To find some of the most authentic Roman cuisine in town, venture slightly outside the historic center to the neighborhood of Testaccio.
Once considered off the beaten track, the Testaccio district has now been well and truly discovered by travelers, particularly those who are guided by their tastebuds. What started as a gritty, working-class neighborhood is now a haven for foodies in search of the genuine flavors of Roman cuisine. And no other culinary institution in the area is more renowned than Felice a Testaccio.
Although the restaurant’s interior now has a modern flair, with cozy touches like black and white checkerboard 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 faithful to their local roots. The repertoire is inspired by the great classics of typical Roman cuisine, including the most popular specialties like polpettine di bollito (fried meatballs), egg omelet with vegetables, or eggplant parmigiana.
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. Book early.
> Via Mastro Giorgio, 27/29. Tel 065746800. feliceatestaccio.com