Saturday night I went to a birthday dinner. The birthday boy (let’s call him BB) had a dinner at a place with no sign. He only knew of the place because another expat used to live around the corner from this non-restaurant and told him about it.
BB said if I had walked up to this place with another friend and said “table for two” the owner would have said, “Sorry this is not a restaurant”. The owner doesn’t know me; I could be an inspector or something.
I don’t even know the street’s name. Last year I read a travel article about Naples from either “Condè Nast Traveler” or “Travel and Leisure”. The author mentioned that some of the best food is at these types of places. This is true. The anti-pasti…bruschetta, white beans in a tomato based sauced and some kind of mashed squash dish were yummy. The Cacio & Pepe, Rigatoni Amatriciana and Rigatoni with Sausage were amazing. I had a little of all three first plates. The house red and white were very good (no bottles), and the second plate, rosemary chicken, was very tender and flavorful. Dessert was some fruit, grappa, and limoncello (I didn’t touch the liquor I had enough wine).
Sitting outside on a beautiful night (it cooled down nicely) with good food and good conversation is not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening. Before I moved I used to spend the majority of my Saturday nights in my dumpy apartment reading bad scripts for work. The highlight of my Saturday was watching “Everyday Italian” on the Food Network. Sometimes I would turn the TV on too early and have to hear Rachel yapping about some monstrosity. I need to write a post about her. I truly do not understand why this woman is so popular. Anyway I digress.
After an early dinner, the owner of the non-restaurant has a deal with his neighbors that outdoor seating will wrap up by 11:00; we walked over the island in the Tiber. I will have to post about this island. The history is very interesting.
During the summer the city puts up bars, restaurants, crafts tents and a movie theater on the island and along the river’s banks. If you are in Rome visiting it’s fun place to go for a drink or to catch a movie on a nice night. The crowd gets bigger and younger later in the evening. Close to the theater were all these huge black and white photos from the glory day of Italian and American cinema. There were photos of Audrey Hepburn, Monica Vitti, Sofia Loren, Alain Delon, Fellini, De Sica etc. Further down were photos of the Island from way back. Incredible shots of the island being flooded back in 1870, a bridge that is no longer around and photos of the surrounding areas.
I didn’t stay for drinks. It was late (for me) and I had to get up early and write on Sunday. I will definitely return if only for the Nutella crepes I saw at one booth.
Bar near the tip of the Island.
Along the banks of the Tiber.
A shot of the Island from the Trastevere side. I didn't use any flash but increased my ISO. That's why my night photos look grainy.