Via Portico d’Ottavio 21/a- 22
Date of Last Visit: Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Victims: Feathers, Anna, Kellie, Julie
The Damage: About 20 euros each.
The Background: It’s our last day in Rome. We have plans to visit the catacombs, but we get all the way there and they are all roped off with police tape. That kills pretty much our entire plan for the afternoon. Plus, it’s raining.
So I suggest the Jewish Ghetto. The guidebook suggests that there are lots of galleries and shops in the area and it’s where all the cool kids are hanging out these days. We take a walk around it’s main drag and there’s not much going on. But there are a bunch of restaurants.
At this point, I’m tired of picking restaurants, so Feathers picks one for us. Giggetto.
The Entrance: There’s an old woman sitting at a till, ringing up orders from waiters. The waiters come out of the kitchen in a hurry and stop by the woman’s desk, showing her the food they’re delivering. The food looks great and there’s an energy and quirkiness about the place. I can’t stop watching the kitchen door swing open.
The Service: Our server is an older gentleman and charming, in that Italian-older-gentleman kind of way. He is so charming that he convinces us to order one fried artichoke each. Carciofi alla giudia, the Roman speciality. We figure out later that each artichoke costs 6 euros each. Yes, we’ve just ordered 30 euros worth of fried artichokes. My little carafe of white wine is 2 euros (again!) to put things in perspective.
The Food: I defer to our server’s recommendation. Bucatini all’Amatriciana. It is my best meal of the trip. The sauce…I can only describe it as zesty, and I hate that word. Really packed full of flavor. And although I complained about the lack of pancetta in my dish at Alle Fratte, here, there’s lots of pancetta to go around. And the pasta…the pasta….how they are able to cook their pasta to such a level of perfectness, I will never understand. It’s really firm and the sauce just clings to it perfectly. I am very happy.
The Funny Bit: Before I left for Rome, I asked my Italian colleague Salvo for some restaurant recommendations. He sent me ONE. Just one. I was sorta like, “Is this it? Just ONE recommendation for all of Rome?”
Giggetto was his recommendation and we had unknowingly and randomly just stumbled upon it.
The Verdict: I loved Giggetto. I loved the servers, I loved the atmosphere (wood paneling, people from all generations) and I LOVED my bucatini.
And now…back to our regularly scheduled London restaurant programming…