Ah, even as I begin writing this I start sighing fondly at the experience :)
So as you can tell, I had a great time at Il Salotto di Penelope for a number of reasons. Down a little alleyway for a 10am start I was greeted by an effervescent Barbara and a very impressive industrial kitchen (I've worked in kitchen restaurants all my life and this was definitely on par with them). It was just Barbara and me and we had worked out the menu beforehand, which consisted of -
- traditional ragu (NOT spaghetti bolognese!)
- handmade rolling pinned plain and spinach pasta, which we made into lasagne sheets, tagliatelle and tortellini
- lasagne, using the homemade ragu and bechamel sauce (from scratch)
- ricotta tortellini
- scallopine in balsamic
The day was split into two, so the first half was pasta based (with a delicious lunch all made by myself) and then the larger, more time consuming items for dinner (like the lasagne).
Now, comparing it to a cooking course I did in Rome, Il Salotto di Penelope is a lot more personable, and admittedly the one on one day really helped in terms of understanding the techniques and history behind the cooking. Barbara answered my questions patiently with a good grasp of English, and even though the day spilled over into the wee hours, there wasn't even a hint of complaint.
I'll balance this 5 star review with a couple of comments - if you're looking for professional chefs or restaurant style food, there's other places to go. This is more homestyle cooking than refined restaurant techniques. And there were a few hiccups - no butter for the butter sauce, a slight burn on the ragu. What makes it a 5 star review though is the personable nature of the owner, the care and attention and above all, the authenticity.
Oh, and the lasagne was the best I've ever tasted :)
Thanks again Barbara (ps - if you could send me the recipes that would be great!)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.