Last Friday, I had dinner at L’Osteria di Monteverde. I’ve been a bit anti-Osteria di Monteverde since it took over the space of a popular locale and the menu was changed to typical Roman fare. I visited the Osteria when it first opened its doors in September and wasn’t impressed but after much hype, I decided it was time to give it another go.
Friday night, I was thrilled to see that chef, Roberto Campitelli had added many fish dishes to his repertoire. Roberto is the chef and Fabio Tenderini runs the front of the house. The service is warm and the interior is simple.
By 9:30 there wasn’t a seat left in the dining room. A steamy basket of irresistible artisan bread and grissini arrived quickly. Antipasti of zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta, wrapped in prosciutto, served over saffron sauce and raw seabream in sesame oil were well presented. The nutty oil was a great compliment to the thinly sliced fish, mixed salad and yogurt sauce.
Primi (first courses) included tagliolini pasta with pesce azzuro (typically mackerel, sardines and anchovies), spring onion, lemon and balsamic vinegar and pacchero pasta with arugula and fresh tuna. The tagliolini was the clear winner in this category. The homemade pasta tossed with meaty white morsels of fish was delicately balanced with lively citrus, onion and rich balsamic accents.
Secondi (second courses) included seared tuna lightly coated in breadcrumbs with eggplant caviar and coda alla vaccinara (Roman stew made of oxtail, tomatoes and other vegetables). The coda was stewed to perfection, succulent and savory. I’ll be heading back for this dish; no doubt.
I ended the meal with lemon cheesecake in caramel sauce dusted with powdered sugar and an espresso. The crust was moist and divine.
Average cost per person including a bottle of water, ½ bottle of wine and coffee is 35 euro; reservations recommended.
Osteria di Monteverde
Via Pietro Cartoni 163/165
Tel. 06 53273887