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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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OSTERIA MAVI – ROMANO E VEGANO!

Friendship…The most beautiful characteristic that distinguishes this restaurant from all the rest!

Two friends with a passion for Roman traditions as well as for creativity and good design.

Valerio and Cristiano have worked in Rome hospitality for many years.  They saved enough money to take over an old Osteria in the heart of Ostiense-Garbatella district, and re-styled the place with a hipster-y look and changed the name.

The name pick is one of the coolest “behind the scenes” thing to tell; in fact, a friend of theirs, passionate about music, wrote a song to his lover named Maria Vittoria AKA Mavi. They loved that song so much that they called the restaurant after it!

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Design and creativity then moved to the kitchen where the style is traditional with modern twists.  But the best thing about this place is the dishes – they taste great and look ACE!

Here are some of the dishes I recommend: Deep fried Polenta croquettes or Cod fishballs as starters, the classic “Amatriciana” and “Gricia” (tomato-less version of the Amatriciana) as pasta options or the grill of selected prime meats and fish.

The most popular dish is the “Farfalle pasta filled with prawn”: EVERYONE loves it!

The wine list counts about 100 different options, strictly Italian, but from all over the country.

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Up to this point, you would say: “yeah well, they’re just one of thousands of restaurants in Rome…what are they doing that is so different?”

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but the guys have thought about something really cool: ANY VEGAN MONDAY.

Every week, on Mondays, a Vegan night revolutionizes the menu as the chef, Marzia P. D’Ettore Piazzoli, creates different flavours from all over the world. This vegan night is soooo popular, that it gets booked out very fast! Definitely something new in such a conservative city as Rome!

Dessert? TIRAMISU!!! They have come up with their own version and it tastes A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

INFO:

OSTERIA MAVI

Via Fermi 71, Roma

www.osteriamavi.com

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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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