Last night Alex and I went out for the evening with some friends, Dario and Alessandro. We met Dario in a bar watching a soccer game and he introduced us to his roommate Alessandro. Here's Alessandro on the left and Dario on the right.
Alessandro introduced us to what became our new favorite restaurant. I highly recommend it to anyone coming to Rome. (This means you, Storys and Griggs.) It's off the beaten path, but near three metro stations, so if you know where you're going it's easy to get to. You have to go down a flight of stairs to get to the restaurant (this photo was taken from the door, street level) but it is warm inside, cheerily lit, and populated with many Italians. Definitely not a "tourist joint".
While we were waiting on our main courses we started with some bruschetta. Clockwise from the black one, black olive, porcini mushrooms, white truffle, and pepper spread, with the classic tomato in the middle. And because this isn't a tourist place with inflated prices, a price of just €3.50.
The restaurant, La Vecchia Roma has been around since 1916 and specializes in Roman pastas. Their method of adding the cheese to the pasta is very unique - in giant cheese bowls. These are two big wheels of cheese on a cart which they wheel to your table.
At your table they add a spoonful of alcohol to the hollowed out cheese bowl and light it. This melts the inner layer of cheese. See the flames?
Then the pasta is brought from the kitchen, added to bowl and stirred to remove the gooey layer of cheese that was melted. They'll use any form of pasta you want, and have many sauces to choose from.
The end result....