We actually walked 6, but that is beside the point. The majority of the most recent reviews are spot on accurate, and as you will see, they all consistently agree that this is a gem. Indeed, this maybe my favorite seafood restaurant in Rome.
There is a large selection of raw seafood starters, and you must be sure to have at least one to start. We had the carpaccio di ombrino. The ombrino was so fresh and sweet and sliced so thinly it was translucent. The citrus reduction came in a bottle, allowing us to decide how much to "cook" the fish. Together with the occasional red peppercorn, the flavors were invigorating and appetizing. We also had the polpo grigliato con velutata ai ceci--a perfectly seared octopus on top of a chickpea paste. I've had more tender octopus, but I don't think I have such a fresh tasting octopus. Other places allow olive oil and lemon to carry the taste, not here. The chickpea paste was light and together with the occasional rosemary leaf complemented the octopus perfectly. We elected to go with one of the special catches of the day--the sea bream. They had brought the fish table side before hand so that we could stare at the clear eyes of fresh that must have been caught that morning. It was baked simply and served with crisply seared scalloped potatoes with lightly roasted grape tomatoes and kalamata olives. The table side filleting was perfect-informed and interactive. He knew to ask if I wanted meat from the head, and whether I wanted the skin on. We also had king shrimp, grilled just enough to caramelize the exterior of the shrimp without cooking it to disappointing density. Dolci did not disappoint either. Do try the Spuma di ricotta siciliana con cioccolata calda--when it arrived, I mistook the ricotta for whipped cream. I don't think I have ever had ricotta this light before. The chocolate, rich without being bitter, served as perfect counterpoint to the cheese that would be cream.
All this, at a centro storico trattoria, could have easily run us 200 euro. Here, despite going with a serious Sicilian white that I have been unable to find in the U.S., we got out for 110 euro.
All this on top of some of the friendliest, most attentive and intelligent service I've had in Rome. What's not to like? The only reason I haven't given Trattoria del Pesce 5 stars is because of its ambiance. It is clean and bright, but it is a little sterile and, as I mentioned, it is a LONG walk from centro storico. Still, worth every euro and step.
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