Monday, 1 August 2011

Rome

All I can say is that this is definitely my most favourite city for EATING. I seriously have never eaten so well in my life and my entire days were filled with only pasta, pizza and gelato. I did not see a single vegetable in my time here other than it being fried. You only live once and honestly how soon will I be back in Rome? I took every single advantage I could to taste and eat everything possible. All the food was so incredible, I felt almost euphoric and could not leave any bite behind. Also had much Prosecco and Franciacorta as I absolutely love the bubbles! There is not much else to say is that I LOVE ROME .. the sights were obviously amazing as well, but the food I will never forget. The best meal I had was the Carbonara at Roscioli (voted best in 2008 – also went twice!). This was truly a culinary journey I will never forget and will soon have to return... I definitely did not have enough time at all.

Day 1:  Got there late so only dinner a ROSCIOLI (Via dei Giubbonari, 21, Roma) to have the carbonara.


Fresh, smoked mozzarella .. to die for!


Breads from their own bakery just down the street. My favourite was the pizza bianca (on very top).




Carbonara = EPIC! You can really taste the love, care and quality of ingredients that go into this dish. The pasta was cook perfectly, you can taste the kick from pecorino cheese, parmesan cheese and pepper, the organic egg yolks gave it a creamy and delicious taste and texture and the guanciale (spiced bacon) were these little crispy bite size fat explosions of flavour. This was definitely the best dish I had in Rome and also had it as my final dinner – very creamy and full of flavour.




Day 2: Went on a tour that went really late so had a late lunch at 4pm at Roscoli again – had the cacio e pepe; really did myself in with 2 bread baskets thus no dinner.


Antipasto: Sardines, sundried cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella


Cacio e Pepe: Again this dish was fabulous. It consists of pecorino cheese and fresh black pepper. Like an amazing spicy mac and cheese .. so delicious and again the quality of ingredients is outstanding.



Day 3: Got to make up for lost time. Pizza at L’Antico Forno (location near Pantheon) for breakfast. For lunch I went to Matricianella (although very on the fence at the time due to various reviews). Lastly for dinner I went to Da Gino.  


 Breakfast: L’Antico Forno - prosciutto and potato pizza. WOW! I absolutely was in love with this pizza. It was ridiculously delicious. The crust was thin but chewy (they make pizza on all their own breads), the prosciutto was fatty &salty, the potatoes were thick and really creamy and blended nicely with the mozzarella.

Lunch at MATRICIANELLA (Via del Leone, 4 00186 Rome, Italy): I started with the fried zucchini flower. It was lightly fried with zucchini and buffalo mozzarella on the inside and it was just goo-ing out. This was incredibly tasty and not heavy at all; although if I had a few more I may have felt differently! Note the lighting was quite dark in the restaurant hence my two photos are not the greatest.


Matricianella - Bucatini L’Amatriciana: This pasta dish consists of spiced bacon and it is a spicy tomato based sauce often with wine. This sauce was just incredibly delectable and this was probably my second most favourite dish. You can really taste the tomatoes in the sauce and again the quality of ingredients was superb. This is a must have!


 DA GINO (Vicolo Rosini, 4 00186 Rome, Italy): I had their house specialty which is the pancetta, pea, mushroom and parmesan cheese with fresh tonnarelli (their specialty pasta – like a square shaped spaghetti). The dish was quite tasty: the sweetness from the peas, the salty/fattiness from the pancetta, kick from the parmesan cheese but I personally think Gino is overrated. This was a very good dish but compared to the other pastas I have been having, I felt it was just good.


Day 4: Last day in Rome. Had to make it count!!



Breakfast day 4 - Antico Forno Roscoli (Via dei Giubbonari, 21 00186 Roma, Italy): I had the margarita (added my own spicy salami that I also bought from the bakery) and a potato pizza with olive oil and herbs. Both were delicious but nothing incredibly special like the pizza from yesterday.




Lunch at Matricianella: Since its Thursday I went to have gnocchi (pasta house specialty) and decided to go back to Matricianella as I heard their gnocchi is wonderful. I got the pomodoro with basil and the gnocchi was incredibly light. It was like biting in a pillowly little gnocchi. The sauce was a touch bland but with some chili's and parmesan = perfection!

 
Dinner: I could not leave without having the Carbonara at Roscioli's one last time.


Gelato debrief:
Mainly went to SAN CRISPINO in Trevi fountain and there was one 10 minutes away from where I was staying. 





Stracciatella (on the left): vanilla with dark chocolate chips and it was rather bland here. Hazelnut – MY FAVOURITE. Tasted so rich, so creamy .. essentially like nutella without the chocolate. Got this flavour every time I went to San Crispino.




Banana (on the left): This was my second favourite. Usually I often find banana flavoured things to be quite disgusting but this was incredible. So creamy with this wonderful banana flavour and had it every time I went. You also know its going to be good because the colour of it is NOT yellow (often a good sign). Also hazelnut on the right once again.




Strawberry (bottom): The texture was very nice, creamy and with little seeds that made it feel like a strawberry but I have had better at Rivareno gelato (actually tasted like I was eating strawberries). The flavour at San Crispino was okay. Grapefruit sorbet (on top): I was convinced to try more fruit flavours as they tend to be more intense. This was very true to taste. Very refreshing, tart, sweet and very much like a grapefruit.



RIVARENO gelato: strawberry and raspberry



Vanilla Bourbon was very bland and would not recommend (on the bottom right). 


Pistachio (bottom left) and the two other flavours were banana and hazelnut. This was very good as I am a huge fan of pistachio but the one at Gracchi was extraordinary.The flavour was so intense with pistachio chunks. Wonderful. 

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