It all started so promisingly. The Patron was charming and spoke good English. We only serve fresh food he said, but it was lunchtime and we only wanted a sandwich. I consulted the guidebook – it was recommended as a good value, family run Trattoria.
So we made a reservation for the following evening when we were shown into the dining room at the back – these small places are always much bigger than they appear from the street. The room was pleasant with many attractive paintings including some large, colourful Roman scenes filling the wall.
The pastas were explained to us in great detail and speed. But when the seafood salad appeared we found a tiny green catapillar waving at us from the lettuce – he seemed friendly – we didn’t fuss. The Roman artichokes were off the menu although we’d seen many in the market that morning. And when the carafe of house white wine arrived, it was so thin and watery, we had to exchange it for a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.
The home-made ravioli was yummy and my son enjoyed his pizza. Each of us was served on a different floral plate, one with blue flowers, another with pink roses. The lady serving us was swift and efficient with the practiced air of someone used to dealing with tourists. The Patron appeared, cooed at babies and chatted with his regulars.
Our bill was brought even before we asked but the change was surprisingly slow to appear. Eventually we asked after it – the lady was apologetic – they’d assumed it was a tip, she explained. We raised an eyebrow.
But my mother pronounced that her Tiramasu was the best she’d tasted in Rome so far.
Ristorante Alle Fratte di Trastevere, Via delle Fratte di Trastevere 49-50, Trastevere, Rome