Al Pompiere

Via S. M. Calderari, 38
00186 Roma
Tel. 06 6868377

The Monteferri family has run Al Pompiere since 1962. Warm and inviting are the two best words to describe Al Pompiere, located in the Piazza delle Cinque Scole near the Ponte Garibaldi in Rome.

The elegant ambiance and the structure of the various rooms makes it perfect for private dinners and parties alike.

For those who wonder about the name of the restaurant (pompiere in Italian means “firefighter”), the name dates back to the first owner, who was said to have made his famous penne arrabiata so spicy that he had to put out the fire in his customer’s mouths! Not to worry, though; it’s nothing you can’t handle, especially with a glass of wine to come to the rescue.

The chef creates delicious typical Roman dishes and also includes the best specialties of the traditional Judeo-Roman cuisine, such as the celebrated carciofi alla giudia, filetti di baccalà (battered fillets of salt cod) and fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers).

As a primo, you might try the house-made cannelloni di carne (meat-filled tubes of pasta) or perhaps the strozzapreti alla romana (twisted noodles with carrot, onion, parsley, and spicy peperoncino).

On certain days of the week, there are additional specialties to enjoy: on Tuesdays, pasta e fagioli (a hearty dish with small macaroni-like pasta and beans) on Fridays, the freshest fish.

Everything is accompanied by an ample wine list.

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Al Vino Al Vino

Via dei Serpenti, 19
00186 Roma

An adorable wine bar in the Monti neighborhood, this little shop offers a fine selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle, accompanied by some small plates.

The tiny rooms are usually filled with Italians, accompanied by the occasional (lucky) tourist.

The bartender, who also happens to be the owner, is happy to chat with you (albeit in Italian) about the various wines and their stories. Clearly, this is what he loves to do.

The décor is simple and charming, with wine bottles covering the walls of the small front and back rooms.

The front room is the place to be, as it has a view of the street from the front window; the back room can be noisier and is slightly darker, though still comfortable.

This may be the place where the food accompanies the wine, rather than the other way around, but the antipasti and cheese selections are not to be missed.

Try the vegetable antipasto for a light snack, or tasty salumi for a bit of a heartier plate.

Bruschetta and olives are also options to go with your wine. Cheeses are varied and pair well with the wines, which range from sparkling prosecco to light rosé to deep, full-bodied reds.

The wine selection is ample and the quality excellent, especially given the very reasonable prices.

Some locals stop by just to pick up a bottle on the way home, so good is the value of their lovely wine. Wine by the glass ranges from 3€ - 8€, while the bottles range from 8€ - 100€.

Stop by Al Vino Al Vino on your way to a late dinner or in the afternoon for a glass or two of wine after lunch. You’ll have a truly Roman experience!

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