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Dining in Rome

September 18, 2011


The first restaurant that I’ve been to in Rome for dinner has been able to draw me back on the second night. That’s a remarkable feat. First of all, Cecio doesn’t have a very conspicuous frontage like most on the tourist belt boasting alfresco dining. Once in the restaurant, Cecio is very simply but elegantly decorated, cosy and inviting. With likes of Diana Krall, the soothing music sets the tone to make any diner relax. Together with the friendly waiters who speak pretty good English, I can see why the music and atmosphere alone is enough to attract many American tourists. And we haven’t even talked about the food!

Food in Cecio is simply served as in most Ristorante in Italy, but the taste is very well balanced and flavorful. On the first night I had Prosciutto e Melone, a very generous portion, an antipasto that requires no cooking only quality ingredients. It was a prefect appetiser to start me off. Then, I had the Rigatoni with sausage and bacon, which was recommended by my waiter. It was so good, it brought me to a new dimension when it came to pasta. The sauce was a delicate balance of tomato and cream infused with the intense flavor of italian sausage and bacon. The rigatoni is what I think the Italians mean by al dente. It’s not hard or undercooked in anyway, but it is firm, chewy, and has a good bite to it. I just could not stop myself from eating it. Even now I’m still thinking of it, craving for a taste of it. This is going to be a new item in my list of comfort foods.

Osso Bucco

The second night, I brought my new friend, Teresa, from Canada. This time the waiter recommended an antipasto that was not on the menu, which the chef cooks when he is in the mood. How can we not try? I turns out it was the star of the evening. Parmigiana is grilled aubergine and zuchini wrapped around a filling of chopped ingredients(which they did not divulge), marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and baked. It was so flavorful and again, the taste balance is so delicate. Meat lovers would even love this vegetarian dish.  Osso Bucco
I ordered the Osso Bucco, which is supposed to be a Milanese dish of cross cut veal shank braised with vegeatables, white and broth. But, here in Cecio, they add their own twist to eat by using a tomato based sauce, and it is not served with the traditional Risotto alla Milanese. I do find the meat a little tough, so it’s not a dish I would order again.

Tagliata alla gorgonzola

My friend ordered the Tagliata with a gorgonzola sauce. Tagliata is sliced beef and served with some sauce. Here, the gorgonzola sauce is delicate(considering gorgonzola is not a mild cheese) yet intense at the same time.I know delicate and intense are not words usually used at the same time, but the chef here is really adept at balancing the taste and flavor of the sauces. The beef on the other hand leaves much to be desired, since it seems to be more like over done. I have not figured out if people in Rome like their beef well done. I know that people in Tuscany like their beef thick and medium rare, which is more my cup of tea, or in this case, I should say, my cut of beef.
One of the best things I tried in Rome, was the Gelato from Ornelli along Via Merulana. Sorry, no picture here as I was too busy eating my gelato, because it was soooo good, and because it melts quickly in this hot weather. I won’t even to bother the other gelato I had. But Ornelli’s….it was fresh(you can taste the freshness), it wasn’t too sweet, and it had the intense flavours of the natural ingredients used, not artificial flavors and stabilizers. It’s true artisan gelato.
I wish I could try at least 10 flavors, but I had to settle for two, Cassata Siciliana from the south, and Nioccola Piedmontese from the north. That will have to do for now.

From → Food travels

One Comment
  1. Eat, Pray and Love! Have a great journey in Italy. Be free to love life.

    Love ya,

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