by Danilo Brunetti

A Culinary Home Away from Home

In the timeless atmosphere of Rome’s historic Jewish quarter, and hosted within the ancient walls of the palazzo of Lorenzo Manili, you’ll find Casalino, a welcoming osteria Kosher offering typical specialties of Roman Jewish cuisine, served with a passion for tradition as well as an eye for more contemporary trends. The quaint restaurant is embellished with original Roman artifacts, such as a lion devouring the antelope on the facade, once part of a sarcophagus discovered the Appian Way, and a well from Rome’s Imperial era, visible on the lower level.

To start your meal in the best way, try one of the unmissable appetizers, such as the zucchini boat; the anchovy and endive pie; artichokes alla giudia (deep fried); salt cod fillet; and fried zucchini flowers, prepared according to time-honored tradition. Next up, select one of the tempting homemade pasta dishes, like fettuccine with scorpion fish and red and yellow cherry tomatoes; egg tagliolini with sea bass, lemon zest and basil crystals; or egg tonnarelli with pecorino romano, black pepper, and crispy artichokes served in a bowl made of parmesan cheese. Standout second courses include tuna tataki with poppy seeds, crushed pistachios, and raspberry coulis; salt cod with raisins and pine nuts; and turbot fillet in a potato crust with a red wine reduction and Tropea onions. To end with a sweet note, try the ricotta and sour cherry cake or the exquisite chocolate disc with crunchy cereals and hazelnut cream.

In addition to the fine cuisine, Casalino’s other points of strength include its careful attention to every detail and a cheerful, friendly service that captures a pleasant homey atmosphere. Reservations are recommended, particularly as the tables on the terrace overlooking Via del Portico d’Ottavia, the beating heart of the Ghetto, fill up quickly.

>>Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 1e. Tel 0679781514. Closed Friday evening and Saturday lunch. All credit cards accepted.