Da Giggetto

Tel: +39 06 6861 105
Address: Via del Portico di Ottavia, 21a
Cuisine Type: Roman Jewish
Closed: Mondays; 1-15 August
Tables outside? Yes

Da Giggetto has long been a favourite, in the old Jewish ghetto. However in recent years we had found the service on the surly side, and had tended to prefer Il Giardino Romano instead, just along the street. A recent visit has restored our faith though, and when Rome is busy there’s no doubt that its seemingly endless rooms can be a godsend. The tables outside can be very pleasant too – but be sure to book (or arrive early) if you want one at lunch time.

The antipasti are still terrific. Not just the classics of Roman Jewish cuisine, carciofi alla giudia (whole artichokes flattened and fried), but also the stuffed fiore di zucca (courgette flowers filled with cheese and a little anchovy) – €4.50 each. Suppli al telefono (rice balls with mozzarella and tomato – and no-one can tell me why they’re called that) are also delicious. If you’re not familiar with Roman Jewish food, by the way, the waiters are helpful and will bring you a selection to try.

For primi and secondi it’s well worth checking out the daily specials, which on this visit included a spectacularly good salsicce con broccoli (€10.50) with fiery birds-eye chillis. The broccoli in question of course being the Roman sort, like a green, pointed cauliflower, and three times as tasty as calabrese. Puntarelle in salsa d’alice – an untranslatable (because unknown here) Roman salad plant in anchovy sauce was also a treat (€8).

Bucatini all’Amatriciana (€7.50) is as good as ever, as long as you aren’t wearing white or want to impress your friends (whoever invented that particular pasta – like very thin, long macaroni so it’s impossible to wind around a fork without sauce flying – must have had a sense of humour). Canelloni (€8.50) are also highly recommended.

Among the secondianimelle d’abbacchio (lamb sweetbreads, €10.50) come either fried or with white wine and and are unbelievably tender. Bauletti all Giggetto (€12) are tender rolls of beef in a succulent sauce, and are well worth trying.

Dolci are fairly basic – various torte from the trolley or fruit (€6.50 – €7.50). House wine now comes in litre carafes rather than bottles, which makes it all the easier to have a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.