LA CARBONARA – ‘BBONA VERA!!!

Right in the heart of Rome, in Piazza Campo di Fiori, you’ll find one of the oldest restaurants in the City, founded years ago by a coal dealer’s wife (a carbonaro) who had his shop right in front of the restaurant.  La Carbonara is also a nod to one of the most traditional Roman dishes you will find: La Pasta alla Carbonara. You could presume it’s going to be a usual tourist trap, but the truth is that the owners had the foresight to keep it really traditional – both in the menu and in the decor.

menu1LC

You find yourself then, having lunch on a table, admiring the old piazza with the statue of Giordano Bruno in the middle, surrounded by the ancient buildings and the local food market in the centre.
In the evenings, the piazza turns in one of the most popular areas of the Rome nightlife scene with cool bars, clubs and cafes.

esterno1LC

The restaurant is run by Donna Teresa who gives a touch of originality even to the most simple foods like her amazing cured meats, or the homemade ravioli filled up with ricotta cheese and nuts. But many locals choose to ignore the menu, as Ms Teresa often creates surprise dishes depending on what is in season that day/week/month.  But you cannot go to La Carbonara without ordering the…Pasta alla Carbonara of course!!!! (It’s the most incredible pasta dish, made with a sauce of eggs, creamy pecorino cheese and pancetta – for the few who still don’t know what it is!)

Other main courses are again buonissimi like the pasta with clams, cherry tomatoes and rocket salad, or the mixed fried vegetables, the giblets di una voltaas well as the chicken breast alla fornara. Finally you cannot miss the abbacchio scotta ditto: the lamb meat is always tender and succulent.

abbacchio1LC

In terms of wines, as always in Rome, you have lots of choice, but we’d like to suggest the Cesanese del Piglio, if you like red, or a refreshing Canestraro Grechetto if you fancy white.

LA CARBONARA

Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 23
00186 Roma
Tel: +39 06 6864783

interno1LC

interno2LC

fiori frittiLC

esterno4LC

esterno3LC

esterno2LC

Campo-de-Fiori3

Campo-de-Fiori2

IMG_2956

IMG_2957

IMG_2958

IMG_2959

IMG_2960

Advertisements

CAFFE PROPAGANDA – THE MODERN PARISIAN STYLE CAFÈ IN ROME

A group of like-minded foodie friends within the restaurant industry in Rome decided to team up and open something unique in their home city. Tradition and roots are what everyone takes into consideration when opening a restaurant in my city.  They decided to offer really high quality food delivered in a totally unique way.

They joined forces with a well-known Architect’s studio in the Holy City and in 2011, a few steps away from the Coliseum, they opened CAFFE PROPAGANDA!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.17.24

CP takes elements of old and new Paris, then brings them together in a brand new look, merging the style of an old-fashioned Parisian Bistro but with some modern twists.  You’ll find high ceilings, a beautiful zinc and durmast wood counter, the typical porcelain tails classic from the Metro of Paris, the white columns…and so on!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.13.54

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.13.37

It took them a while to name the place as it had to express what they were standing for: healthy and organic food coming from the surrounding area, to keep food miles as low as possible. The idea was to make a Propaganda in order to cement the principles.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.13.03

On the menu, there’s a bit of everything: salads and sandwiches for a quick meal,  a selection of teas and pastries for the afternoon, aperitivo and “stuzzichini” before dinner-time, a proper menu printed on an old style newspaper (incredible selection of cheese boards and organic wines) and a very unique list of cocktails/mocktails.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.08.45

All details are really taken into consideration!

What’s quirky? They only play music on Vinyl….How about that?!

CAFFE PROPAGANDA

+39 06 94534255

Via Claudia 15

00184

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.17.27

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.17.11

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.08.35

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.08.30

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.07.19

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.17.20

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.17.38

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.13.16

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.09.29

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.08.59

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.07.44

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.07.36

BUCAVINO – ristorante giovane e BUONO!

BUCAVINO

There’s a very small door on Via Po 45A, two mini lanterns and a very little bronze plate that introduce you to Andrea and Francesca’s home. Welcome to Bucavino!

11270168_10206823439686034_1834687672_o

There you will find a young and vibrant atmosphere, really tasty dishes and lots of smiles: these are the characteristics that set these siblings apart from the rest.

Andrea is the brain behind the cooking. He takes care of everything that goes on in the kitchen and he wants to approve every single dish his assistant prepares, even the salads!

Francesca is a brilliant sommelier; she will always have at least 2-3 choices ready to offer per plate on their menu.  On our visit, we found her to be a very good host and trains up the younger staff beautifully, too.

11423857_10206864225945665_1414828399_o

Most of their dishes are traditional ones from the Lazio region, but they also run a special menu every single day with the freshest products they find available on the market – from meat to fish, but also dairy products as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Quality is high and everything tastes authentic.

We cannot rave about the desserts too – they’re all homemade with the exception of a line of Gelati Tartufo which is produced by a small family run business just outside of Rome.

Dishes that I personally recommend:

Starter – Fiori di zucca fritti con mozzarella di bufala ed alici.

Pasta – Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (sometimes you find the variation of this dish with the addition of King prawns – Go For It!!).

Second Main – Filetto con crema di Pecorino.

Dessert – Home made tiramisu (love the presentation) or Liquirice Gelato Tartufo.

At the end of your meal you must ask for a limoncello or, even better, an Amaro del Capo!

Definitely not expensive, strongly recommended if you are strolling around Quartiere Pinciano-Coppedè.

BUCAVINO

Address: Via Po 45A

Telephone number: +39

Open MON-SAT for lunch and dinner

Closed on SUN

IMG_0906

IMG_0294

IMG_2231

IMG_0910

IMG_0908

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.27.55

IMG_4784

IMG_6018

IMG_5482

IMG_4400

bucaburger

gnocchi

IMG_6534

pasta

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.31.07

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.30.02

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.29.54

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.29.24

foto2

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 13.30.11

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.

10967248_10205951739734080_895096013_o
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…

10965153_10205952600115589_1396547453_o
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!

10946200_10205837470197413_1712969268_o
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.

10943243_10205836955304541_1247661361_o

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