Guys. Wow. Take me back! I’m SO happy to tell you about one of my favourite restaurants in Rome: Osteria Da Fortunata. Mr John and I have a rule that we try not to eat at restaurants that have menus with English, French, Italian and German flags on them. Why? Because then they’re 100% aimed at tourists! And I don’t want to fly to the other side of the world so that I can sit next to other tourists. I want real deal action! So while Mr John and I were cruising around, I think we may have even checked Trip Advisor, we found Osteria Da Fortunata. An ‘osteria’ is a typically inexpensive Italian restaurant.
Osteria Da Fortunata is a family owned restaurant, passed down from generation to generation. What we loved about it was that they had a mama in the window rolling the pasta! You could watch her make the Italian version of shpatzle, a hand rolled noddle that would be used in your dish that night. The more they needed, the more she rolled. How cool is that?
With a simple menu, I was down for the REAL Italian goodness and I was not disappointed. So much so that we went there twice during the 4 nights that we stayed in Rome! The waiters hardly spoke any English, but would ask each other for the translations to that in no time we could figure out what we wanted. They were really friendly and I really loved the interactions.
One the first night I decided to have some of the pasta I saw being made in the window. Bacon and artichoke pasta, something nice and Italian! Subtle, but delicious; artichokes are quite weird vegetables so I wasn’t used to the taste. Sprinkled with beautiful parmesan, perfectly seasoned, hot and delicious, by the end of the bowl I was warm, full and happy. (I know it looks a bit like worms, but I couldn’t resist having the mamas food!)
For dessert, I had the SINGLE GREAT PANACOTTA I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY WHOLE, ENTIRE LIFE! Now, that’s a big statement because I had a pannacotta at the Taste of Cape Town a few years ago that came with a strawberry consume which was JUST DIVINE! BUT YOH! This pannacotta was the PERFECT texture, SMOOTHER than a baby’s butt, with a little giggle, but soft (not too much gelatine) and it had a touch of white chocolate in it. So it wasn’t only delicious, it was dreamy like creamy white chocolate is too. The strawberry compote was sweet and a tiny bit sour so that it could cut through the pannacotta. Perfectly sweet without too much sugar crunching in my teeth. WOW WOW WOW! TAKE ME BACK! This stuff was TOO good! Give me 5! Yes please!
The second time I returned (I think it was the very next night!) I went for some gnocchi. Gnocchi is a funny thing as they can be very starchy or very heavy, which isn’t correct. I was looking for the wonderful, soft pillowy taste and I was NOT disappointed at Osteria Da Fortunata. Oxtail beef gnocchi with parmesan, it was SO rich but SO good! BOOM POW in your mouth! YUM! I’d kill for some this winter time!
To accompany it I had a simple salad. Praise be! But this point of the honeymoon I was trying for something green. With shavings of fennel, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and carrots, it was crunchy and fresh, it was exactly what I needed.
Osteria Da Fortunata is wonderfully priced, authentic, delicious. If you want gourmet, 5 star, this isn’t the place for you. But if you want hearty, honest, delicious, deep flavours, look no further.
And the best part about Rome is that you get to stroll home on the narrow and cobbled roads to walk off the exquisite food you just ate.