La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 9
info (at) latavernadeiforiimperiali.com
Tel. 06 6798643
Open Wed.-Mon. 12pm-3pm, 7:30pm-12am
This restaurant, a neighborhood spot near the Colosseum, may look like your run-of-the-mill Italian restaurant with its checkered tablecloths and simple décor, but it shouldn’t be missed.
Most tourists don’t get to see this little gem of a family-run restaurant, as it’s not listed in many guidebooks.
The father, Alessio Liberatore, cooks, while his children Aldo and Claudia work in the front of the house.
The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, and has a homey feel to it; it’s almost like being invited into Alessio’s own kitchen.
Families with small children are as common a sight as couples enjoying a romantic evening out, and you can see many locals dining here, particularly for lunch (always a good sign!).
The style is varied and represents many of the different cuisines of Italy, and always has something special of Alessio’s to make each dish stand out. The specials truly live up to their name, and are always an excellent choice.
If you’d like to stick to the menu, start with the crostini di fegatini alla Toscana (toasted bread with Tuscany style liver pâté) or the guanciale amatriciano grigliato con bruschetta (bruschetta with Roman bacon and balsamic vinegar).
Move on to primi piatti with the classic pappardelle alla carbonara (wide noodles with egg, cheese and bacon sauce) or the tonnarelli cacio e pepe (round noodles with pecorino and pepper). If you’re going to experience the true Italian style meal, continue with a secondi and sample the pesce spada alla Siciliana (swordfish Sicilian style) or perhaps the filetto di maiale al tartufo e cacio ricotta (pork fillet with truffle and ricotta cheese, Roman style).
For a contorno, try the caponata di melanzane (eggplant Sicilian style) or the radicchio alla griglia (grilled radicchio).
Finish your meal with a selection of cheeses (changed regularly) and a torta della casa (homemade pie).
The wine list is somewhat modest but complete with reds, whites and prosecco ranging from €15 to €60. Although they do not offer wine by the glass, they will be happy to recommend a bottle to go with your meal.
Don’t miss out on the after dinner liqueurs, known as digestivos, either; they carry a difficult to find brand of amaro or bitters that is really delightful and said to aid in digestion.
This really is a must-do on a trip to Rome; and since it is so near the Colosseum, there’s no excuse not to drop by!