Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eating in Rome

Much like New York City, the city of Rome is world famous for its cuisine. In fact, we were more excited about eating here than we were about sightseeing.

We were fortunate to have tried a few different restaurants that were kid friendly, though I would say they were more "kid tolerant" than "friendly." Of the handful of restaurants we visited, there were two that really stood out in our minds.

Unfortunately, we found these places towards the end of our trip. Otherwise, we may very well have went back to each multiple times during our 4 night stay.

Armando al Pantheon
Located right besides the famous Pantheon Temple, Armando is a great family run trattoria that we found on Yelp right after we came out of the Pantheon.

When we arrived, it was about 1:45PM, so we had to wait about 10-15 minutes for a table to open. The entire place only had about 14 tables, so it had a charming local feel to it, though it was clearly catering to both locals and tourists with its English translation menu.

We ordered a grilled anchovies bruschetta as an appetizer, along with a spicy spaghetti and a prosciutto wrapped veal to share between my parents. They also ordered me a small plate of spaghetti with butter and cheese. I have to say, I love the fresh Parmesan cheese they use here!

Osteria Barbarini
This was our clear favorite restaurant during our short Roman Holiday. Located a few blocks off the Barbarini metro stop, we were able to walk from the St Regis hotel.

My father was smart enough to have the Concierge book a 9PM reservation and to inform them that my party would include a wonderful, but young toddler. They had a nice table in the small upstairs seating area ready and waiting for us when we arrived.

We didn't venture downstairs, but it seemed like there was a larger dining area there, but we were perfectly happy to dine upstairs where my mother could quickly take me outside if need be. And there were fewer other people if I did make a scene (which happened of course).

And at Osteria Barbarini, we found out that their specialty is truffles - seen here. There was an entire section of their menu dedicated to dishes with truffles - both white and black truffles. Of course, my father had to try their specialty!

Unfortunately, the white truffles (the good ones) were out of season and not in stock. But when the owner saw my father's disappointment, he managed to find some frozen white truffles in the back and used it to make us complimentary white truffle risotto for us to sample, repeatedly apologizing that it was frozen. That was just amazing.

My mother and father started out with a seafood salad for their appetizer to share. For the primi course, my father ordered a black truffle lasagna (very heavy, FYI). My mother went with a shrimp fettuccine which was more than enough for her entire dinner.


My indulgent father, however, also ordered a filet steak with black truffles as his secondi. While actually pretty full after the lasagna, he made room for his rare filet that was literally buried beneath black truffle shavings.

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