For months, every time I read a magazine talking about travel to Rome, there was a mention of Roscioli, a restaurant/salumeria/wine bar near the Campo di Fiori.
The story goes that the Roscioli family started with a tiny pastiscceria serving great breads and pastries, and then expanded into a salumeria serving a host of meats and cheeses, often as marvelous sandwiches. The next step was a small restaurant, with tables crammed into every nook and cranny of their small space. David made reservations for lunch there a few weeks back, and a review of the online menu showed an amazing array of dishes, from pastas to meats, to seafood.
We headed off to the restaurant a bit after noon, and, despite problems finding their tiny premises, ended up at their front door, only to be told that they don’t open until 1230…we were early. A glance at the meat/cheese counter inside, however, was a taste of things to come an amazing array of prosciutto, jamon Iberico from Spain, cheeses, and more.
By 1230 there was a small line waiting outside, and it took a few minutes to be seated. Our table was down a flight of stairs in a wine cellar with an incredible array of wines from around the world. We squeezed in, ordered some water and wine (Brunello for David and Gavi di Gavi for the rest of us) and began wading through the menu. Tom went for gnocchi with Amatriciano sauce, David and Misha had ceci de pepe, and Katherine and I opted for the St. Pierre involtini. Darren had stuffed zucchini blossoms and beef tartare. Being a salmon buff, David also ordered an assortment of five different smoked salmons for the table – those who sampled thought they were terrific.
The consensus was that everything was top rate, and the menu offered many great options for future visits. The only complaints were with the cramped seating, jams on the narrow stairway, and a ladies room that quickly had a line of people waiting.
Darren and Misha headed off for their tour of the Catacombs, while Tom and Katherine strolled over to the Campo di Fiori. We headed back to the Minerva, and after a short rest, went out to the Pantheon square for a seat in the sun at a table at the Hosaria de Pantheon. We watched the endless stream of tourists passing through the square, and the performers – a guitar duo playing Pink Floyd (guitars not bad, vocal awful), a guitarist (pretty good,) etc. Then it was back to the Minerva to meet Darren and Misha and hear about the Catacombs.
We decided to stroll down the street and find a place for a light snack, and found one just minutes away from the hotel. The service was friendly, and the menu had a lot of nice choices. A bottle of Gavi appeared on the table, while we put our orders in. Several of us had Tonarelli, a pasta with chopped artichokes and an Amitriciana sauce (Tom and Katherine have developed a taste for guanciale…), David had veal Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal with prosciutto and sage,) I had lobster and pasta, and Misha went for the buccatini all Amatriciana. Overall, a nice dinner and a good time.
Tomorrow Tom and Katherine are going to the Coliseum, and Darren and Misha are taking a tour of the underground Coliseum. David and I are heading for the church with the Lion’s head. Tomorrow Dinner is Al Oro, the Michelin starred spot near the Piazza del Popolo.