Tuesday, 21 August 2012

How to Eat in Rome 2012 - Part 5 - Le Mani in Pasta

Woah... it's been a while since my last Rome blog. Apologies guys, but the small matter of an Olympic Food Challenge got in the way of normal blogging activities...

So, where had I left you? Ah, that's right, we'd had a miserable morning in the sun, a glorious indoor picnic and a well needed snooze to Family Guy on the telly. You'll be glad to know that once we awoke from our guilty slumber (and it was guilty; we were in Rome for God's sake), we felt 100% better, which was a good job as we were booked into Le Mani in Pasta for dinner.

And, by 'eck it was a good job we'd booked ahead (or rather asked our hotel to book) as the place was heaving and although I could hear a fair few American accents, there were plenty of locals being greeted with European kisses by the waiters.

We were sat on a table by the door (something the guy at our hotel reception had warned us about, and apologised for), but that was fine by us as we were closer to the air con unit! It was also ideal for watching all the coming and goings in and out of the restaurant; although bagging a view directly into the kitchen would have been ideal.

We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco (as was everyone) which was a nice touch, although it wasn't the best quality prosecco I'd ever had. Saying that the Frascatti we had (it's from the Lazio region, so we drank it whenever we could) was gorgeous (especially at ten euros a bottle).

Spotting a few pasta classics on the menu, we knew we'd just have to go the whole hog and have a primi course. Saying that, we were restrained with our shared antipasti of carpaccio of sea bass with truffles. Unfortunately my memory of the meal on a whole is wearing thin and I am reliant on some rather crap notes, but I do remember that this was a truly stunning dish.

Onto the primi and I had old favourite Spaghetti alla carbonara. Sadly, although the dish was pretty much spot on in terms of ingredients, I had two issues with it. A) I had asked the waiter whether I could have rigatoni (excellent for scooping up the eggy sauce and chunks of guinciale) and he had refused, determined that I should have spaghetti (which, let's face it, is a pain in the arse to eat) and B) some of the egg at the bottom of the dish was scrambled (not even I scramble my carbonara eggs!).

Gav went for rigatoni alla matriciana (yes, he was allowed rigatoni), and he wasn't totally blown away as his pasta had been cooked a little past the al dente stage. Anyhoo, it was tasty enough and there were some decent chunks of guinciale in there.

For secondi, despite the fact that we were in Rome rather than Venice, I could not resist the carpaccio di manzo (beef carpaccio), which, like the antipasti, was brilliant.

Gav went for Roman saltimbocca which is veal and prosciutto cooked in a wine sauce. Lovely, but again, something I can do as well at home (with ethical British veal too).

By the time it came round to dolce, I was stuffed, well and truly stuffed. Gav struggled through a tiramisu, and I only say struggle coz of the sheer size of his helping of this rich dessert as it was good.

I, on the other went for the lighter option of a limoncello....

The bill came in at 90 euros, which I didn't think was bad. We'd enjoyed the food, despite a couple of picky niggles, the service had been spot on and there was a great bustling atmosphere to the place. We would go back.

P.s. Apologies for the pics...


  1. thanks for posting.

  2. Looks awesome.

    Weird question, though: why do all the photos look like they are photos of photos? Was the light strange in there or something?

  3. Ha, yes the light was awful - far too much shadow hence the crap effect!