Saturday, 5 January 2013

How to Eat in Rome 2012 - Part 6 - Il Goccetto and Ditirambo

Well, our last trip to Rome must have been about 6 months ago and although I was initially doing quite well at blogging the meals we had out there, the Olympic Food Challenge got in the way. With three dishes to cook and blog each week, Rome soon slipped down the list of priorities and with only the last day to cover, I soon forgot all about it. Then I read David Downie's article about Il Goccetto and it brought back memories of stumbling across it on our last day... and these memories have forced me into action!


Il Goccetto wasn't new to us, as we'd hunted it down on our first trip to Rome in 2009 (thanks to David's 'Food, Wine, Rome'; my favourite guide/bible to Rome), but we stumbled across it again, totally unexpectedly, on our last trip. Remembering the evening we had spent here nearly three years previously, there was no question as to whether we would pop in for a drink. We would have stayed for lunch too, as we'd had a mighty fine selection of cheeses the last time we were here, but we had already booked ourselves into Ditirambo for lunch.

Il Goccetto is a small bar but it is a real find for wine lovers. The walls are lined with shelving stocked to the brim with bottles of wine and the food is of the nibble variety, perfect for sharing over a glass (or bottle). The staff are friendly; the clientèle are a mixed bag from office workers to retired gentlemen and the very odd tourist or two (in this case, just us).

We made our selection from the small chalkboard of the day's offerings by the glass and, although I can't remember what we had, I do know that we could have had more...

Ditirambo was recommended in Elizabeth Minchilli's Eat Rome app and it was the praise for the pasta dishes that had sold it to me as a lunch destination. The restaurant was small and crowded with tables set quite close to each other and with both locals and tourists eating here the atmosphere was buzzing with chat of a variety of languages.

I am now fully reliant on my notes as my memory has worn very thin... but I do recall enjoying our time here. We enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, the friendly service and the wine. My notes tell me that we'd ordered some antipasto but this had been served alongside our pasta and salad dishes; annoying, but not a deal breaker for a casual lunch.

And it had been good antipasto with slices of potatoes and truffles being the highlight. Cacio e peppe (cheese and pepper) with bucatini (the most amazing pasta; it's like spaghetti but it has a hole running through the centre of each strand) was as good as any I've ever had (or made). For me, bucatini is a real (and rare) treat as the structure of the pasta adds good texture to the dish, especially when it is cooked al dente.

Gav had some hand made pasta with a rabbit and tomato ragu. My notes say it was amazing, so I guess I'll just have to go with that! In an attempt to be healthy we also shared a salad of fennel, orange and pomegranate. Bizarrely I do remember this dish, for its simplicity and freshness... in fact I'm sure it's one I was going to replicate at home...

Sadly I have no idea what the bill was, but I would guess it would have been about 45 euros.

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