly.
"Alright we are the 4th generation and the family started in 1922 with a wine store where the people of the neighborhood could come and fill up the wine bottles," starts the funny afternoon of talking to Enrico and Giorgia who are the children of the 3rd generation of Del Frates, Fabio and Dina.
The first being Umberto Del Frate who opened the neighborhood Wine and Oils(big vats of olive oil) and although it soon became very popular, it was the first ever to open in Rome, Italy. And the family carried on the tradition when, in 1994, the father converted the wine store holding the vats of olive oil and wine into the store that it is now with over 3,000 wines and a chic restaurant to match. "Of which our cousin, Fabrizzio is the head chef." laughs the two grown children as they explain the way that the family helps each other to grow. , the youngest of the family at the age of 24.
"It is as if I am coming to Christmas Dinner everyday since my entire family works here, including my cousin, Fabrizzio who is the top chef and he is the best," says Enrico pictured here with the fun loving team of Del Frate.
"Above me is the first t-shirt that we made when we opened the restaurant!" laughs Giorgia who asks if they can sit in the little adjoining alcove that connects the huge wine store with the restaurant.
"The menu is sophisticated and the happy hour from 18:00pm to 20:00pm has such varied tapas as meat tartar and tuna tartar, Very special are the supplì alla puttanesca with creamed codfish, or cacio e pepe but also supplì all’amatriciana. And the rich menu of dinner is creations from our cousin and star chef, who does fusion with traditional, such as Calamaro scottato, patate aff�micate e cime di rapa € 18,00 Trancio di spigola, finferli, carote e amaranto € 20,00. We invite the public to come and taste the tradition of the wine. We started as a family of wine and now with over 3,000 to choose from, I am sure you can find something you love. We know wine. We compliment the wine with the food. Not vice versa." says the two very cool and fun kids of Fabio and Dina. Hope you enjoy dinner.
"Girls, they love that wine..."
"We have many important wines, yet it is funny since I would say almost everybody eating at the restaurant order reasonable wines from the menu. From the side of the store here they buy very expensive wines, yet when they eat dinner, which is a modern fusion of Italian and very nice and elegant presented dishes, they chose average priced wines. Yet if they come to eat on the side of the restaurant that is a wine store during the day
and transformed into a dining place with tables and chairs during the night, they do buy the more expensive ones. Perhaps it is because they are surrounded by wine and spirits from everywhere in the world and they love the adventure of something new!" says Enrico.
"We have aperitivos at night outside and you can have a little something to eat and a glass of wine or spritz."
"We have aperitivos at night outside and you can have a little something to eat and a glass of wine or spritz."
0039 063 2 36 437
via degli Scipioni 118
"The best part of the job is actually when we can visit the champagne companies since they invite us to come a couple of days and we can meet the owners of the champagne vineyards and taste the great bubbly. I especially loved going to Scotland, which I love. I love the people and the country and I love the whiskey. I got to taste some great whiskey and the coolest thing is to learn about it and to introduce the whiskey to the guests that come here to my restaurant," says Giorgia. "Yes and my mother got invited to a big party in Rome the night before the Beyonce concert since it is hosted by Jay-Z for his champagne." says Enrico. They start laughing when I ask if his mom got pictures to show with Jay-Z and Beyonce? "Yes, of course, Beyonce was begging my mom to take a photo with her," laughs Giorgia and when my eyes become wide she adds, "I was joking! Yet she went to the party and since we are a big buyer of champagne that is why they invite us!"
RISTORANTE 34 LOCATED NEAR SPANISH STEPS
I tell the famous Cook and Capo of Al 34 not to name his restaurant that since it is another year and Al35 sounds much better. "Yes Al 35 is the year after we had the first interview," he says laughing,
"yet people know it as Al 34 so then we must keep the tradition since it has been here since 1968." says Nicola as he remembers the last year interview right before he left he next day to fly to his Lincoln Park Home in Chicago. I remember that as well and ask if he loves Rome or Chicago. "Being the boss of such a traditional and famous place is stressful and when I go on vacation it is only fun. Very different." he says.
Located near Spanish Steps, the famous picture spot of Rome, at Via Mario de' Fiori, 34.
Tel. +3906 6795 091
"Everytime I go away I try to learn new cooking recipes from famous Italian schools, yet to be honest, I love the recipes from the little grandmother who makes tortellinis her own special way. That to me is very special and only a couple can do that. You know when I went to Chicago I thought of taking some Italian cooking classes too, since they do fusion and us Italians are so focused on Italian Italian Italian our way!" he admits. "I enjoy learning new techniques and bringing these techniques to my guests, yet my mother is the taster since her and my father started the restaurant and she always says, it has too much salt, change it! And of course the saying having too many cooks in the kitchen is challenging sometimes. As with all Italian families that work with each other, we clash at times!" says Nicola as he laughs.
"Why do the guests keep coming back? They love the food guess, although I wouldn't say that we are the best in Rome or Michelin. We're a traditional family restaurant where every plate my mother checks before and after from the kitchen to the table and lets me know about it if someone isn't happy. I am daily trying new recipes and my menu is very big since I love to play with food, and some people say that I am famous since I have written cookbooks that people actually use!" he says.
As I am very picky of which restaurants, enotecas, funny tours, leathers, cheese and wine stores, etc adorn my Rome site, I am happy to have the restaurant on the site from 2018 to 2020 and hope you come and meet these people as they are a lovely family that is always present, friendly and kind. Especially kind and the food great.
The famous L'Arcangelo in Rome Italy...
Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, 59,
06 321 0992
The famous chef, Arcangelo and his very serious team at Michelin L'Arcangelo in Rome
"My restaurant is about memories and the cars on the table bring back memories of that childhood. Perhaps they were different cars or toys I played with yet it is the feeling of that childhood life that I love and when people come into my restaurant I want my guests to feel immediately comfortable," says the lovely Capo of L'Arcangelo.
Whenever I approach a restaurant that has Michelin stickers on the door and window I am a little intimidated since I always expect the Capo and the Chef, especially, to be real snotty! Yet, although Arcangelo(his real name and the name of the restaurant) is totally serious, he isn't snotty. He is very intense about his food and his craft , yet he is approachable and interested in what you have to say and in what he has to tell you. His restaurant is one of these before and after theater, you know, the kind that is a little dark and mysterious and you are awaiting that great production, such as his famous recipes that he says he likes to be a little creative with. His walls are adorned with relatives from the "old country", and the real old photographs are so cool to browse that you don't mind waiting for dinner. I would say that reservations a must.
When I entered the restaurant L'Arcangelo today only Nicola, Arcangelo's wife, and his assistant, Hoxha were laughing at the counter. I said hello and we chatted about Nicola's famous husband who now has 3 restaurants, the famous Michelin named L'Arcangelo, the streetfood for young people named Supplizio at Via Dei Baqnchi Vecchi 143, and Ora da Re Bottega di Cibo Di Strada at Via Dei Coronari 25.
At least we can celebrate in style at the L'Arcangelo in Rome! Just sprinkle a little bit of Arcangelo's magic recipes in the plate and a freedom of relief beyond belief from the reality of everyday stress! It even has little cars you can play with if you get bored waiting for Arcangelo's creations!
His assistant helps me with the translations between Italian and English and she says that "he is very happy about his restaurant and the beauty of it. He loves his food and he loves his guests. He is the master chef, yet he is always out of the kitchen trying to talk to the guests. He is at the table more than the modern chic kitchen that he designed. He chats with the guests and laughs with them and his wife has to remind him to go back into the kitchen and make the food for the rest of the guests."
"The food is a lovely experience and the cars is about the memories," he says. That is the reason for the cars on the table, not necessarily that he played with cars as a child, yet the memories of childhood. That is why each of his creations has a touch of memory to it, maybe not exactly the way that your Italian grandmother, or your best friend's Italian grandmother, or you're next door neighbor's Italian grandmother made it, yet the memory of a little touch of something in it, is what makes it special.
"Every morning I ride to the Mercato and pick up 3 special herbs that they save to give me. I am the only one that uses such special herbs and that is the secret to my success and the Michelin status restaurant. I prepare such uniqueness and the people come from everywhere to experience my food." says the lovely and kind Capo.
Supplizio is Arcangelo's first Street Food Corner where he said it is his desire to be closer to the young people who perhaps don't want to do a Michelin Restaurant for lunch and dinner and are very happy to be presented with the great chef's food at a price that he can afford. Here he has his passion for Suppli, which is the street food name for excellence and the ancient Roman Traditional cuisine. Here is a reflection of the chef's need to honor the tradition of his 4 generations of restaurantuers in Rome and the atmosphere is one of a rustic living room.
Located at Via Dei Baqnchi Vecchi 143
Trattoria Pallaro located at Largo Del Pallaro 15 reservations highly recommended: 3906 6 8801488
It is VERY OLD FASHIONED TRADITIONAL TRATTORIA located in between all the fancy modern hotels and restaurants in the trendy Campo Fiore and Lady Paolio has been the Top chef and Cuoco the last 56 years.
You know from the Community of Rome, she has received 1 of 3 awards ever given to chefs in Rome that have been at the establishment 50 plus years without changing restaurants, named the famed and prestitious, Bottega Storica. The restaurant has a cool VERY LOUD outdoor cobblestoned terrace and cozy heavy wooden rooms inside.
When I ate at the restaurant in May of 2017, a couple of people sat next to me 2 hours and were celebrities from New York(very famous ones). We had much fun talking about raising children and living in New York! Very normal, yet unusual conversation you would imagine for celebrities and they loved the character, Lady Paolio and totally appreciated the family way the food is served.
Lady Paolio only speaks pure Italian and understands Italian, so you better either brush up on the Italian or bring a translator, and the waiters are about the same. The good thing is that the menu is the same with a degustation friendly taste of Italy and many courses for only 25.00 euros per guest. It was 25.00 euros 10 years since and it is 25.00 euros today!
If you ask the Lady Paolio to take a ancient walk down the stairs below the restaurant where a historical protected room and caverns of Julius Caesar is undisturbed except from the tour groups that walk through the restaurant, push back the table and chairs against the closed glossy wooden doors and venture downstairs. I took a group of 5 20year olds from a college group of 30 yesterday and they loved the fact that Julius Caesar actually worked and lectured to his fellows down there! It is dusty, musty and authentic, the room below and very contrasted to the modern life of the busy restaurant above!
Just a great family feeling of eating with Lady Paolio's team from 57 years and today...
"I do only face to face menu options!" says the cool local Italian, "When I come to the table I say Hi and here is the food of the day. I do that with every table and have been doing that since the last 7 years when I came to own the Osteria. My father asked me one day since I worked for the Publicity Marketing Agency if I would love to continue the Osteria that had been in the family the last 60 years or if I wanted him to sell the Osteria. I said that alright I shall come be the Capo. At first it is difficult, yet now it is fun. I only have seats of 20 to 25 people to eat and it is fast. They come in and I tell the guests my menu and they order. We have about 25 items on the menu and I let the guests know if something isn't available." Chiara says. Via dei Banchi Nuovi, 14
Chiara's father helps in the morning to prepare the food for the day yet she says, "When I am on the day it is a lot of responsibility or if I am sick the restaurant doesn't open. I am responsible for my Cuoco in the kitchen and I must try to come here everyday. I close the month of August the entire month and in August we go on vacation." she says. "Vietnam and Cambodia and Thailand is cool to go on vacation to and actually my favorite. In addition I loved Mexico, and thankyou very much the Mexican people that visit here always invite me to vacation with them!" she says. 06 687 8842 is the number to call for directions, yet reservations? Chiara laughs, "Are you kidding me! In my little place! And on Sundays and Mondays I have personal days."
I say that is music to hear she has fun.
"Yes I used to go out on Fridays and Saturdays to have a glass of wine with friends, yet I work such long days, from 12.00lunch to 22.00pm is the kitchen open. Now I am thinking that maybe I can have a person help on a Friday and Saturday and go see a concert or something fun to do."
"I've kept most of the pictures from my grandmother and grandfather just the way it is today. I added some sketches and some of my little personal touches to make it mine. Here the notice says that in 1931 you were not allowed to play card games and it lists a ordinance that every place in Rome had to adhere to. These items I kept for memorabilia." Food? Heavenly. Chiara? Delight.
Osteria is located at
Via dei Banchi Nuovi, 14
The charming totally authentic traditional Italian kitchen and Osteria is located at Via dei Banchi Nuovi, 14 and how lovely it is. From the only person that you shall see and talk to, aka the Capo Chiara above, to the cuoco in the kitchen, it is a real Italian home that you come to eat at. "My grandfather and grandmother bought the restaurant in 1946, yet it started maybe in 1930s I suppose since they bought the already existing wine service from a farmer that had the vineyards. The vineyards are small and about 50 minutes from Rome. They would bring the barrels in everyday and they would resell wine. At that day in 1946, my grandmother and grandfather only sold wine, yet a couple of years since the theater around the alley opened and they started running food back and forth to the actors. That is when they started having Italian cooking here since they already cooked for the actors they decided to cook for their guests!" says the very beautiful and totally charming Chiara who I interviewed from 22.50ish pm to 1.00am at the little Osteria.
"My tables have paper on each one and people draw and write letters and doodle everyday and give these to me. They send me letters and postcards from around the world and they invite me to every country. It is amazing that I stay here to give my guests my cooking, yet the world visits me. The world revolves around my restaurant!"Chiara says.
We had so much fun drinking wine and chatting til 1.00am. I learned about how the process of turning a little Osteria of wine and cheese into a homemade kitchen with a spotless reputation happens. How a young Italian girl who went to college and started working in publicity is now the Capo of her own Osteria. How life continues on. Charming.
The very fun cold Bar named the ICE CLUB of ROME And for fun while you are starting out your Eternal City Night of going out to dinner or drinks, a must is a once in a lifetime 25 minutes of 5degrees in the famous Rome ICE PUB that has ice sculptures of the eternal city! "I was thinking of doing a Vatican Ice Pub since I have been here over 17 years now," says Agostino who is the very nice and friendly owner, "yet the Vatican is so small I don't know where I would put the Ice Pub!" When I laugh and ask if he can do Vatican Statues of Ice in his Rome Ice Pub he looks at me as if that is a sacreligious question! "They are two very different cities and if you are a Roman native you must remember that!" Ok!
O hey when you are cold, you must drink a lot of alcohol and for 15.00 euros you enter with that cool space age thermal suit and drink up, making tons of cool, no pun intended, friends along the way. It is way too cold not to talk about the cold and after you chat about how cold it is, you can all go out to dinner or drinks!
Close to the 100 Montaditos near Collsseum, down a little alley in the section the Romans call MONTI!
Via Della Madonna Dei Monti 18/19
The cool suits keep you warm, yet the record is a couple of hours inside the Ice Pub, while about 25 minutes is perfect. I believe that the bartender is either from Alaska or Siberia! They have premium vodka, of course and lots of cool ice sculptures to take photos with, too!
The Capos and the team and as you can see the beauty of the Taverna Angelica
"The food is Roman yet we have a little different presentation with the wine and the food. The wine is chosen from me and I try to visit as many small wineries as I can, in addition, I have many who come here and invite me to the vineyards. All of the wine is found in Italy and I am usually the one who finds it!" she laughs. "The wine usually can not be found in the super markets ever. If you love the wine here you should either buy another bottle, since the vineyards rarely make more than 300,000 bottles that I chose per year, or ask me for the contact of the vineyard and I can give that to you." says Mariella.
"The food is from many regions of Italy including, of course, Rome, yet we needed to respect the Roman tradition as that city hosts us, and at the same time do our own cuisine, and the menu has items from Sicilia, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Piemonte, and Lazio naturally. The chef does an amazing job presenting the plate. Simply beautiful and I love when people take time out to compliment me with the things that they do write. They send me emails from America, as I told you, and always ask for the place where they can buy the wine. I am very happy to hear guests when they come for dinner to say someone recommended their visit. As we are usually only open for dinner, I guess we can be a little more elegant at night and I try to be very personal and professional with the table." she says. "In addition, the team speaks, Italian, Dutch, English, Spanish and French! I speak 3 languages and Francesco, the waiter speaks 5! So, it is truly a bilingual restaurant where everybody can feel comfortable."
Mariella, the lady Capo, is very formal and professional as is the first impression of the swanky copper gilded restaurant, "Yes I added the copper 16 years ago since I loved working with copper. I grew up in Naples and Rome and the United States where I was a journalist! Yes believe me,"she says laughing since I am a real journalist! "When I came back to Rome I met my partner, Guido, who asked if I wanted to open a restaurant with him and I said yes. We started the Taverna Angelica 16 years now and the copper touches on the tables and walls have been here since then. My good friend is a artist and the pieces of her art are mixed in with my copper sculptures on the walls. I think it gives it a elegant mood to the restaurant." I do too since the restaurant is beautiful and in 2007 received its first entry into Michelin.
"What I really enjoy is when I present a wine to the table that I have suggested would be good for their dinner entry and they love it. They always compliment me and sometimes email me when they are back in the United States and want me to ship them wine! That is when I give the vineyards email. They do that, I am a restaurant!" she laughs. A very elegant restaurant and a very nice team. "Yes my entire team is great and my partner is lovely and Francesco, who you said Hi to, is wonderful. The chef is from Rome, of course, and we work with him on the selections of the menu. He does 4 different ones, one for each season. We show you the menu on the website, too." she says. They use products from some of the best farms around the world and it is arguably the best restaurant near the Vaticano so please be prepared to make reservations and here is how!
06 68 74 514
"The Il Falchetto has a long tradition from the late 1800s when the family of Falchetto originally owned the restaurant. At these days it is a famous wine, spirits place that people from everywhere in Rome associated with high quality. The food here is excellent especially when my father bought the restaurant about 8 years now and we changed the interior to the elegance that it is today, keeping with the important tradition of the Il Falchetto. The famous poet Trulussa used to come in here after the family after the Falchettos bought it and changed its name. He ignored the name change and kept writing his poems under Falchetto, and since he is famous, people kept asking for "where is the Falchetto?" and finally the other family changed the name back to Falchetto! The restaurant along with, Francesco who has been with my father from place to place in Rome, and my father have great stories. The important Cardinals with the ear to the Pope Francesco comes and dines in here. My father is a great man and he has been awarded the prestigious "Cavalier del Lavoro" which is to give service to the people in his lifetime job, a man of great importance." says Jerry proudly. Jerry is Antonio Donato's, the Capo, son and he says, "Every dolce you see I make myself." And of course I have to try a chocolate mound of yumminess which is lovely to say the least, and fattening! http://www.ristoranteilfalchetto.it/
"The Il Falchetto literally means "little Falcon."" says Jerry and then he shows me a photo of his father as a young man talking and greeting the President of Italy, Sandro Pertini. "My father has known many important people of the political world." he says and I say that I love the name as long as it isn't "the falcon and the snowman" and then say "woops" as I see Mr. Donato with his white hair now enter from the kitchen. We all laugh at his white hair. "That is me as a young man." he says as he points to two pictures on the wall of him and Mr. Pertini.
"We have the lovely elegant deck outside which is the favorite of the people to sit and observe the city and the three rooms inside which are really quite elegant. The one room you love is in the middle with the Godfather chair, as you say. And next to it is a private room, although it does look out to the garden. Behind my father's desk is the wallpaper that we made especially that has all of the reviews on it of important newspapers around the world. They are real articles that we had replicated to show to the guests. That is my idea and everybody loves it. And it is a family. My mom, Gina, goes to the Mercato every morning to buy fresh food and bring it back to the cooks. She really enjoys that much to do it. She just loves going to the Mercato every morning. And my wife is my right hand. She helps me with essentially everything and of course my father is the big Boss.!" says Jerry as he introduces me to his beautiful wife, Tiziana, who says she loves the beef at Il Falchetto and the Risotto with fish on the menu the most. They give me a plate of Tonnarelli aglio and olio and peperoncino garlic, which is very spicy and very tasty and I would recommend it along with the house white wine, which is a very high quality to choose for the "house wine." The restaurant is elegance with a capitol E and I would make reservations soon before it receives the Michelin award and reservatons will become impossible!
The location of the restaurant is in a hidden alley at: Via Dei Montecatini, 12 and for reservations please visit the website
and call: 0039 06 6791 160
The 3 Amici of the Posh Sapore di Mare, Rome,
06 678 0968, Via del Piè di Marmo,36
Alright the first item you will notice about
Sapore di Mare is the soft beauty of the restaurant as you step into the hidden in plain sight restaurant. It is a cozy stone cave a couple of steps from the Panthenon and famous Grand Hotel de la Minerve, hotel, http://www.grandhoteldelaminerve.com/.
The outside garden is beautiful, especially at night where the greenery surrounding the private oasis open to the alley, yet secluded, gives a lovely glow to the candlelights. I met a totally funny couple from Winchester, England, who entertained me with stories of the Royal Family, their love of Robbie Williams, and Adele. They showed me a little video of Robbie Williams where they had gone to see him a couple of days prior in England.
Now of coure we must talk about the Michelin Quality food of Sapore di Mare. I asked Giovanni, one of the three owners, the other Gino, and my lovely friend of almost 5 years now Simone, why the restaurant hadn't ever received Michelin..."I don't know, it is a perfect restaurant for it." he says in mostly Italian. O yes, you will find the real Italians, here! As I entered I thought I recognized a couple of Parliament families with their children about 22.00pm walking in, along with the usual hosh-posh groups. That is a word my table mates named the guests..."they're kind of posh," the lady says speaking in upper-crust English.
Simone much prefers to greet all the guests, to sit down and have a couple of glasses of wine with his guests and to chat. If we ever try to find Simone at night he is always at the tables talking. That is one reason that people come here. And O yes we forgot Gino Sapore Mare, he is the master chef. The Cuoco."
"I guess maybe during the filming of Pretty Woman," says Simone a couple of years since I asked him about the famous pictures elegantly on the entry hall displayed. "My favorite actress is Meryl Streep and when she came in to dinner that is my night!" he says. "She graciously sat hidden in the dark corner inside and handed the plates to the waiter every time, a lady and she laughed and had a couple of bottles of wine with us. We had a great evening. Afterwards, I named my most expensive plate after her, the Meryl Streep, which feeds 10, costs $1,000.00 and has only the freshest fish on it" he says.
Okay as my lovely friend Simone, weaves in and out of the intricate intimate tables inside the elegant stone cave and leads me to the lightly lit garden outside, he tells the waiters to give me wine and pasta anything that is special! he says. Alright the waiter asks me, "On the pici do you want fish or seafood?" and the English blokes and me start laughing. Um. What is the difference? I ask. "Fish is Red Snapper, Sea Bass, Cernia, and seafood is Prawns, shrimp, clams..." okay lets try the sea bass. YUM! Gino speaks Italian, only that, and keeps saying, Wait for Simone, wait for Gionvanni!" as he smiles and I try to ask him questions. Giovanni says"I am the fish man. I receive my fish every morning for the cases in the window here. We have fish from Sicily and fish from Sardegna and fish from the coast below Rome, Terracina is where most of my fresh fish comes from, 120 kilometers, everyday. Simone loves to talk to the guests and of course you know he loves the movie stars!"
Alright and the description would end there, however, after the GREAT FISH I had of SEA BASS and Pici, yum yum lovely, and the nice white wine, I went to find Simone from the Garden to the Stone Cave and now it is really booming! About 23.15pm. 17 waiters and team, including the chefs, are waltzing in and out of a light elegant chatter, dimly lit atmosphere of mazes inside the cave, and the CAPOS! Now I understand Giovannis statement! It is a bundle of energy. At the entry desk is about 6 waiters all talkking emphatically in Italian, like a scene with Sonny out of the Godfather. You can not get a word in edgewise, trust me! And Giovanni is on the phone, dealing with the team, saying Goodnight to the Guests, Simone is kissing the friends, kissing the friends bambinos, everybody is hugging and kissing as they leave, and the entry hall is meant for maybe 4 people and has 12 in it at all times! The food is highest standard, the atmosphere priceless.
As I am wandering the cobblestoned alleys of Roma near the busy Piazza Navona, I stumble upon a little side street that is totally autentically local Rome, very charming and busy with deliveries. A tiny boutique bistro has it's door open and a couple is engaged in a lively conversation at the glass case displaying a variety of Italian cheeses and meats...as I approach to say Hi I notice about "150" bottles of beer on the wall. "O hi, I am Madeleine from England, " is the first surprise when I try my very bad Italian skills at the beautiful language, "you can speak English if you want and I can translate to Marco. He owns the Bistro," she graciously says and I am happy to have her help me.
Thus starts a 1-1/2 hr. conversation of how Marco came to be the Capo (italian for Boss) of the Baguetteria del Fico tucked quietly hidden near the famous Piazzo yet "crazily busy at lunch and dinner hours. The people line up for the great authentic sandwiches and a bottle of craft beer and good luck trying to get a quick lunch here. It isn't happening. You have to learn to wait for that special sandwich that Marco makes for each and every guest." says Madeleine who says she "lives just around the corner here and come here everyday. Since I am gluten free I usually ask Marco to make me a salad yet I eat the sandwiches a couple of times a week they are that good."
"Here is the three types, " says Marco as he holds up the special bread, the whole grain bread and the long Italian bread. Each one is available for the sandwiches which range from Wild Boar Meat, to Deer to Salmon to Cheese and Meat Platters that the Americans love. "Yes the Americans are always most excited about sharing the platters and they sit and have to know what each meat is and which region from Italy it comes from and they love to sit and sip a beer and choose from the platters. The Japanese always order sandwiches yet mostly the fish selections and the Chinese the bruschetti."
"The cultures are very different in what awes them here. The Italians?! ALL of it. They love it all." says Marcos as he shows me the menu laughing all the time. To find:
Via della Fossa, 12
Call 06 9604 5541
And most importantly Marcos says is, "Fresh and tasty healthy products for lovers of good flavors and beers of choice and always many novelties to intrigue and satisfy every request of our customers immediately!"
"O you are giving him a big ego and I am trying to tame it down, " laughs Madeleine and I say that he needs a big ego to show all the International people how special his is. (Plus as Madeleine says he is totally GORGEOUS!) "All fresh everyday and we don't cook any food. You can choose from Italy and Spain the meats and cheeses and the beers, which we have now about 150 Craft Beers, you can choose as many as you want. They come from Italy and Germany and Belgium, you name it. Usually I pick a beer based on the breweries that we work with and they will suggest another brewery to try and we invite or visit or they come here. The special thing to say about the farmers, though, is that we know each and everyone of the people that we buy the products from and we visit many on the farms. It is a fun way of life and we chose it to know people and to learn, not to there you go now by!" he says.
"It is the Ambiance of the place, it is real fun to come here, you line up and order that special present custom-made for you and you wait for it the way you do a present. That is what makes it special to come here. And the people. Marco?s partner is Vladimiro and his wife is Catia, who makes the cake everyday. People either chose the cake or a beer when they come in." she says laughing.
He says to say he "puts his Heart into his life" and that is true.
Yes these are really that big! "It is a real treat to come here, such as trendy street platters with fish meats and cheeses that have amazing quality and taste and since I know the beer they people ask me which beer goes with the food choice. I help them to select with the beer or the spritz or the wine. Madeliene loves the spritz and the red wine." says Marco. "Yes yet his spritz is VERY strong!" she warns me. "I just make it that way for her," he jokes and while we are joking he says that is life, it is fun. He has fun with his role and sometimes dances with his guests! "You must come to dinner here!" he says and I say yes of course. He gives me a beer to try and although my choice is a pink beer it is very strong...the fruity rose petals one is pretty good though!
FONCLEA MUSIC CLUB FREE ENTRY WITH EMMEANESBOOK LIVE MUSIC EVERYNIGHT 41 YEARS.
"It is, of course, about the music, since we are the music club. However, the international eclectic kitchen has been a hit since 41 years and you can find such things to eat as fish and chips or Tbone steak from America.Everybody who comes loves to hear and dance to live music and we love to offer reasonable drinks with great food to enjoy the lovely night out." says Marco, who admits that after 41 years it is a little tiring to own a famous pub.
I have known Marco about 3 years now and he told me the story of the famous Music §Club named Fonclea,which used to be the sponsor of the outdoor music festival at Rome every year for 40 years. It started as the first Italian Cultural Music Club in Italy at the Spanish Steps and now it has had its home here 40 years. Please come tonight and the next 3 days to celebrate the 41st anniversary of Fonclea. Tonight on 26th, of September, is the BEAGLES, kind of lovely to remember the Beatles yet different. Every night they have live bands since 41 years. Do the right thing to respect and come at 20.00pm. At Via Crescenzio 82/A.
BEAGLES THE 26TH, BIG BAND BLUES THE 27TH, AND THE 28TH THE FAMOUS ANNIVERSARY BIRTHDAY OF FONCLEA WITH A 41ST BIRTHDAY BASH. PLEASE COME AND CALL FOR DIRECTIONS AT 003 906 689630 2
The rooms are downstairs and in comfortable open spaces where you eat dinner and do drinks to thelive music of very eclectic bands, Blues, Fòlk, Bluegrass, Modern, Electric, JAZZ, Country, Pop, HipHop, you name it and they play it! The best is the open conversation and the easy atmosphere at very cheap prices to eat great recipes from everywhere in the world while listening to the up and coming bands from every region of the world too. The drinks are great, too. I am coming tonight to see the Beagles and hope you come to have a ear to hear too!