We are back on track discovering new fantastic places, very good original Roman food, hidden osterie, unnoticeable restaurants, disguised cuisine heavens, as most best places deceive our eyes, Stanito kept sniffing gems out!
Following the trattorie category (for further information on Italian Food Places categories, please click here), the latest one that Stanito found is called Er Grottino der Traslocatore, meaning The Little Cave of the House Mover (some of the names of osterie and trattorie really deserve deeper analysis).
It was a late evening, I was returning home with cheese and bread when Angelo said “No, there’s no way that’s going to be your dinner! Drop those, please”. Normally, I dislike when either him or Teresa criticize my meals, and they tend to do that very often. Being Sicilians, they are often quite square-minded regarding… everything (they still don’t accept that I love caffé americano! How can I feel satisfied with one tiny espresso as breakfast?!).
I was about to snap at him, and considering how tired I was, it would have been a bad idea. But before I attacked him I noticed a curious smile, so I asked: “Angelo :O you’re up to something, tell me! Or else I’ll resume my original intentions…”. He simply said: “There is a place you pass by every day and you have no idea of how good it is, so yes, drop cheese and bread and let’s go!”
Ok so he wasn’t going to nag me as usual but instead he had better plans than my delicious cheese and bread. I was intrigued.
Few minutes later I was back on the car with the craziest driver I’ve ever met (I have to say, since I moved in with them my life has been at risk more than I ever thought).
We stopped near a corner which basically doesn’t have anything special, until you pay enough attention…
Then you start perceiving interesting features
and finally what you were looking for: TRATTORIA
The barely written letters, the minimal stairs and the lack of formality were absolutely telling me that this place is never meant for tourists, just for locals, and this is always a good sign.
And here we are, in front of a very typical trattoria. In many trattorie and osterie it happens that when you come in the waiter will either shout out loud “How many of you are??” or he/she completely ignores you. Based on the next photo, you can easily guess which one was our option
They ignored us enough to give me time to photograph them and pick the best shots 🙂
Tables were set in a very basic manner, just a paper cloth and basket of pane casareccio (rustic bread), and food was literally spectacular, and way too much…
My choice, rigatoni cacio e pepe, very simple dish made with just pasta, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper. Even though is extremely simple, the taste is incredibly satisfying. In fact Italian food is normally known because of its simple flavors and taste. Also, it was precisely al dente, which means, cooked until just firm
Angelo’s, rigatoni Amatriciana. Personally, my second favorite. This dish is originated in the town Amatrice and is also very simple, all you need is: guanciale (any purist Roman food expert will point out the difference between guanciale, which is very cured pork jowl, and simple pancetta), black pepper, minced onion, pealed tomato crushed with your hands and with its juice, extra-virgin olive oil and of course salt. Normally should go with bucatini pasta, not rigatoni. Bucatini are a type of fat spaghetti and hollow in the center. Bucatini are delicious, slurpy and springy, please always have a napkin while eating them and avoid light colored clothing…
I recently became allergic to chili (I’m devastated by it… 😦 ), so I didn’t choose Amatriciana
Maybe we looked really hungry, but somehow the chef sent to our table a third maxi dish, rigatoni alla gricia. This dish is basically an Amatriciana but without the tomato sauce.
Everything was going great, other people were enjoying their dinner too, until the chef approached us…
Chef:”… You should have said before you couldn’t eat chili… I would have set aside some sauce without chili…” serious, almost disappointed.
Me:”Oh… I take you’re the chef :O don’t worry, I looved cacio e pepe”
I can’t remember everything the lady said, but basically for her it’s important that you have exactely what you want, kind of reminds of Dino & Tony, although less loud.
Awesome place, totally recommended:
“Er Grottino der Traslocatore”, Largo delle Sette Chiese, 2 – 00145 Roma.