Osteria ar Galletto

Tel: +39 06 686 1714
Address: Piazza Farnese, 102
Cuisine Type: Italian
Closed: Sundays and one week in August
Tables outside? Yes

Galletto (the little cock) is the other restaurant in the splendid surroundings of Piazza Farnese – and an awful lot cheaper than the august Camponeschi. There are tables on the Piazza in summer and the inside – one large, high room – is warm, informal and crowded with Romans. Among the pictures of cockerels on the walls are banners and scarves in support of Lazio (the football team, not the region) – so beware if you are a fan of AS Roma…

The food is fairly standard Roman fare but the quality is, in general, high. S. Daniele prosciutto (€7.50) is carved from a spectacular whole ham on a side table. Fiori fritti (deep fried courgette flowers) come priced at €2 each, and other antipasti include prosciutto with melon or figs at €10.

Pasta dishes are all €7.50 (the one exception is fettucine with funghi porcini at €10). The classic penne all’arrabbiata was pronounced the best ever tasted; potato gnocchi were also excellent, in a fresh tomato sauce.

Secondi are divided into two sections on the menu – “piatti del giorno” and “piatti pronti”. As the menu is a printed, laminated affair I can only assume that the “prepared” main courses – such as maialino or abbacchio al fornopaiata di vitello (calves’ intestines) and ossobucco con funghi are so popular with the regulars that they are always available at a moment’s notice, while others will entail a delay for cooking. However the arrival of abbacchio scottadito (literally burnt fingers, which the grilled lamb ribs resemble) and filetto al pepe – each € 12 – was prompt enough. But if you’re really in a hurry there are also “express” main courses such as veal escalopes, grilled cheese…

Puddings (€4.50) are the usual if you go by the menu – torta di ricotta, panna cotta, tiramisu– but again, the quality is high. The torta di ricotta was one of the best I have tasted – very soft, very fresh and very creamy.

A word about the service: the place was packed and there were people queuing for a table. The patron, understandably, decided that as non-regulars we could be gently hurried on our way by presentation of the bill. Our waiter was overhead overruling this – as he said, we hadn’t asked for the bill. Full marks for courtesy.