i had a great nite's sleep, and after a nice breakfast, some good cafe was ready to head out to lunch with Massimo & Marina with our friends Giovanni Tarquini (owner of Forbidden Planet in Roma) his wife Luisa and 11 month old daughter Vittoria (a little sweetheart!). we had the classic pasta (massimo's fave place for it) bucatini all'amatriciana! it was awesome, and it was HUGE! oy...i was stuffed. but it was great. then we headed off to to Gio & Lui's beautiful home which is decked out to the T with beautiful architecture and design, we had some nice pastry and cafe.
then we headed off to see the church of San Giovanni (the duomo of Roma...that's main cathedral for those of you not in the know). the highlight was the great cloister. I hadn't been to this church before...so i was psyched. on the way back to the car we stopped off for another quick espresso (cafe). also we hit up to nice smaller churches on this little walk (San Clemente, and San quatro sainti sp?). then a quick pit stop to the newly finished renovation of the Trajan's column area.
after this i had the special treat of going to yet another spot i've never been to: the Aventino hill district! Amazing views of Trestevere and the rest of Roma from the drop dead gorgeous San Sabina "orange garden". Also quick visit to the Church itself (San Alessio). then a walk thru the stunning neighborhood over to the lovely San Anselmo church and mini gardens.
next it was time for dinner...we headed off to the Testaccio district and ate in this funky cool restaurant funkiest place Ristorante della Citta dell'altraeconomia ("City for Another Economy")
we started off with 3 apps: 1- Antipasto (fiordilatte, tostine di pane con pate di verdure, formaggi & salumi di maiale nero reatino)...mozarella, little flat breads with veggie pate, more cheese, 2 tops of cured ham from the specific breed. 2- Vellutata di cannellini con verza stufata al profumo di balsamico (cannillini bean puree, with a little fried cabbage with a touch of vinegar).
3-Sformatino di finocchi e pecorino (sort of a fennel quiche). all were yummy and we shared.
then because i'm a sucker for polenta i had a primi of Gnocchi di polenta con salsa di gunghi & pomodori ( polenta gnocchi with mushroom gravy and cherry tomatoes.) and yes...it was off the hook. and YES i shared!
also served with the meal...a nice Primativo red wine from the south of italy.
for our 3 mains (secondo) we had 1- Lombata di maiale nero dei monti reatini (a nice piece of grilled pork), 2- Pollo ruspante con salsa masala (chicken with a delicate indian masala sause), and 3- TAgliata di manzo (beautifully grilled strips of beef).
our deserts were apple crumb tart, and baked pears with cream.
a great day...!
back at you tomorrow.