There are a lot of new and exciting things happening in the food scene in Rome. Fancy sushi hot spots opening on rooftops and all day fine dining near the Pantheon are places I will eventually try. Once the buzz has subsided a bit. I am much more likely to stick to tradition when I go out in Rome, preferring an old school Roman spot with carbonara and scottaditto on the menu.
The other day I joined a gaggle of blogger pals for a spring afternoon of artichokes, pasta and wine. Once again Elyssa was the organizer and she led us to one of her favorites, Roberto e Loretta located a short walk from the Basilica San Giovanni e Laterano.
Everything from the vine covered doorway to the crisp linen table cloths to the (now obsolete) sign for the smoking room is classic Roman restaurant. We listened to the days specials all of us choosing to start with deep fried zucchini flowers stuffed with melty mozzarella and a single salty anchovy. I skipped pasta, but happily snuck forkfuls of vignarola, a fleeting spring only mix of fava beans, artichokes and peas from my table-mates. My main course of layers fresh anchovies and artichokes was satisfyingly crispy on top and creamy in the middle like a fishy, artichoke-y lasagna.
I stayed with the spring theme and ordered a dish of strawberries with a healthy dollop of fresh whipped cream, though it was hard to choose between the zabaglione and ricotta and wild cherry tart.
This is a place that does traditional very well, old fashioned yes, outdated, not at all.
RISTORANTE DA ROBERTO E LORETTA
via Saturnia, 18