LA GRIGLIETTA – Una piccola gemma nel cuore di Roma

As the title states, this place it’s a real little gem.

Very old family business, which has been preserved as authentic as possible since the beginning. The atmosphere is really relaxed while the owner and his son do everything in their power to make you feel confortable and taken care of.

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Quality of food? Do you really need to ask? Traditional and authentic recipes which vary from the best starters of Tuscany (wide selection of cured meats and cheeses) and the addition of a range of Fritti (fried food) typical from Lazio, specifically from Rome: Fried zucchini flowers filled with anchovies and mozzarella, supplì al telefono (rice croquettes), potatoes croquettes and all Romans favourites…THE CARCIOFI (artichokes)!

This is the season of the artichokes (FEB-MAY) and in Rome, we definitely know how to prep them in a thousand different ways.

As a starter or a side La Griglietta offers Carciofi alla Romana (mint, garlic and lemon) Carciofi alla Giudia (pushed flat and fried), fried Carciofi (batter-mixed in Egg and flour), crostini with Carciofi …yum yum yum!!! Then, moving to the main courses: pasta and Carciofi (sauce is made as a bolognaise of artichokes), stuffed Carciofi filled in an Carciofi sauce and cheese (sometimes)….etc. etc.

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This place doesn’t only have an artichokes based menu, they of course offer a wide selection of Roman amazing recipes (Carbonara, one of the best in town!) but the real gem is the TAGLIATA! SUPER YUM YUM YUM!

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The beef is “imported” directly from Tuscany 3 times a week. It serves a minimum of 2 people, as these are huge! They slice it directly at the table and the smell drives you crazy…30 second of slicing process that seems like time has stopped and you just want to taste it so badly!!!

Finally…he is done and you can begin this journey of super tender texture: juicy in the middle, with a nice crust. I could have it every day!

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To accompany the Tagliata, just ask them for the house red, easy to drink and it doesn’t spoil the taste of the meat. Of course they have a wide selection of bottles; if you are a wine lover, I’m sure you’ll find something of your likes!

Desserts are the typical ones, but extremely good and tasty. My personal favourite would be the Tiramisu.

During the winter they don’t have tables on the footpath but if there’s a sunny day and temperature is mild, ask them to move you a table outside and they’ll be happy to do it for you!

 

LA GRIGLIETTA

Via Germanico, 170, 192 Roma

Tel. +39 06.3211312

 

OPENING HOURS:

MON to SAT 12noon a 3:30pm and 7:30pm a 11pm

SUN Closed

 

A few other shots of tasteful creations by La Griglietta

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Da Enzo, IL RISTORANTE

If you’re looking for a good fish restaurant in Rome I must insist that you go to Da Enzo.

It is close to Piazza Cavour, on the way to Piazza del Popolo. The restaurant blends modern retro with ancient references dotted across the city, and welcomes the city’s top Italian lawyers, magistrates and politicians to tuck into seafood and Roman specialities cooked the ‘Enzo’ way.

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At this family establishment, every guest is greeted personally by the owner Mrs Genny – and with such a warm welcome it feels more like her private home than a public place. Her husband, head chef Luciano, and one of their sons – Luciano’s right hand man – run the kitchen. Meanwhile, back on the restaurant floor their second son – a talented sommelier – introduces the finest quality local wines as well as less well-known bottles from the south and north of the country. He’s best left to it – he never fails to choose the right cork to accompany your food.

On my last visit, I tried the Paccheri con i Polipetti e pomodorini (pasta with baby octopus and cherry tomatoes) and the classic   Spaghetti alla vongole (spaghetti with clams). As fresh as can be, the fish was dressed in a delectable sauce, simply mamma mia!   The baby octopus and cherry tomatoes garnished with fresh parsley made for a symphony of simple flavours in my mouth, while the spaghetti with clams met the highest of expectations of such a popular classic.   Because it is such a simple dish it is oddly a very hard dish to get right.

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I also recommend the tuna tartare which I tried on a previous occasion. Served with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, lemon and black pepper, it is light and suitable for the most sophisticated diners.

But my favourite dish at Da Enzo’s is the fritto di paranza, calamari e gamberi (fried fish, squid and shrimp) which is unusually light as it is pan-fried and they change the oil every time. Plus the Fried Cod – una delizia that melts in your mouth, tender and tasty – you will never forget it!

For dessert, my indulgence would be the pear and ricotta tart or the classic pastiera napoletana.

– – – HCM

INFO:

DA ENZO, IL RISTORANTE

Via Ennio Quirino Visconti, 39

00193 RomaItalia

+39 06 3215743

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Here they are, Luciano & Jenny… Enzo is not here any longer unfortunately, but they’re doing a great job with the help of their son Mario!

And here what we had for dinner…
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LA ZANZARA – BZZZZZZ

Pungente, irriverente, pronta a stuzzicare….”

Charged, irreverent, always up for a bit of a debate…these are the adjectives selected by the customers of “La Zanzara”.

Rome discovers a new Italian style bistro in the heart of “Prati”, one of the most central and famous areas of the Holy City. Just five minutes’ walk from the Vatican and ten minutes from Piazza del Popolo, the location is perfect!

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Open all day: breakfast, aperitivo 1, lunch, coffees and teas, aperitivo 2, dinner, cocktails… Every single step is perfection!

Their menu is traditionally Roman. They use the best quality ingredients for the simplest recipes to makes the experience completely unique.

There is also an incredible selection of cheeses and cured meats that will allow you to discover – or in my case rediscover – the cornucopia of flavours and scents to be found in my home city.

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Many say that the grill is why they go to La Zanzara – which is true – but what struck me were the cicchetti – small snacks or side dishes, originally from Venice – ideal for sharing and with a glass of wine.

And to drink?  There’s as good a selection as the top bars around the area. The wine list contains wines from old Italian wineries as well as from young producers who know how to produce quality products. The bar is run by a barlady who has come up with some very innovative new recipes alongside the age-old classics. For the beer lovers there’s a lovely selection of artisanal Italian craft beers as well as the big players such as Birra Moretti.

The staff are young and lovely but they know what they’re doing.

Definitely one of my favorite places right now!!

– – – HCE

INFO:

La Zanzara

Via Crescenzio, 84

00193 – Roma – ITALIA

Open every day

http://www.lazanzararoma.com/

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The Fiat 500 Story – From Parigi to Londra – Notting Hill, love at first sight! PART 2

Michele managed to find the telephone number of a mechanic and while we were waiting we spotted this empty shop exactly in front of us. It was like the Cinquecento, by breaking down right there was suggesting that we should enquire for it!

The mechanic arrived and he said that the engine was gone – that we needed to replace it and that it was near impossible without ‘extortionate’ cost to find an engine to replace it in the UK.

Of course, we couldn’t say goodbye to our only friend in London…

A few months later we opened our first little Arancina pizzeria in London, guess where? Right there, in Notting Hill, exactly where the car left us!

Did we trash the 500? NO WAY! We sliced it in half and placed it as a memento of the journey in the window of our restaurant.

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Our First Arancina branch – 19 Pembridge Road – Notting Hill – London

A year and 6 months later, our second branch opened in Westbourne Grove. Guess what we placed in the window? Exactly…the other half of our favourite travelling chariot, the Fiat Cinquento, our beloved car…

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And the second Branch – 19 Westbourne Grove – Bayswater – London

The End?? No way, that’s just how it all started!!! 🙂

– – – HCM

The Fiat 500 Story – From Parigi to Londra – Notting Hill, love at first sight! PART 1

Last day of our trip, finally we will get to London.

We drove to Calais and boarded the ferry to Dover. It was very fun as lots of people came forward to take photos of the car and they couldn’t believe we were coming all the way from Rome!

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Yeah, probably the ferry wasn’t that big, but the car is so small and everything looked bigger back then!

From Dover to London it took us “only” 2½ hours but the Fiat 500 started to hiccup and was producing really weird sounds. Michele said straight away “I hope it’s not the engine”. Too bad he understands quite a lot about classic cars – it was the engine.

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The car stopped, we knew we were in London (thank god) but where exactly? I asked a young couple walking by – “You’re in Notting Hill, mate”. Notting Hill! I was so excited! Another first for me, I had only seen it on the Hugh Grant movie until now!

To be continued…

– – – HCE

The Fiat 500 Story – From Lione to Parigi – Hello Tour Eiffel

Day 4 – We travelled a whole 290 miles across France, loving the views of the countryside. With so much distance to cover, we missed lunch but stocked up at little towns with typical cheeses and fresh bread from la boulangerie to enjoy on our way.

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Almost 7 hours later we arrived into Parigi. Exhausting, but hey – what an absolutely beautiful city! It was our first visit to Paris.

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We parked the Cinquecento as close as possible to the Tour Eiffel, took some pictures and stretched our legs by walking around the city for some time.

We enjoyed it very much but, sorry Parigi, Rome still looks better :)))

To be continued…

– – – HCE

The Fiat 500 Story – From Milano to Lione – Arrivederci Italia!!

Our third day was very sentimental. It was tough saying goodbye to our country, yet there was such an excitement for the adventure that lay ahead!

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Ciao ITALIA, see you soon!!!

Our last big Italian city stop was Torino, the house of our Cinquecento. We dropped into the very first Fiat car factory where our car was assembled, Fiat Mirafiori. Not a beautiful building but a very sentimental moment: our beloved car was saying goodbye to its “mamma”.

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As soon as we passed the border, we got lost….of course!

Crossing the border into France and travelling a further 193 miles, we arrived into Lione hours later than intended, missing our chance to try some of the recommended city hot spots. Luckily we found a brasserie that served up appetising local dishes. I remember the “boudin aux pommes”, the “foie de veau a la Lyonnaise” and most of all, the “sausisson chaud a la Lyonnaise”, my personal favorite 😉

To be continued…

– – – H.C.M.