Testaccio was once a gritty, working-class neighborhood, but today, in addition to being one of the most authentically Roman corners of the city, it’s where foodies in the know go to savor the genuine flavors of local cuisine. And no other culinary institution in the area is more renowned than Felice a Testaccio. Although the restaurant’s interior has been recently restored, with modern yet cozy touches like black and white floors, iron accents, and chic lighting fixtures, the cuisine is strictly traditional. The menu follows the time- honored gastronomic calendar that has been adhered to by Roman osterias for over a century, and the recipes haven’t yielded to the culinary trends of the moment, but have remained stubbornly true to their local roots. The repertoire is inspired by the great classics of typical Roman cuisine, including the most popular specialties like the vast vegetable fry-up of broccoli, zucchini, artichokes, and carrots, and the mozzarella in carrozza, which alone are worth the visit. Other highlights from the ample menu include tonnarelli cacio e pepe, tossed in the pan right at your table, spaghetti alla Felice (with aromatic herbs and salted ricotta cheese), roast lamb with potatoes, oxtails, and gnocchi, all of which are available daily. Dishes that vary according to the day of the week in the old Roman tradition include pasta with beans and pork rind (Tuesday), gnocchi in a sauce of pork spareribs (Thursday), soup with broccoli and ray fish (Friday), and tripe (Saturday). When it’s time for dessert, don’t miss out on their tiramisù served in a cup with hot coffee and pastry dough. The wine list is extensive and the service is friendly and informal.
Via Mastro Giorgio, 29. Tel 065746800. feliceatestaccio.it