Alla Rampa

 

Tel: +39 06 678 2621
Address: Piazza Mignanelli, 18
Closed: Sundays and all of August

The clues to a good restaurant in Rome are not always the same. When we came upon Ristorante alla Rampa, with its outdoor tables nestled under large umbrellas, the restaurant looked charming.

But the red Ferrari parked in front indicated this place might be much better than average. The second indicator was that it took no credit cards – clearly, this restaurant catering to locals. The third clue was the antipasti buffet: over 40 choices. The spread was extensive: Vegetables and spinach leaves fried in tempura batter, grilled polenta, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, marinated artichokes, marinated mushrooms, salmon, and spinach salad. I quickly named it ‘aubergine-lovers heaven’ as they also had several variations of my favorite vegetable: grilled eggplant, marinated eggplant, stuffed eggplant, and eggplant with mozzarella. Every dish was well-prepared and all were delicious.

As the waiter suggested that we consider the antipasti buffet, we also took his advice for the house red wine. It turned out to be very agreeable, but definitely enabled the food to keep the spotlight. Although our group of five had planned to order primi or secondi from the menu, we were out-numbered by the range and quantity of antipasti dishes. Instead, we sampled the desserts. Comparing the Crème Brûlée with versions from other restaurants in Rome, Rampa’s was declared to be very good, “Not quite as sweet as that of Vecchia Roma, but with a superior sauce.”

The restaurant is located near the Spanish Steps. As it is a favorite with locals, you’ll want to arrive early or perhaps call for reservations to reserve your outdoor table. We arrived before 7 pm (very early by Roman standards), and the restaurant filled up quickly. Highly recommended.

Mid-price (20 – 35 euros per person for dinner).