The Best Meal In Rome At Roscioli, Roma!

One of the best, if not the best (a close tie with Roma Sparita), meals that I had on my 35th birthday trip to Rome was at Restaurant Roscioli. Restaurant Roscioli is quite well known in Rome, as both a delicious restaurant and a popular tourist haunt. Despite its touristy popularity, we booked a table for dinner on our trip, and it was so, SO good!

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Roscioli!

If you are planning a trip to Rome, Roscioli will likely pop up on a lot of “best restaurant” lists and if you are just walking around looking for a place to eat, Roscioli’s charming atmosphere will certainly draw you in – think meats hanging from the ceiling, Italian products stocking the walls, and lots and lots of people. We made a reservation in advance before we left home (recommended) for the wine cellar. Yes, you pick where you sit, and there are four options: (1) the counter bar; (2) the restaurant hall; (3) the wine cellar; and (4) a table in front of the deli counter. Avoid the wine cellar if you can’t do steep stairs and the counter bar if you do not want to sit on a stool. Otherwise, the “options” are all in the same building and use the same menu and kitchen. We opted for the wine cellar because, well, we love wine! I would also note that each reservation is strictly timed and you are only allotted two hours for dinner, which I hate and is very un-Italian. Since we had a late dinner, we were the last sitting for our table and were able to stay as long as we wanted.

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Happy Dan Dan!

On arrival, we were promptly shown to our table, which was down a steep set of stairs in, not surprisingly, the wine cellar. The tables were TIGHT, but that’s somewhat normal in Italy and we were sitting among some amazing and delicious bottles of wine. We kept spotting bottles that we would like to try. It was kind of a problem. The waitress gave us the menu and the huge wine list, and we set out to choose a bottle of wine! We also ordered a couple gin and tonics to start, and these were absolutely delicious. They were also served in the cutest glasses, and there are multiple fancy gins to choose from on their Gin and Tonic list!

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Delicious G&T in the cutest glass.

After reviewing the wine list in great detail, we decided to ask for a recommendation on a Sagrintino. We ended up decanting a 2011 Montefalco Sagrantino at Dan’s choice. The wine was ridiculously good!

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2011 Montefalco Sagrantino!

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In the decanter!

On the food front, Roscioli has a really good menu, from pasta to meat, to fish, the list goes on. We ended up ordering two entrees (aka starters in Europe). First, fresh burrata! Burrata is a fresh, soft cheese, reminiscent of fresh mozzarella but better in my opinion! I was going to order this regardless but, super lucky for us, it was still white truffle season in Italy and there was a special white truffle menu, and the burrata was on it!! So, of course, I opted for the white truffle burrata! For those unfamiliar, white truffles are the most expensive of the truffle family, and they are incredibly, incredibly delicious. They are also only available for a short time period between about November and January. White truffles are priced by weight and the waiter will shave it fresh onto your dish. We went to a white truffle festival in San Miniato in 2016, and black truffles have just never been the same. We were also pretty familiar about how white truffles worked. 

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The white truffle menu!

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Ready for the white truffle!

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Burrata sans white truffles.

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Burrata with white truffles!!

In addition to the burrata, we ordered something that was similar to a hotdog slider, basically a very tasty local sausage on a small bun with a pickle and a delicious sauce. These came two to an order and were quite delicious. No truffles on these bad boys.

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Going to call these “mini hotdogs.”

For my main dish, I initially planned to order to Cacio e Pepe, but I wanted a dish from the white truffle menu, which narrowed it a bit. In the end, I ordered homemade tortellini from Bologna, which were stuffed with pork, and topped with more white truffles! Like the burrata, the white truffle was freshly shaved onto my pasta! This meal, again, was AMAZING!

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Pre-white truffle.

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White truffles and the scale.

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The final dish!

Dan opted for my original Cacio e Pepe order, so at least I got to try that! As expected, his Cacio e Pepe was beautiful and tasted amazing. It was also a huge dish! I will absolutely order this next time (assuming its not white truffle season).

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Dan’s Cacio e Pepe.

Even though we had enjoyed so much food at this point, we could not pass up dessert since the food was so tasty! We ended up ordered a fruit plate with chocolate sauce for dessert, accompanied with these famous dessert cookies. We also did a glass of dessert wine – a 2014 Muffato della Sala.  The fruit was excellent and a great way to finish off our meal.  However, I would probably not order it again, as it looks like every table receives a similar, smaller dessert for free.

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Fruit + chocolate + wine biscuits.

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Dessert wine!

All in, this meal was 1000%!!! I cannot go back to Rome without eating here, and I even joined their wine club! For those planning to visit, make a reservation in advance and review the menu (online) before you arrive to maximize your two hour dinner. There are a lot of options on the menu and it can be a little confusing. But don’t worry, the waitstaff is super nice and used to tourists. They will gladly assist if needed! In terms of price, this was our most expensive dinner in Rome, but that was due to my white truffles (about $50 US extra between the two courses – it was my birthday!) and an expensive bottle of wine.  I would classify Roscioli as upscale but not breaking the bank.

STEAL OUR DINNER

Roscioli: Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. Closed Sunday. Open Monday – Sunday, 12h30 – 16h, 19h – 00h. Reservations almost mandatory and can be made here. There are several options of “where to sit” in Roscioli. All areas serve the same menu prepared by the same kitchen.

Roma Sparita: Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 24, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.  12h30 – 14h30, 19h30 – 12h. Closed for 2 weeks every August. Recommended to reserve in advance here. or by calling +39 06 580 0757.

If you want to learn more about white truffles, and you should, read about my visit to the San Miniato white truffle festival here, here, and here!

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February In Paris: A Brief Photo Tour.

I spent Valentine’s Day weekend in Paris, France this year, sadly without Dan (SORRY DAN)!  It was a girl’s weekend, and we had the best time. I will be posting more about what we did, where we ate, how Paris is in February (spoiler alert, it was amazing and 60 degrees and sunny!), and how you can recreate our itinerary, but for now, here is a snippet of some of my favorite pictures!

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First up,  la tour Eiffel at sunset. Valentine’s color schemed.

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Macarons at Laduree.

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60 degrees at la tour Eiffel actually on Valentine’s Day.

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Pretty rugs on a private tour at Versailles.

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Le Louvre.

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Truffle cheese, french bread, and wine.

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The little hens on the trip. On top of Galleries Lafayette at the Ice Cube Bar.

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O’Paris Pub in Versailles. A great post-Versailles break with outdoor seating.

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The group at dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel.

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Winged Victory.

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Parisian fried chicken.

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Swoon.

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Les Jardins de Versailles.

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Love an old French advert.

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Cute restaurant that was there when I lived in the 11th!

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Pretty Parisian buildings.

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Another pretty restaurant.

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Le Tabac.

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Notre Dame de Paris.

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View from the top of le Centre Pompidou.

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Midnight at la tour Eiffel. Post dinner, drinks, and a visit to the top!

All You Need To Know About Day Tripping to St. Emilion Without A Tour Guide!

I will start off by disclosing that this is a companion piece to my recent post My Day in St. Émilion Without A Tour Company! You will see some of the same pictures and read some of the same facts, but this post is meant to provide a more detailed guide to exploring and planning St. Émilion without a tour guide! As I have mentioned before, St. Émilion is an absolutely stunning medieval French town located 40 minutes outside of Bordeaux. St. Émilion is known for two things: its robust red wines and its well preserved, medieval old town. As you can imagine, both of those draw big crowds and St. Émilion is hugely popular with tourists, especially the upscale crowd! Think lots of swanky hotels, numerous Michelin starred restaurants, and some of the best red wines that can be found…

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St. Emilion vines.

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St. Emilion, France. Simply gorgeous.

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The cutest buildings in St. Emilion!

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My Day In St. Emilion Without a Tour Company!

As you may know from reading my Wine Cruising to Sauternes post, there are, to many tourists surprise, no vineyards or wine châteaux in the city of Bordeaux! All of the châteaux that make the famous “Bordeaux wine” are located in designated areas around Bordeaux. St. Émilion is one of those areas and in my opinion, is the easiest and best Bordeaux wine region to visit on your own (i.e. without joining a tour) from Bordeaux! 

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St. Emilion vineyards

St. Émilion is world renowned for its full-bodied red wines. But St. Émilion is also an extremely well preserved medieval town that is complete with a unique system underground passageways, wine cellars and even an underground church! As you can imagine, St. Émilion is a very popular day trip from Bordeaux and all of the tour companies offer day trips to St. Émilion from Bordeaux, starting €80,00/person and going up from there.  However, St. Émilion is easily accessible from Bordeaux by train on your own, so that is what we did.  St. Émilion was my favorite day trip out of Bordeaux and a “must do” for anyone in the area!

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Medieval St. Emilion

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A Weekend Retreat in La Rochelle, France

La Rochelle is a beautiful French seaside town located on the mid-Atlantic coast in the Charente-Maritime province of France, and I just got back from spending a long weekend there!  La Rochelle is known to be popular with French vacationers, particularly Parisians.  However, it is not very well-known in the US, and I probably would never have visited La Rochelle except my college (yay University of Richmond!) had a study abroad program there (I opted for Paris) – and I have a “map of France” t-shirt from Anthropologie that features La Rochelle…  In addition to being featured on an Anthropologie shirt, La Rochelle is quite historical, as it has been around since antiquity, and is the port from which French settlers left for the new world (i.e. Quebec!).

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Club S.E.A., Sala Pergolesi, Malpensa Airport, Milan: Airport Lounge Review

Malpensa Airpot is a huge airport about an hour outside of Milan.  Malpensa handles a lot of international flights, while Milan’s other airport, Linate, handles domestic and regional flights.  If you are flying into or out of Italy, there is a good change that you will go thorough Malpensa. Here are some pictures of Milan, which as a side note, warrants at least day to see the sites (Milan is home to my favorite duomo)!

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A Cheesy Visit to Gouda, Netherlands!

Yes, I know the title is ridiculous.  I just couldn’t resist.

Gouda (pronounced “how-da”), Netherlands is a small, canal town in South Holland, a little less than an hour’s train ride from Amsterdam.  Gouda is most famous for its namesake cheese and its famous Thursday market celebrating said cheese – the Kaasstad!  In addition, Gouda has a well-preserved 15th century town hall (the Stadhuys), beautiful canals running throughout the city and a compact center.  I visited Gouda as a day trip from Amsterdam and highly recommend it!  Here are some pictures of the charming town:

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Amsterdam’s Museum District!

Amsterdam has a number of excellent, world-class museums, on par with those of London, Paris and New York, and I recommend a visit to at least one of these museums on any visit to Amsterdam!  I went to two – the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Both were great ways to spend a few hours!  Most of Amsterdam’s museums are located in the Museum District, about a 30 minute walk from Dam Square. The Museum District includes the Museumplein, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum (modern art), Concertgebouw (concert hall), House of Bols (cocktail and genever experience), Diamond Museum and a convenient Albert Heijn under the Stedelijk museum – a good place to find a snack or bottle of wine for the park.

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Amsterdam in August

Dan and I took a last minute trip (read: we bought the tickets exactly one week before we left) to Amsterdam in August due to new jobs!!  Since it was so last minute, we did not plan much and ended up just relaxing around the city.  That was not a problem, as Amsterdam is one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe, and I think it often gets short shifted for some of its more shady ongoings.  To dispel that notion, I am treating you to some of my favorite pictures of Amsterdam!

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Stockholm’s Happening Beer Scene

As you may have gathered, Dan and I are big craft beer fans, and I was super excited to read that Stockholm was quite the hot spot for craft beer.  However, the reading I did before visiting did not portray the full extent of its popularity, including the popularity of American craft beer.  Seriously, we found Brooklyn Brewery and Lagunita’s on tap almost everywhere.  Brooklyn Brewery even opened a satellite brewery in Stockholm, Nya Carnegiebryggeriet.

It was pretty cool to see craft beer to popular in an unexpected place, and I think Stockholm deserves to be recognized as one of Europe’s big beer cities!

Here a few of my favorite craft beer spots in Stockholm!  Not to be missed if you are craft beer fan!

AKKURAT

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Akkurat is an awesome craft beer bar located in the Södermalm neighborhood, not too far of a walk from Gamla Stan.  Akkurat serves drinks and meals, and also frequently has live music (and then it is crowded!).  We went here one evening for a few drinks.  The beer list is crazy!  There are several tap lines and a seemingly endless bottle list, including a number of aged American craft beers…at a hefty price!  See the price of the Dogfish 2009 World Wide Stout and yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. DeFlece.

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