Unfortunately I have to write my first “dislike” about a restaurant. The food was good not great, and the service was fine but again it was missing something. I’d done some research before my visit and had stumbled upon Taverna del Ghetto’s very expansive website. This probably should’ve been my first warning. Restaurants in Rome generally don’t have websites, or if they do, they’re very simple with a wonderfully inaccurate English translation. Do a little browsing and you’ll see what I mean.
We were also hailed by a gentleman at the door, not a good sign. Sometimes restaurants place a waiter on the sidewalk to give a sales pitch to passersby. It can be a little intimidating, especially on a touristy avenue, to be onset by all these people wanting you to eat at their establishment. Unless you want to eat at their restaurant, don’t buckle when they promise you “Pizza! Pasta!” Taverna del Ghetto was respectful about it but the more you travel through the city the more you’ll begin to recognize small signs like that, and perhaps look elsewhere.
Our only excuse for buckling at Taverna del Ghetto is we were hungry and a bit jet lagged. I feel a bit guilty for bashing the restaurant, because there really was nothing wrong with it. The existence of a website and available menu is a comfort for some travelers, and it’s location on Via del Portico D’Ottavia means that it’s close to the Capitoline Hill and Piazza Venezia, but just enough of a walk to be away from the crowds. But as far as the food is concerned, I’d go across the street to “Ba Ghetto.”
Here’s the link to the restaurant’s webpage.
Located on Portico d’Ottavia, Ba Ghetto is a kosher restaurant with great food. I ordered the Bucatini Amatriciana for starters and the special, grilled salmon with pine nuts. So good. The salmon was a nice hefty piece of filet that was fresh and moist. I was most impressed by this, because paying more for seafood at a new restaurant can be risky. After all, you’re at the mercy of the chef. What if they bring you a smaller portion low not-so great fish? Not to worry here. The seafood that night was plentiful. Another member of my group ordered clams and had a similar sized portion.
My pasta was also a nice surprise. Bucatini is a heavier version of spaghetti, so I was a little hesitant to order it. Back home I make thin spaghetti or angel hair but I wanted to try the amatriciana so I gave it a shot. I haven’t made angel hair since. The bucatini was cooked to an insane level of al dente perfection like a new standard for what pasta can be. The amatriciana sauce is a spicy tomato based sauce here served con carne, or with meat. Pasta is often served with small slices of cured pork similar to a thick slice of proscuitto. This meat was neither fatty or chewy (as it can sometimes be). The sauce is traditionally spiced with crushed red chili and paprika and the version at Ba Ghetto was a nice combination of both.
The service here was nice and not pushy and if you’re looking for a decently priced restaurant with great quality food Ba Ghetto gets the recommend.
This is something everyone should do while in Rome. Eating gelato is nearly a god-given right in Italy and Gelateria’s abound all over the city. This is a summary taken from the complete article which can be found here.
Not every gelato shop will offer both cups and cones, but the vast majority will. The word for cup is “coppa” (KOH-pah) and cone is “cono” (KOH-noh). You’d ask for either “una coppa” or “un cono,” but the fun doesn’t end there. Sometimes, you’ll see several different kinds of cones on display, so be prepared to point to the one you want.
Unlike in some ice cream shops outside Italy, the size of the cup or cone you’re getting doesn’t pre-determine how many scoops of gelato you’ll get. I’ve seen people cram three flavors into even the smallest cups. So after you’ve chosen the vessel for your gelato, you’ll need to say how many scoops you’d like. In Italian, the word you’ll use is “gusti” (GOO-stee), which literally means “flavors.” So technically you’re telling them how many flavors you’d like, and they’re going to give you one scoop per flavor. Make sense? Good!