Alle Fratte di Trastevere
Via delle Fratte di Trastevere, 49-50
Date of Last Visit: Saturday, April 18th, 2009
The Victims: Julie, Kellie, Feathers, Anna
The Damage: An unbelievable 20 euros each.
The Background: My feet are killing me. We’ve been everywhere. Walking. 3.5 hours in the Vatican, in particular. We’ve been on a tour with Eden Walks, and it was pretty darn fantastic. I’ve been to the Vatican Museum twice before and there are only so many bowls and cups and tapestries I can take. But Graham, our tour guide, is fantastic and keeps my interest.
At the end of the tour, Feathers and I prompt him for restaurant advice. He gives us the secret code to the list on his Web site and later on once we’re home, I peruse his suggestions and short reviews and pick Alle Fratte di Trastevere. Again, keywords being “fun” and “good value.”
The Entrance: Alle Fratte is PACKED at 9:30 p.m. when we enter. All Italians. With the exception of a mixed group of Scandinavians and Italians that arrive later. The gregarious proprietor seats us and starts suggesting all sorts of things. We start out simply with some antipasti and some bruschetta and both some house white and some house red.
This is what I love about Italy. I love house wines. I love the mystery of not knowing what they are. And I love the pricetag. At one point during our sojourn in Rome, my house white is cheaper than somebody’s Coke-a-cola. Now that’s funny. I think. I also love the carafes. No bottles. No ceremony.
The Food: I opt for the local dish. Penne all’Amatriciana. It is nice. The few crispy bits of bacon are the best part and I am sad that they are so few and far between. It feels homey. Maybe homey on a budget. And it is homey later when I admit that I’m from Long Island, as is the proprietor’s wife and son. I announce this at the end of the meal, and they all look at me strangely and say, “Why didn’t you tell us sooner???”
I will always wonder what sorts of goodies I missed out on.
The Limoncello: We’re treated to a free round of Limoncello before heading off into the night and into the Trastevere. A nice touch.
The Verdict: Well, at 20 euros per person, it’s really really hard to complain. I thought the food here was serviceable. Service was friendly. The loos were clean. And the atmosphere was lively and fun. In short, it was nice.