As much as I hope to make the most of my time when I’m in Italy, I really shy away from planning where we’re going to have each and every meal. As you probably have discovered yourself some of the best experiences are those that you just stumble upon.
That being said I wasn’t going to take any chances with our Sunday lunch in Rome. Sunday pranzo (lunch) is a big cultural tradition in Italy. It’s time for families and friends to join together in a restaurant and spend the greater part of the afternoon eating and socializing. On our very first visit to Italy we were in the countryside outside of Arezzo, and were turned away from what looked like a very popular spot for not having reserved a table. Lesson learned.
Thanks to Katie Parla whose blog and career I’ve been following for some time, I knew exactly where I wanted to spend Sunday lunch-La Tavernaccia da Bruno, located in Trastevere. When I mentioned to the charming host at our inn that we would be dining in Trastevere he frowned, intimating that there were a lot of “touristy” restaurants there. I assured him that we were confident in our selection. Thankfully we gave our ourselves plenty of time to get there as there’s a huge mercato in the neighborhood on Sunday and our taxi couldn’t get anywhere near the restaurant.
We started our meal with burratina, a small round of smoked burrata cheese served with sun dried tomatoes. I had to pace myself and not devour the entire basket freshly baked bread that was on the table. I saved the bread experience for the bruschetta.
The menu offered half a dozen pastas and about twice as many entrees. Having already read about the trattoria’s specialties I steered J. to the suckling pig cooked in the wood fired oven and served with roasted potatoes, just like grandma used to make. Thankfully J. shared both with me and I was almost sorry that I hadn’t ordered this dish.
While Thursday in Rome is know for gnocchi, Sunday’s specialty is lasagna. Now you may be thinking that I could order lasagna anywhere and that may be true, but La Tavernaccia’s dish was exactly what lasagna should be-melt in your mouth noodles, layered with ragu and the creamiest béchamel. The crispy edge of the noodles added just the right counterpoint to this luscious baked pasta. It’s no wonder this dish sells out early.
Be sure to make a reservation. The trattoria was full within a half hour of opening and it was mostly locals.
La Tavernaccia da Bruno
Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 63 Roma