Dinner and a Night Stroll

 Our time in Rome is coming soon to an end, and after this we will have a few pretty intense days in Naples; I though it was in both of our interests to take it as easy as possible. You see, I decided to spend just 3 nights in Naples before I found out about all the things that we should go see. You should see THAT Spreadsheet. But THIS was The Rome Spreadsheet.

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We basically did not do a thing the entire day except laundry and writing for me, and web surfing for C. We had for lunch the leftovers for dinner, so yeah, we did not go out at all until the evening. And we were both happy with this.

We had an 8:00pm reservation at restaurant Sora Margherita. This place used to be a socialist community kitchen, and years afterwards, a private dinning club. Not everyone could get in. And lots of people still can’t… unless they have a reservation; which we did (made 2 days before when we were in the area).

We arrived at 7:45 and the beginning of a mob scene started as soon as the lady (Margherita Jr.?) peaked out and inquired about presentations. It was all put out immediately when it became obvious that things were going to go her way and not anyway else. A VIP-looking threesome got kicked out without apologies when they overconfidently walked into the restaurant at 7:57pm. No one passed the threshold until their name was called.

We were in and seated by 8:02; elbow to elbow with a Danish couple which later said they come every year to Rome –and- to Sora Margherita because it is just so good.

I was not going to lose my last chance to have fried artichokes, carcciofo alla giudaica. Well… I think it might be an acquired taste. Yes, the leaves are like chips. Extra crispy and almost burnt. C did not want to have anything to do with them after the first bite, but he is not an artichoke lover anyway. I ate it but did not fall in love, the best part was the center of the choke (it was fully edible) where there was still some taste of the vegetable. Been there, done that, no need to repeat it. Next course please.

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C had for primi the most delicious hand-made fettuccini al sugo di carne. The sauce had actual little chunks of meat on it, like it had simmered for hours on the stove. They were delicious and he ate every single strand of pasta and stain of sauce in the (very shareable) plate.

This was a good thing I guess because ‘Margherita Jr.’ will go around and spoon feed by hand anyone that has not finished up their plate. Cheek pinches and kisses were also dispensed freely.

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Now we get to speak about my Agnolotti Cacio e Peppe with Ricotta. The bad part first to get it out of the way. I could have entirely skipped the ricotta blub. It was cold, not tasty at all, and made the pasta ‘wet’. I should have stopped at Cacio e Peppe. Having said that, the tortelloni-like pasta filled with seasoned meat was absolutely heavenly. The fresh pasta (hand made in the restaurant) had enough bite to eat to make it satisfying and to stand up to the small morsel of meat inside.

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The portion of my primo was perfect for one person, while C’s was humongous. Our neighbor’s bucattini amatricciana looked amazing and the plate was also certainly large enough to share; which they did having been there several times before.

During the order-taking process, ‘Margherita Jr.’ announced several times that the person was going to get a ‘surprise’ dish when the customer hesitated or could not make up their mind. Having said that, she did answer specific questions and made (strong) recommendations. But I can imagine some people not being happy with their ‘sorpessa!’ dish.

We both had the Abbrachio a la Cacciatore (a kind of lamb braise/stew; with a lot of rosemary in this case). It was definitely on the oily side, a good oil taste, but still, a bit much for our taste. More of an oilh poach than a sauce; which has merits of its own. I exercised caution and only ate the prime bits. C ate EVERYTHING, just left the bare bones. Yes, it was that good. But he did not sleep at all from overeating and heartburn.

I do not have much of sweet tooth and C does not have one at all, so we skipped desert and settled with just coffee. €84 for an excellent meal.

After dinner we persevered and went for our scheduled night walk. From the ghetto to the Fontana di Trevi, around 10:30pm the crowds were very manageable. I guess that April can be the off-season after all if outside the Easter bracket.

We went on to the Pantheon and then to Piazza Navona. To our surprise, all the restaurants in Navona were closing by 11:00pm. The place was dead.

Campo di Fiori on the other hand, had all the heaters going and people were out and about. The outside terraces were livel(ier).

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After that we just headed over the Ponte Sisto, back to the Trastevere and crash until the next day. What would be our last full day in Rome.

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— Notes from Wednesday, April 26th


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