For our first dinner in Rome, we once again consulted the guidebooks, and I even searched around online a bit. We found a couple of places that sounded interesting and came across Ristorante Da Fortunato first. The restaurant was recommended by Rick Steves and The Guardian. We asked for a table and were told we'd have to sit inside since we didn't have a reservation. And then we were sat by a doorway. Our waiter was very cool toward us, almost as if he couldn't be bothered with us. I was getting a bad feeling and started thinking we should leave. But I couldn't convince myself fast enough and soon we had ordered water, and I figured we were stuck. As much as I wasn't loving the atmosphere or our waiter, the restaurant did have good reviews, so I kept my hopes up for the food.
A first course of prosciutto and melon was simple and good.
My Roman artichoke (carciofi alla romana) was tender but just a tad too minty.
For my entree I went with veal saltimbocca. The veal was tender and the prosciutto a nice, salty counterpart. The potatoes on the side were just average and so was the sauce covering the whole dish.
They say there's no such thing as a bad meal in Italy, but that's not so true when you get osso buco that requires a knife, which is what Jeff got for his entree. It was incredibly disappointing. And the sauce on top of it could have been a pureed can of vegetable soup. It was just so blah.
The dishes were kind of pricey and we left the restaurant wishing we had never gone there; it was the first time during our trip that I felt we were treated so aloofly. There was nothing to do but get gelato to make up for it. The gelato was so good it made me wish even more that we had just skipped dinner altogether.
We went to Il Gelato di San Crispino, which was located right outside our hotel. The gelateria does not use any artificial ingredients and aims to use the best-quality ingredients.
Most gelato shops display huge heaps of brightly colored gelato behind their windows, but here the gelatos were all in covered canisters. Only the names of the flavors helped us figure out what we wanted. And that definitely made the choice hard because there were so many that sounded sooo good.
Jeff went with his usual choice of lemon sorbet, and I finally decided on the honey gelato and the black fig sorbet. I figured honey and figs are a good combination normally, so they'd have to be good in ice cream form too. And they were. The honey gelato really tasted like honey and the black fig sorbet like fresh figs. This was definitely my favorite gelato of the trip, and the gelato and sorbet were awesome together.
The gelatos helped us forget about our lackluster dinner, and after we finished them, we were ready to see more of Rome. We strolled over to the Trevi Fountain, stopping in little shops along the way. When we got to the fountain, which I mistakenly thought was going to be romantic (you know, like in the movies), it was mobbed with people. We could barely get up to it to see it.
We spent a few minutes at the fountain but it was just too overrun with people to really enjoy it and spend some time there, so we headed over to the Spanish Steps. It was the same deal there.
We did the touristy thing and walked up to the top of them, and then we walked back to our hotel.
Next up: Day 11 -- Rome (Morning)