20 February 2012. I returned last night from a quick 4-night visit to Rome. I dined twice at Hostaria Romana (and I ate there back in 2010). It's one of my favorites in Rome. While it's a mixture of locals and tourists, the food is very good. My first night I ordered the 10 euro antipasti platter. You can check out what's being served, as it's all on display in the front dining area. I was shocked at how large the portion was!! I couldn't eat it all. Everything was delicious! The antipasti included: Mozzarella, fritatta, eggplant, zucchini, beans with onions and garlic, pickled mushrooms and artichokes, roasted red peppers, fried onion half topped with bread crumbs. you can have this as a meal or share with someone. I also had the roasted lamb with potatoes. With my meal I had a 1/2 bottle of white wine. I received complimentary biscotti so I ordered a glass of vin santo. I also received a shot of limoncello. Total bill: 38.80 euros. I had a good time chatting with two of the waiters and even the owner came over to see how I was doing. Warm up to the waiters and they warm up to you.
My second night (18 Feb) at H. Romana started out a little disappointing, not because of the restaurant but the obnoxious and very loud tourists sitting behind me. They didn't give a crap about the other diners in the room. I should have asked to move. In any case, they finally left and I could enjoy the evening. The owner had greeted me warmly and the two waiters looked happy to see me.
As much as I wanted the antipasti again, I knew it would be too much, so I skipped the starter and ordered the osso bucco (14 euros) along with a side of spinach (5 euros). While waiting, one of the waiters came by and was surprised I didn't have any food in front of me. I told him I was just waiting for my dinner. He came back a minute later with a small plate of antipasti (eggplant, pickled fish of some sort, and mushrooms and artichokes).
I've made osso bucco before but this one was excellent! The meat was so tender you don't need a knife. I'll have to remember to cook mine longer. The spinach has been sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and salt. Also very good. This time I ordered a 1/2 liter of house wine. Total bill: 25.50.
I'm heading back to Rome in November and will return to Hostaria Romana!
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