In case you missed it, here are the previous and upcoming posts about our summer trip to Italy:
- United Airlines To Rome
- St. Regis Rome
- Osteria 44
- Photo Essay of Angels & Demons
- A Quiet Meal At Cul de Sac
- Trevi Fountain (Semi) Closed For Business
- A Fast Train To Venice
- St. Regis San Clemente Island
- Hotel Danieli
- Antico Pignolo
- A Quick Trip To Murano
- How To Ride The Vaporetto (Water Bus) In Venice
- Getting Lost In Venice
- British Airways 787 Flight Home
We asked for a restaurant recommendation from the hotel concierge on our last evening in town and he whipped out the map and circled a couple of places nearby the hotel. These had been suggested to us in the past by the concierge. We had visited one and found it adequate, but they definitely were more geared towards tourists while still not being complete tourist traps. I asked if there was something else he might recommend that might be a bit better quality food and wine. He suggested Osteria 44, just a bit further down the road, which, oddly enough, could be found at 44 Via Aureliana.
Sergio is the owner and he speaks impeccable English. Since I hadn’t boned up on all my Italian, it was welcome to be able to ask more detailed questions about wines and get complete answers. While there’s a nicely appointed dining room inside, the street the restaurant calls home was quiet enough that we chose to sit outside.
If you look closely, you can see our daughter Cat peeking out from behind the column on the patio.
For those that want to see the full menu, I’ve included pictures to each page at the bottom of the post. We asked Sergio’s opinions for most of our choices. He selected a prosecco by the glass that wasn’t overly sweet based on our preferences that we enjoyed as a starter. For a dinner bottle, he helped us choose a Brunello di Montelcino from Le Ragnaie, a producer we hadn’t heard of. The bottle was exceptional and went very well with both of our entrees.
We went with one somewhat traditional starter and one imaginative choice. Our first choice was a buffalo mozzarella with a cured Spanish ham. The meat was somewhat like prosciutto, though a bit deeper in color and subtle in flavor. Delicious.
Our other appetizer contained one of Michelle’s favorite cheeses, Taleggio. If you’re not familiar, it’s a soft cheese, almost brie-like in consistency, but without the rind I don’t enjoy from brie. It has a somewhat nutty taste as well. The Taleggio was melted in a purse made of prosciutto (if I remember correctly), with pear and honey as well as some nuts and a Merlot reduction drizzled on top. Very imaginative and Michelle still has fond memories of it two 3 months later.
For entrees, Michelle had a dish of pappardelle pasta with a roasted duck ragu and a zest of candied orange. The duck ragu was outstanding. I went with a classical presentation of veal osso bucco. My wife doesn’t eat beef (or veal, obviously) so osso bucco isn’t something I’m likely to cook at home very frequently. But, I do love veal shank and this was done beautifully with some peas on top.
We cleaned our plates thoroughly. Everything we ate was wonderful, and the patience and guidance from Sergio made the experience a truly positive one. He doted on the kids and made them special plates of pasts to their liking (Catherine was on a Bolognese craze all across Italy). He explained everything to us and helped match up wines. This was a nice, quiet meal for us on our last night in Rome. For those who want to see the whole menu, see pictures below and remember Google Translate is your friend.