. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: La Capitale Days VII and VIII

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

La Capitale Days VII and VIII

After a lovely trip I got into Roma. By that time, the sun was already below the horizon, but it was still warm enough to keep the top down and enjoy the Roman breeze. My home town used to be kind of static, not many changes ever occurred, but something was definitely different this time.
Urban-wise, the amazing thing was that a lot of projects were actually completed, like the tunnel on the "Olimpica." There were some changes near the Auditorium, and a lot of "Autovelox," devilish machines that automatically takes pictures of whoever breaks the speed limits. I actually noticed an increase of these devices all over Italy... I guess the local authorities saw the revenue possibilities that tickets can bring in with the use of that technology.
In the couple of days I spent in Rome, I got the chance to meet up with some old friends, and spend some time with my father. Food-wise, I went to a good friend of mine's restaurant called Il Cocomerino in Via Cortina d"Ampezzo 379. Massimiliano did a great job - he built a very big restaurant maintaining a rustic appeal. The grill, the pizza oven and the kitchen are open to the customers' view, and the food was fresh and really well prepared. I had a great selection of "fritti misti" a mixed plate composed of fried olives (Olive all'Ascolana), fried zucchini flowers (Fiori di Zucca), the Suppli (fried rice balls with tomato and mozzarella inside) and their specialty - the Pizzelle (fried pizza dough stuffed with cold cuts or cheese - delicious). I skipped the first course to keep space for the monster Bistecca alla Fiorentina that I ordered next.
The wine of choice was a nice and inexpensive Rosso di Montalcino. Being that the restaurant was more Pizzeria and Trattoria style, the wines on the list were all below 40 Euro, and that served us more than decently with our meal.
The Flintstones-sized steak came on a hot stone tray and carved out the bone from the precise waiter's hands. Inside, the meat was still row (as it should be), and the stone was there to finish the cooking.
It was a great meal, and with the company a group of old friends, some of whom I haven't seen for over 8 years, it was like going back in the past with a time machine... but the fact that most of them are now married with kids brought the watch back to the current time :)...
Finished with dessert and after-dinners, some of us left with the wives and the singles. Others, myself included, left for a round in the center.
I hopped on my 1977 Honda 400, seen here in the original blue color, that I changed to yellow a decade ago.
The ride took us towards Piazza delle Coppelle were another old pal had opened up a very nice spot named Coco with kitchen, bar and outside sitings.
I had couple of mohitos made, like the recipe calls for, with some great Cuban Rum (Havana Club Riserva). I was standing outside in the middle of this little Piazza, and the best part was that is legal to do so in Europe. That actually reminded me of another great night spot, which is Pizza Campo dei Fiori, where in the morning you'll find the local market and from the afternoon on, it becomes the most happening square of the center. There are 5 or 6 bars, 2 wine bars, several restaurants and a movie theater; technically there are a ton of people there for almost 20 hours per day.
I feel sorry for the people that live above the square, but it is kind of amazing how Campo dei Fiori is still so happening after so many years.
I enjoyed these couple of days spent in Roma, but there is no time for that now. Tomorrow I will be on the road again to pick up Piers at the airport to go discover some more wineries.
To be continued...


Terence said...

So many Americans say they don't like Rome. I don't understand. It's got everything. It's a great place, and not just to visit. I wouldn't mind living there and wouldn't get bored the way I would in Florence or someplace like that.

Or am I a lone voice in the wilderness?

Animadversor said...

You've heard people say that they don't like Rome? I'm incredulous. Who says that?