My approach to the first meal is to go the traditional route; embrace the most commonly characterized elements of the local cuisine. In the past this has been relatively easy. Guide books and folks on the street generally will agree on the best Tratorria and my meals have lived up to their hype. But big cities, aside from being hard to navigate, are a consortium of mediocrity sprinkled with exception. I’m having a hard time figuring out the culinary revelations of this beautiful city. My first meal best represents good, but not exceptional fare. The best is yet to come.
At La Danesina I ordered the “Roman Menu”. I usually steer from tourist driven menus, but the dishes offered were two traditional dishes I was anxious to try.
My primi was a Pasta all’amatriciano. Otherwise known as rendered bacon with Tomato. The dish had a hint of spice and the residual meat had rich succulence, but there was nothing memorable about it. I have had a lot of good pasta…
My secondi was a traditional Veal Saltimbocca. This is one of my signature dishes which I make for large groups. I was anxious to see how they do it in the mecca, but was under whelmed. It lacked the elements I like most of the dish, the browned buttery crust of the meat and the pungency of browned sage. It was served with Patate Frites (yawn). My biggest disappointment was that I was still hungry. (I had a slice of pizza 30 minutes later).
Of course there was a ½ Carafe of house wine (Bianco), but double the price I had been paying in Lecce.
I am anticipating Carbonara, Roman Broccoli, Innards, Gelato, Sweetbread, Cannelloni and Artichokes. See you all when I am ready to divulge brilliance!