I missed posting the details of our first dinner in Rome, which was absolutely wonderful. Pierfrancesco from the hotel directed us to a delightful restaurant behind Piazza Navona, La Pace del Palato (with a note to Renato, the owner). In no small way I credit that note for the superb treatment we received.
We started with an amouse-bouche of arancini con tartufo (a fried risotto with truffle dumpling). We were then served a white bean, clams, and pasta soup. It was an unexpected combination; I am not a bean person and I loved the salty brine the clams brought to the potage. To cap off the antipasti, we received gorgonzola/grape/speck layered crostini (think of a tiny club sandwich), an apple cheese concoction wrapped in wax paper (I could barely tell there was apple; it was gorgeously gooey), and probably the best eggplant caponata I’ve ever had.
For the primi plato, we chose to try two of Rome’s signature pasta dishes: the buccattini all’amatriciana (thick spaghetti with a tomato pancetta sauce) and pasta caccio e peppe (cheese and black pepper) with scampi. Both were delicious. After all the starters and the decadent pastas, we were stuffed but couldn’t pass up the house polpette (meatballs). We split the secondi and called it a night.
As for wine, I did not look at the list but judging by the size of it, I see why it was hard to choose. We went for a classic Chianti to open the trip. Chianti is made primarily from Sangiovese grapes, an easy pairing with the different dishes we had. The picture attached to this post was from tonight’s dinner.
It was not a cheap meal, but we were more than satisfied with the food and attentiveness of Renato and the waitress (I wish I remembered her name). The bar was set high for the meals in this awesome trip.