Right in the Piazza di Sant’Ignazio is one of my favorite restaurants in Rome. When I travel to Italy, I would much prefer to eat like locals do, in a family-owned establishment – so that I can feel like I am in La Cucina di Mamma! (Back in the day, when I lived in L’Aquila, Italy, I had the great opportunity to be invited many times into the kitchen of a real Italian Mamma, and that food memory of hand cut pasta and fetticune alle vongole will be with me for life). So why waste money in a tourist trap or in some fruffy upscale place, when I can get the REAL DEAL?
2002 was the first time we found Da Sabatino. I am fortunate to speak italian pretty well, so I asked the concierge at our hotel only to recommend restaurants that were similar to what I described above; places where locals go. We went to the restaurant – you can choose to eat inside or out and I think we have done both. This place is run by a family – and the owner and proprietress are always there, watching, interacting. A few words of advise: don’t use the menu! Just tell the waiter your like to do it his way, and tell him what you might be in the mood for – what type of pasta, or fish or meat… Then let them do the rest. Everything is homemade – even the Chianti.
First on the docket – antipasti. Out come all sorts of dishes prepared for the day. Family style – so take some (or not), and pass it on. So many things from which to choose. And as is traditional with Italian dining, some sort of pasta (Primo Piatto), followed by some type of meat or fish (Secondo Piatto). Everything is just delicious- and since we’ll be back in May, I’ll save the detail on everything we ate until then, but it’s so good.
Now do not miss this: at the end of the meal, they bake these scone-like biscotti – so they’re not hard like a traditional biscotto, they are soft like a scone – with chocolate pieces inside. These are pretty much to die for. My husband cannot leave without them, and often asks for more to take back to the hotel.
I have sent friend after friend, family after family member to Ristorante Le Cave di Sant’Ignazio Da Sabatino over the 12 years since we first discovered it. Everyone has a wonderful experience. So it’s is a definite must when you are in Rome.
Dress like the Romans do – casual but classy. Wonderful food. Wonderful atmosphere. Wonderful Service.