Some may grumble that Rome has too many tourists, but since I was one of them, you won't hear me saying that. And since I had two of my favorite restaurant meals while here, I'm definitely not complaining.
The first several photos are from a restaurant called Capo de' Fero. As you can see below, they are not shy about telling passers-by that they are famous for their Rigatoni Democratici. I'm not sure about the origin of that name - democratic rigatoni? something to do with the fall of the fascist government after WWII? - but I will tell you that this is a dish they have every right to brag about.
Rigatoni Democratici features rigatoni in a creme sauce with sausage and parmesan cheese and was so good I wouldn't be surprised if it was a key player in the establishment of the Republic of Italy (which was in 1946, for all you history buffs).
Almost as good was the penne with tomato sauce. Sounds too basic to be memorable, doesn't it? Sometimes it's the simplest recipes that can knock your socks off - this might have been the best tomato sauce I've ever had. I wish I knew their secret!
Doesn't this look like a quintessential Italian dinner? That little carafe of wine!
This is the outside - you have to hunt for the name of the place but there's no doubt about their claim to fame!
The inside was rustic, intimate, and charming, but the weather was so delightful that we chose to dine alfresco! (That's Italian for outside - look how fluent I became!)
But that wasn't our only fantastic Rome dinner! Ristorante da Massi was a true delight. Just look at the outside - it's like a Disney version of an Italian restaurant come to life!
This was their spaghetti carbonara, one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. This is another meal that is not complicated but can be utterly outstanding when done well - and this was.
This one is their truffle tonnarelli. Tonarelli is similar to spaghetti but has a more squared off shape to it. I will concede that this was not the prettiest pasta dish I've ever had but it was unbeatable for its intense mushroom flavor - delicious!
This was the fairy-tale restaurant's interior - another authentically Italian dining experience with both setting and food.
Italy really knows how to do dinner the right way. I hope I can bring a little of that back to my own life!