Address: Vicolo del Babuino, 4 – near Piazza del Popolo
One of my all time favourite restaurants. It’s small, tucked down a side street and very friendly. The building has a fabulous old ceiling and the walls are hung with huge modern art canvases that change regularly. There are also three or four small tables outside in the summer.
The food is superb and medium priced. Try the speciality of the house – spaghetti al cartoccio con frutti di mare, spaghetti with seafood cooked and served in foil to keep all the juices in. My essential dish there is linguine al broccoletti – in my view worth the trip to Rome.
The other reason for going is that they have a way with saute potatoes (which luckily accompany most meat dishes) that turns them into food for the Gods: cooked in meat juices to a golden crispness on the outside, and with just a hint of rosemary. I once watched with fascination as two Italian ladies, both elegant and slim, came in and ordered nothing for lunch but a dish of those potatoes. Now that’s getting your priorities sorted.