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4.18.2019

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto


The weekend before Frank Bruni’s piece about dining while middle aged hit my Facebook feed I had a late night conversation about a meal I had just come home from. The food was fantastic, the volume level was fine but the newish space was on a rooftop and had very uncomfortable chairs. Despite all its sparkly charms, I am in no hurry to return.


These days I am happiest at home with Netflix or entertaining friends and family. When I do go out I am not interested in the newest place that is getting all the buzz. I am the cliche from the article. The one whose desire is comfortable consistency

As much as I love a simple plate of Amatriciana in a place with interrogation lighting sometimes a more refined and elegant atmosphere is called for. Al Pompiere in the Ghetto hits all the right notes. Frescoed ceilings, starched white table cloths, clientele with regular tables and almost unspoken orders that have been memorized by a staff that has not changed for decades. 

Come for lunch and the light streams through the large palazzo windows and in the evening the light is subdued but not so low you need your phone’s flashlight to read the menu. 

Though, to be honest I am not sure that I have ever actually looked at a menu. My first few visits here were with my pal Elizabeth, one of those regulars. It is hard to branch out from the dishes that the Helman-Minchilli’s have been eating since the 1980s.  The Jewish style artichoke is deep fried as tradition calls for, but somehow stays tender and greaseless at its center. The lemon pasta dish Fettuccine al Limone is creamy and bright and when I put a picture of it on my Instagram feed I get hundreds of messages asking for the recipe. Add a plate of cicoria and a glass of wine and you have the perfect lunch. For dinner add a plate of grilled lamb chops, scottoditto and a slice of viscole and ricotta crostata and plan on a slow walk home past the Roman Forum with perfect lighting. 


Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Via di S. Maria de' Calderari, 38
+39.06.686.8377
Lunch and dinner; Closed Sunday

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