We came here for a late lunch, looking for something comfortable, modest and reasonably priced. Even though the restaurant was quite busy with what appeared to be a child’s birthday party, the older gentleman who served us couldn’t be any friendlier. He reminded me a lot of Happy Brian of Dot Com Pho fame, as if he were Brian’s long lost Italian cousin. It also helped that he spoke perfect English.
The restaurant itself is on the small side, so it may be a challenge to get a table during busier times. The decor is rustic and authentic, more like you are stepping into the parlour room of someone’s home than you are eating at a restaurant in a busy part of Rome.
We had our apprehensions about authenticity when we opened up the menu and saw that not only was it in both English and Italian; it was multi-lingual. That’s usually a red flag that the restaurant caters to tourists, but we were undeterred. The pricing was very good too with most pasta dishes going for between 6 to 8 Euro. Meat dishes, like Roman tripe or Milanese ossobuco, sell for no more than about 10 Euro.
As mentioned above, the restaurant was quite busy with the (birthday?) party, so our food took longer than expected. To make up for the wait, our server gave us a complimentary dish of calf’s liver. It was stupendous.
Here is Susanne’s pasta, which I believe was linguine with mushrooms, peas and ham. Needless to say, this was far better than any pasta we’ve had at places like Boston Pizza back home. It was cooked to a perfect al dente and the ham added just the right amount of saltiness.
I went with the spaghetti carbonara. Again, the pasta was a perfect al dente and despite being a relatively humble dish, it was thoroughly satisfying and comforting.
We capped off our lunch with a couple of desserts: the tiramisu shown above and assorted tarts shown below. These weren’t as good as the pasta and the tarts had too much crust, but I can’t really complain.
The total bill for the two of us — including a glass of house wine, a bottle of sparkling water, two desserts and gratuity — came to a very reasonable 28 Euro. That’s far more affordable than dining out in Paris and I found this to be generally true throughout Italy.
Interestingly, the kindly old gentleman who served us (presumably the owner) chased us down the street after we left to thank us for the (modest) tip that we left him. He couldn’t be happier or genuinely more grateful. It’s true that tipping isn’t required in Italy, but he definitely deserved it.
If you’re ever in Rome and you’re visiting the Pantheon, L’Angoletto Romano (Via di Monterone 14/b) is well worth seeking out.