L’Antico Tevere

Tel: +39 06 581 6054
Address: Via Portuense, 45 (Porta Portese)
Cuisine Type: Cuisine type
Closed: Open every day in Summer

For a river as famous as the Tiber (Tevere), there are precious few places to eat alongside it (though Rome has now started a version of Bateaux Mouches, albeit on rather a small scale).

L’Antico Tevere has a vast terrace on the Trastevere side of the river, looking down over lush greenery to the water and across to Testaccio and the monastery of Sant’ Anselmo. There are indoor tables too, but on a hot evening the terrace is the place to be – especially as you don’t go there for the food, but for the position.

The menu is basic Italian as far as we could judge – though we never saw a copy. The waiter preferred to rattle off the day’s options in a heavy Roman accent (i.e. almost incomprehensible even when you speak some Italian) and seemed impatient when questioned. The result was that we ended up with dishes that were not necessarily what we would have chosen, given more sympathetic treatment.

The cooking is basic too. Fritto misto vegetale (€8) was vast but rather oily and lacking in seasoning; the same applied to the fritto di paranza (€13) as a main course. Pasta was better – orecchiette con vongole e broccoli (€8) was good.

We were offered exclusively fish – and calamari alla griglia (€12) was a reasonable dish – though I saw other diners eating meat dishes, which would have been my preference.

Puddings (€5) were a complete disaster. Crème brulée wasn’t anything like the real thing – more of a crème caramel – and a Bavarese alla salsa di fragola tasted bland and synthetic and certainly hadn’t seen a real strawberry.

House wine is perfectly acceptable however and when you watch the sun set over the bewitching Roman skyline, and the stars come out in a rich dark blue sky, you can put up with the indifferent food and iffy service. Pass the bottle, please.