For months, David and Darren have been talking about returning to Al Moro, their favorite restaurant in Rome. While each of them has been multiple times, they have never been together, so this will be a special visit.
Al Moro has wonderful food, and (I think) the best bread in Rome. It makes wonderful Carbonara and bucatini alla Amatriciana, along with a host of other dishes. Dining is either on a small patio outside on the street, or in an indoor dining room.
As Al Moro is just a hundred meters from the Trevi Fountain, our plan was to go there with Tom and Katherine, visit the small salumeria Antico Forno) and browse the meats, oils, and cheeses, ending up at Al Moro, where we had 1230 reservations.
We arrived at the Trevi to find a seething mass of humanity, most wielding “selfie-sticks” so they could take pictures of themselves in front of the fountain. We found a small space on one side that was open and took some photos. Tom and Katherine tossed coins in the Fountain, and then we moved on to the front, trying to squeeze into a any open spot so we could take a picture. It was a mass of tour groups, families, and people of every ilk, all trying to do the same thing, while talking as loudly as possible.
Spotting Darren and Misha on the other side, we made our way over and took a few more photos, then made our way out of the writhing mass of tourists and into the Antico Forno. David, of course, repeated his desire to take an entire 40+ pound prosciutto home in his carry-on luggage, while the rest of us ogled the fabulous array of sausages and cheeses. As we were about to eat, we passed on buying anything, although David and Darre n came close to getting some Bresaola and Tallegio (cheese) for snacks.
Strolling down the street to Al Moro, we found the waiter setting up outside tables. we asked if we could reserve a table of six, and he said of course, but we would have to wait until 1230ish to be seated, as the restaurant did not open until then. No problem. We strolled into the bar opposite, grabbed two booths for the six of us and ordered a round of drinks. Tom and Katherine went for the orange spritzes that are the current rage, David had a beer, and Darren and Misha had a glass of wine. We passed the time sending out photos to our families and friend at home, then meandered to our table at Al Moro.
The bread was as good as I remembered, and I devoured a slice while Darren selected wines for lunch. David ordered appetizers for the table – caprese salad, with gorgeous tomatoes, fresh mozz, and tiny basil leaves; bresaoloa with shaved parm, arugula, and olive oil; and Roman artichokes. Everyone dug in and in short order, the plates were all empty. Darren’s wines came, a Vermentino and a Montepulciano, both excellent. Our feast had begun.
For the main courses, the number of choices was dizzying. I went with their Carbonara – creamy and delicious with homemade noodles. bucatini was the plate of choice for everyone else except Darren, who went with a beef involtini. The food was wonderful, and everyone devoured every morsel. Darren’s wine choices were spot on, adding even more enjoyment to the meal. A round of gelato finished off the lunch, then we were on our way. Darren and David agreed that the meal lived up to their memories and expectations.
Everyone headed off in different directions to explore Rome, and we reunited in the evening at the roof top bar of the Minerva. The views were spectacular, and – initially – the temperature was warm. In short order, the temperature dropped and a breeze picked up, so we all headed down to the lobby. We were still full from lunch, and – with dialysis tomorrow – opted to turn in early. Everyone else headed out for a light bite.