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Twelve Dreams: the book
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Because I had already been to Italy once — and because, presumably, the Pantheon, Coloseum and Vatican have not changed since I was there last — sightseeing was not top of my list. Actually, it's never top of my list, but that's thoughts for another post.
Instead, I was focused on food - finding the best prosciutto, mozzarella, pasta and coffee I could. I had scoped out a few recommendations in advance, but mostly wanted to wander and eat. Italy, of course, is legendary for its food.
I think it bears mentioning that there is a fair bit of mediocre food in Rome. That's obvious and inevitable, I suppose, but it runs so contrary to the myth that I want to point it out. Not everything is great, or even good. Much of the food, especially in areas close to "the big sights," is mostly designed for tourists more worried about what times the museum closes.
But despite that point, it is still there. Great restaurants, and great dishes. Experiences that really do amaze and wow and satiate your stomach in a complete, holistic and garlicky kind of way.
So I've created a little list, the Best Dishes I Found in a Week of Eating in Rome. This certainly isn't all of it, merely the highlights, but these are the dishes that truly stood out:
Amazing Antipasti. The first night we ate at a bizarre, hectic and
hopping place called La Isla de la Pizza. I'd have pegged it for a
tourist trap if we weren't just about the only non-Italians there, and if
the food hadn't been so damn good. The prosciutto and mozzarella were the
best we had all trip, with the prosciutto being sliced three feet away from
us. There was also a croquette formed by filling risotto with mozzarella,
shaping it into a ball and deep frying it. I spent the rest of the trip
trying to find these two dishes this good again, but failed.
with Smoked Mozzarella and Black Truffles.
We were just looking for a place to sit and have a beer, but we ended up
with a three-course lunch. The gnocchi was light and the sauce was rich
and sweet with truffles and garlic.
All Images Copyright 2006 -- Robert Walton