Many years ago I was at a cocktail party on the terrace of the Belgain Embassy in Rome–an invitation you should never refuse, because the view from up there of the forum is amazing.
That’s where I met food writer Carol Coviello-Malzone, who lives part time in the Eternal City, in an apartment that overlooks the Campo dei Fiori. Carol’s passion is Roman cooking–she knows the absolute best eating places in town, and has written a guide to Rome’s restaurants, “Flavors of Rome. ” When I’m lucky enough to be in Rome when she’s there, I just hand over the eating decisions to Carol, and am guaranteed a golden time.
So I asked her: If I was in Rome today, take me through a Golden Day of eating, per favore…
CAROL: “Allora, since it’s September, the season of La Vendemmia (the wine harvest) the grapes in the market are abundant and delicious, there’s fresh figs, the last of them called settembrini, and that golden autumn light pointing the way to Rome’s best eating experiences .
Let’s imagine we’re two budget-conscious friends (which we are) on our last full day in Rome, not willing to deny ourselves a thing at the table. To rev ourselves up for this exercise, our first stop is Sant’Eustachio for my caffe (espresso) and your cappuccino.
That done, we stroll over to the market at Campo de Fiori, buy a few of those above-mentioned settembrini, proceed a few steps forward into the Forno Campo de Fiori for warm slices of that marvelous slightly salty pizza bianca and make our own little pizza fichi, just enough to keep us going until lunch.
For lunch, on a glorious mid-fall day, it must be al fresco, within sight of the Pantheon, so we grab a table at Da Fortunato, Via del Pantheon 55, (06/6792788, closed Sunday).
Maybe we’d even indulge in a gelato later that afternoon, near the Trevi Fountain, at the place that’s been called, “Home to the Best Gelato on Earth”: San Crispino, Via della Panetteria 42.
And for dinner, we’d go to Renato e Luisa (via dei Bariberi 25, closed Mon, 06 6869660) for delicious Roman classics in a cozy atmosphere. Plus Chef Renato is one of the handsomest chefs in Rome!
For more Flavors of Rome info, Carol’s newsletter, and to order her book, go to http://www.flavorsofrome.com.