As an exercise to embrace Dolci’s important role in a full meal, this post will reverse the narrative and begin with a perfect Dessert and move backwards through the meal accordingly.
Where it went down : Osteria Del Veledromo Vecchio, a restaurant which heralds Slow Food Presidiums located in the outskirts of Central Roma.
After a lengthy discussion with owners Alessandra (front of house) and Matteo (chef) Ballerini, I was walked over to a display of 4 freshly baked desserts. Traditional and inviting, they weren’t showy or too colorful. After a well paced lunch, a simple Chocolate Cheesecake found its way back to my table.
I liked the way the slice rested on my plate, it seemed proud of its own simplicity and confident that it would soon be devoured, happily by me! Although the texture had that Italian traditional cheesecake heaviness, there was an overwhelming balance. Chocolate swirls richened the Ricotta’s unhampered earthiness. The crust, encased and softened each bite. It was an addictive and quick (there I times I simply eat fast) experience. Matteo winked at me as if he knew he was dealing with a cynical dessert boy. He later said that no other dessert touches the sincerity of a good Roman cheesecake.
Preceding Dolci, my Secondi consisted of thinly sliced Vitello (year old Calf) with its own mixed herb enhanced Gravy. I splurged for a contorni of cicori to accompany the dish (no secondi ever seems complete without an accompaniment). Sauteed Chicory is ubiquitous in every eatery from family run Trattoria’s to high end Restaurants. A slightly bitter green whose popularity I have decided stems from how it twirls like spaghetti. Italians like a good forkful of twirl; it’s a rhythm familiar to their pasta filled upbringings. The Vitello was rich and simply presented. Molto buono!
Missing the creativity and secrecy of Antipasti Casa’s from Puglia I excitedly asked Alessandra if there was a similar offering. 4 plates, over the course of an hour greeted me each, with a personal stamp consistent to my past experiences, but now consisting of slightly different ingredients.
A simple oil drenched warm Bruschetta
Marinated Pesche Spada and Salmone, served cold.
A solo Pepperoni stuffed with pungent and juicy Capers, marinated Eggplant and Carciofini (Artichoke)
Hand sliced local Prosciutto