Eat Everything Before We Leave (Week 6 Recap - Nov 5, 2018)
Updated: Nov 28, 2018
Our last week in Rome! We kicked off strong with our final set of visitors, Vanessa (a bff from high school) and Alisha (a bff from college). The two of them became friends independently when I reconnected them when Vanessa was living for a year in London (where Alisha lives full time). And now we’re all friends in every direction! It was a final excuse to try the last restaurants on our list and to walk past the Colosseum one last time.
We went to Flavio al Velavevodetto (which I can never remember how to say or spell) and had some of the best ravioli I’ve had. Alisha fell in love with our white wine (semi-dry Gewurztraminer - let’s be real I can never spell that either). Really all the food was excellent. The next night we went to Da Teo and I’d say the fettucini al tartufo bianco was the best dish on the table.
The highlight, besides spending qt together, was the pasta making class we took at Grano & Farina. We ambitiously went for the Four Roman Pastas class which had us making four different pasta doughs and shapes from scratch plus the four classic Roman sauces (amatriciana, carbonara, cacio e pepe, and gricia) - and then eating them all for dinner. Chef Pino and Sfoglia Julia were excellent teachers and the atmosphere was particularly relaxed since we had booked a private class. (This was also a lifesaver because our sitter was not available so we took turns passing WP around and supervising her crawling around the dining area while the rest cooked in the kitchen. I don’t recommend it, but it worked in a pinch since we all took turns - thank you V and Lish.) At the end we were stuffed and had had several new experiences and nerded out over lots of cooking tricks.
Another highlight of our last week was a trip to Frascati. It was actually our second trip - I forgot to write about that day trip last week. This time around we were supposed to go truffle hunting for our friend Anna’s birthday, but the truffle hunter had a truffle emergency (?) so the trip was canceled and last minute Frascati wine tasting was subbed in.
We were excited to celebrate Anna but since we had been to Frascati coincidentally the week before we were disappointed to miss truffle hunting and instead double dip day trips in our limited time. But I have to say it was super fun and I’m super glad we went back. The first time it was rainy and our time was unstructured. It was kinda entertaining because it was Halloween and all the kids were out doing their version of trick or treating, but though the town was cute, the weather was a drag.
This time we were met by a guide when we got off the (very easy) train. We did a walk through the town and then headed to a small family owned and run vineyard for a tour. We’ve been on tons of wine tours having lived so near Napa/Sonoma/etc for so long, and it’s something we often do when we travel (e.g. Bordeaux, Colchagua Valley, even when we visited Croatia) so we appreciate tours that go above and beyond “this is how wine is made!” and this tour definitely did that.
We went down into the wine caves, past volcanic rock, to visit the bottles dating back to 1945. No wine from pre-1945 because it was given to the Nazis to appease them and to distract from the Jewish heritage of one of the members of the family. We heard stories of all their experimentation in modern times and what led to vats of wine exploding in Florence when they were shipped off for inspection. The weather was beautiful, WP was content being passed around to friends and strangers alike, and it was a good day.
(If you do go to Frascati, though, I highly recommend the restaurant we ate at during our last, less interesting, rainy day there, Zarazà. That was some of the best food we’ve had since arriving. Get the Carbonara Non Carbonara.)
Our second to last day in Rome was Sunday. We had dinner at our new but now dear friends Bisan and Fabrizio’s house. They have been such an important part of our time in Rome, showing us around, giving us endless tips (from playgroups to burrata spots), and taking WP to the piazza each week to socialize with Italian children (and give us a chance for a baby-free aperitivo). Leaving dinner at their house was kind of a flashback to the end of our goodbye party in San Francisco at our friend David’s house. We were so ready to leave SF, and we did feel ready to leave Rome and continue our adventure, but leaving the people was/is still sad.
That said, it is time. Off to Bologna on Tuesday!