Monday, December 29, 2008

Buen Giorno, Roma

Photos (Lexi Van de Walle): Painting of Piazza Navona and Artichokes from Campo dei Fiori Farmers Market

Henry and I are so excited to be in Rome. We arrived 5 hours late after American Airlines took our first plane out of service -- so much for using mileage points! We're here for a week and in search of local and in-season foods, ancient sites and artistic masterpieces.

Late but memorable lunch at Taverna Flavia.

Taverna Flavia:
In season, Roman stewed artichokes, cooked down to a buttery soft texture and delicate flavor followed by a steaming hot dish of saffron infused risotto – al dente – a firm, chewy bite of rice with tender shrimp and a deliciously fresh mixed salad of crispy fresh rocket (arugala) and grated carrots. Taverna Flavia was the restaurant of choice in the 60s and 70s of celebrities doing photo shoots in Rome. Photos of Sophia Loren, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Jodie Foster, and Alfred Hitchcock and many other actors adorn the walls. A friendly, warm welcome to Roma, and delicious lunch! We'll be back.

After only four hours of sleep on the plane we were ready for a nap! Zzzz

7:00. Showered and ready to go. We selected highlights of Rick Steve's Night Walk Across Rome from his 2009 guidebook, and strolled past Trevi Fountain -- illuminated and crowded with couples kissing as the water cascaded loudly -- dramatic, beautiful and so Baroque. From there we went to the Pantheon in the Piazza della Rotunda. I was excited to show Henry the humongous and impressive exterior lit at night -- we look forward to heading back for a longer visit during the day. Winding through the streets from piazza to piazza our last stop before dinner was the exciting Piazza Navona where we found a carnival of vendors selling witches for Epiphany ("Le Befana" dolls), candy and Christmas stockings, make our own nativity scenes with baby Jesus, camels and all, sugar covered fried dough, mylar balloons and games of chance to win stuffed animals.

Dinner at Il Bacaro near Piazza Navona.

To start, I had zucchini carpaccio and shave Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The zucchini was sliced raw on a mandolin and marinated with a squeeze of lemon no oil served with a generous portion of cheese. Henry ordered a similar primi piatti, but with artichoke instead of zucchini, also raw, unique, clean and delicious.

I scored with the entrĂ©e, Bocconcini di vitella alle arance con salvia e anice stellato (bite sized pieces of veal with orange and star anise sauce). Two complementary flavors danced on my tongue – tangy sweetness of orange and licorice flavor from the broken pieces of star anise in a light stock-based sauce.

Henry relished a pasta ragu with porcini mushrooms, sun-dried tomato and ground veal. As is the tradition, I was served a tiny side plate of this tasty pasta dish. Magnifico!

We shared a bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva.

Via Flavia 91
tel: 06.474.5214
Closed Sundays and Saturdays for Lunch

Highly recommended if you're staying near Termine

Romantic, tiny restaurant with unique menu using traditional Roman ingredients served with creative flare...
Via degli Spagnoli 27 (down a tiny alley way, near Piazza Navona)

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