Osteria « Le mani in pasta », Rome

February 4, 2009

Our final meal in Rome this trip would be a Sunday lunch on January 18, 2009. We thought that Trastevere would provide the right ambience and so chose Le mani in pasta (Hands in the dough) from a recommendation from Romans living in France and from reviews we found on the internet. 

On reserving we asked for a table next to the kitchen window, but they were only for two people. Nonetheless we had a view into the hectic, steamy small kitchen from the middle of the room. (The people at the table right next to the kitchen window never looked into the kitchen.) On sitting down we were immediately served a glass of prosecco. We contemplated the small printed menu and the day’s specials on the chalkboard hung in front of the kitchen.

We ordered a half-bottle of 2007 “Ca’ del Bosco” Franciacorte white wine and, for red wine, a bottle of 2007 Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna. They were just right for the occasion.

Sue started with the
Antipasto “Le mani in pasta.”

Underneath the slices of prosciutto, mortadella and salamis is a mound of mozzarella. Good.

Linda had the
Antipasto di verdure grigliate e gratinate.
The vegetables were just what she wanted: not over-oiled, salted, spiced or vinegared.

My antipasto was the
Insalata Polpo e Patate

This octopus and potato salad with olives was very nice.

The pasta for all three of us was a special of the day
Spaghetti pescatora all’astice.
This may have been the best dish of our stay in Rome. The sauce had a light tomato base. It included shrimp, squid, clams and mussels along with generous pieces of lobster which brought it to a higher level.

Sue’s main course was a
Spigola al sale

A local small sea bass had been cooked in a salt crust. Sue said it was terrific. It seemed so in the one bite I had.

Linda and I went on to
Saltimbocca alla romana

Saltimbocca is one of the most classic Roman dishes and we had not had it yet on this trip. There is a whole fresh sage leaf between each slice of veal and of prosciutto. They are braised in a white wine sauce. This was good and classic, but I had not expected four pieces and could not finish it.

We skipped dessert and went out for a walk in Trastevere.

I highly recommend Le mani in pasta. The best courses are really memorable. All the courses are enjoyable. The ambience is friendly and authentic. We had a fine time and good memories of Rome.


2 Responses to “Osteria « Le mani in pasta », Rome”

  1. Becky Coyne Says:

    I loved reading of your meals in Rome and living vicariously through you! Thanks for sharing! Are you writing up the hotel on this trip?
    Take Care-

    • Michael Says:

      I’m not writing up the hotel separately. The Hotel de Russie was excellent. Its location next to the Piazza del Populo with its taxi stand, subway, tram and bus stops is very convenient. We didn’t dine there, but had the buffet breakfast, which was included, every day in the lovely dining room. I can imagine that dining in the interior courtyard in good weather would be splendid.

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