By Elena del Valle, photos by Gary Cox
Ristoranti da Vincenzo
Finding a good meal in Rome, Italy proved to be a greater challenge than we had anticipated. One evening, after exploring and discarding a number of options including two well known gourmet venues, we called Ristoranti da Vincenzo, a restaurant that had been recommended by my travel agency among others. It was within walking distance from Regina Baglioni Rome, our Via Veneto hotel. Because we had been walking all day and needed a break from walking we took a taxi. A few minutes later we were comfortably seated indoors (there was an appealing outdoor area but it was chilly and we preferred to be far from smokers). It was a weekend night and soon the place was packed. A combination of tourists, seated near us, and locals, seated upstairs, filled the restaurant which was larger than we first realized.
Smoked swordfish with roquette
The two-story restaurant was at the end of a quiet one way street. It had an urban setting with a street view and simple decor. What we liked most was that the staff were friendly and spoke English, and most importantly the food was surprisingly, and unpretentiously, good. We started with a shared Smoked swordfish with roquette followed by Linguine with lobster in tomato sauce. For mains my dining companion had a sea bass and I ordered a mixed grilled. At the server’s suggestion we ordered artichoke sides to accompany our main courses but there was plenty to eat in the main dishes and we were unable to do justice to the sides. We wrapped up the meal with berries and ice cream for my dining companion and lemon and vodka sorbet for me. Everything from beginning to end was fresh tasting and well prepared.
Mixed seafood grill
We went back for lunch a couple of days later. It was a quiet midweek day allowing us to chat a little with the servers from the weekend. We were pleased to discover the staff remembered us and the food was just as good. We even met Vincenzo, the restaurant’s owner and namesake. Ristoranti da Vincenzo (Castelfidardo, 6, Rome, in English www.ristorantidiroma.com/davincenzo/homeeng.htm.