Marco and I are always in search of the best places to eat, especially in cities such as Rome where there are many restaurants serving substandard food to tourists. So, when we saw Flavio al Velavevodetto on a cooking program, we had to investigate.
The program was Bizarre Foods, an American program hosted by Andrew Zimmern (watch it here) But the only reason why it starred on the program is because they serve classic Roman dishes, many of which are made with offal which unfortunately is “bizarre” to many people today. What caught Marco’s attention was the dish called pajata in Romanesco or pagliata in Italian. Pajata is a dish using the intestine of a milk-fed calf which still contains milk solids which creates a creamy sauce when cooked.
We were staying overnight in Rome on Via Sistina, near the Spanish Steps, so it was more convenient to go to the newly opened sister restaurant called Velavevodetto Ai Quiriti, about a 5-minute walk from the Vatican (A quick phone called reassured us that both restaurants serve the same dishes of the same quality). Although the pajata was not available on the night we dined, the menu was complete with classic Roman dishes that didn’t disappoint.
For antipasti, we ordered fried zucchini flowers stuffed with fiore di latte and anchovies and prosciutto with melon, which was refreshing on such a hot day.
For primi (entree) Marco had a perfect example of the famous dish amatricana while I ordered pasta alla gricia, which is a pasta of rigatoni with a sauce made from pecorino cheese, pepper and crispy fried guanciale (cured pork jowl, similar to pancetta) It was very rich and a little on the salty side and incredibly delicious!
Although we were full after entree, we shared a plate of delicate tripe in a tomato sugo and scented with mint, for secondo (main course).
While we ate, the restaurant filled with Roman patrons and we spent our time between courses gawking at our neighbour’s selections and wished we had bigger stomachs. From now on, Velavevodetto Ai Quiriti will be a must whenever we are in Rome!
Katri Pagliaro – Italian Provincial Tours
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