Things I love: THE INTERNET.
I sat on my balcony (ooh) in Birmingham, the day before Edd and I headed to Rome, had a look on Yelp, booked a restaurant and the next evening was sat in said restaurant in Rome.
I wanted something very Italian for my first night. Pasta. Cheese. Panzanella. Wine. Limoncello. Red table cloths. A charming hosteria but not too touristy! Somewhere the locals go!
I thought a lot about this sort of thing while I was in Italy. The places I went to that felt most authentic or local didn't really match up with what is peddled as being so.
Anyway, Grappolo d'Oro was about the closest thing I found to that imaginary place. There were certainly tourists there but also Italians. It had a cosy, warm feeling with wine bottles lining one wall, but also the Slow Food logo, showing a business that cares about sustainable and local produce. A very current idea indeed.
I've always been a fan of a menu of the day type thing, with a set menu for a reasonable price. There was a lot of this in Italy.
At Grappolo d'Oro I had four courses for 28 euroes, including bread and water, a glass of prosecco and some limoncello at the end.
The starter was a selection of starters from the menu including panzanella, a kind of meatball and a cheese and anchovy mille feuille. My favourite part was the panzanella. Anything tomato-based tasted ten times better in Italy.
We then moved onto pasta. I had Tonnarelli cacio e pepe, which was simple, fresh and delightful. Simply pasta with cheese and black pepper. Edd went for Rigatoni alla Matriciana. The sauce was tomato, bacon and peccorino. It was delicious but a little too rich.
Neither of us finished our pasta dishes as we were too full and were starting to panic a little about getting through the main course!
I had Salt Cod for my main. It lived up to its name and again it was a little too rich to finish. Edd had the same trouble with his lamb.
Happily, the pudding was lovely and cheered us back up again- ricotta cheese mixed with orange and chocolate and topped with a little sweet biscuit. It was a perfect ending to a large, rich meal, especially with the Limoncello which was presented to us at the end!
I really wish I'd gone for something a little lighter on my first night and gone to Grappolo d'Oro on another night as I may have made more of my pasta and enjoyed my fish more. As it was, I probably would have been satisfied with just the starter and pudding. The mains really were extremely salty. Hopefully this is just a blip on an other wise crowd pleasing menu.
Staff were delightful throughout and the free glasses of prosecco and limoncello were great little welcomes to Rome! I'd definitely head back for the Panzanella and the
Grappolo d'Oro, Piazza della Cancelleria, Rome http://hosteriagrappolodoro.jimdo.com/
Photos by Edd.
We paid for our meal in full.