Saturday, September 09, 2006

Il Pastarellaro, Via San Crisogono, Rome

Il Pastarellaro, Via San Crisogono, Rome
Saturday 9 September, 2006

Tonight, we were in for a treat - a traditional Italian meal where you don't see a menu, the restaurant dictates what you will eat and when - bring it on!

Il Pastarellaro is located in the Trastevere area of Rome - the happening location full of cafes, bars and restaurants over the river. It was surprisingly easy to get to considering that Italian street numbers serve no other purpose then to confuse the hell out of you. For example, walking down the street you follow the numbers 31, 33 and 35, then it jumps to 124, 158 then back to 76, 78 and 80. What the@!*? Initially you find this amusing but let me assure you it doesn't last.....

Our restaurant this evening was hidden away in a square piazza. We entered and were greeted by the sound of a local pianist and several couples dancing - there was no dancefloor but they had created some space between the tightly packed tables. Our waiter was typically Italian, flirty, suggestive and then threw us a curve ball once we explained we were Australian, not American... he had lived and worked on Norton Street, Leichhardt a few years ago. This was our first of several experiences with the amount of Italians who have no other knowledge of Australia other then Norton Street, Leichhardt.

The walls of the restaurant were covered in framed cartoons and caricatures from a well known local artist and the look/ feel of the restaurant was terracotta floors, white washed walls, stone arch ways leading into each room and wooden, uncomfortable seating. As we didn't receive a menu - it was a like a surprise party waiting for each course to appear.

Up first we received white crusty bread with plates of marinated vegetables, sweet potato puree and roasted tomatoes. Careful not to indulge too much we sampled each dish that was swimming in oil. Next came the meat filled ravioli and tomato & bacon penne pasta - whilst this was OK, it was not great and did not impress our table.

This was closely followed by the veal saltimbocca that came served with a side salad and oily roasted potatoes. The veal was good and the flavour of the sage with thinly sliced ham on top was lovely. At this point I felt I would explode due to over-eating but out came dessert - a very disappointing apple strudel with custard drizzled on top. If they had served gelato I would have been in heaven but the strudel got a firm thumbs down.

The atmosphere was large, loud raucous tables, the sound of chairs scraping against the terracotta tiles and laughter. It was entertaining for our first meal where we didn't have to order but the food was disappointing.

Il Pastarellaro - Via San Crisogono 33, Rome - 065810871


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a wonderful experience you've had. actually my dream is to travel around the world, go to places, see the small towns like Trastevere....experience their home cooked traditional meal....learn their secret recipes from their great grandmother....i'm a mother of two....busy taking care of them, and have no time for travelling....i know someday i'll be doing that...and i really cant wait for that day to come....goodluck to you.....

Did you know there is a new cool and intimate new sushi place in Rome which offers high quality Japanese foods for eating or take-away, and offers great hand-made cakes and free wifi to all customers? Click to Visit

9:21 pm  

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