When my brother finalized his study abroad plans for Rome I booked a trip, like, the next day. I hadn’t been to Rome since I was 12 and the only thing I remember was meeting some Italian family members, seeing the Vatican, and (most importantly) enjoying tomatoes for the first time in my life. Now I’m 25 and eat probably 3 tomatoes per day on average, so it was only appropriate to revisit the city that made me the tomato-obsessed individual I am today.
I was debating whether or not to include Antico Arco in a round up with some other great ones from Rome, but there was too much to say about this one in particular. It was our one nice dinner and hands down the best food of the whole trip. In Italy you don’t even need to go to a nice dinner because 99.9% of the little cafes and trattorias are amazing, so you can imagine what happens when you seek out a “high end” place. Magic.
Antico Arco is at the top of the hill in the Trastevere neighborhood, so the view is dope. Sidenote on Trastevere, it’s my favorite neighborhood in Rome. There are no major tourist attractions there, so it feels like a real residential neighborhood where people are actually going about their lives, which is much different from the tousisty craziness anywhere near the Trevi Fountain, Via Corso, etc.
Antico Arco was the only place in Rome that I chose the bottle of wine we drank, everywhere else it was just the house red. Also, why don’t we have “house reds” that come served in a pitcher, and slightly chilled for $5?
Naturally I turned right to the page with the Nebbiolo, and the Sommalier recommended Malidea from the Luli winery. Oh. My god. Best wine ever. It’s 40% Barbera and 60% Nebbiolo so the tannins in the Nebbiolo meld perfectly with the lightness of the Barbera. My #1 goal in life is try this wine again at some point.
First up: Crispy Buffalo Mozzarella, Salted Tuna Roe and Confit Tomato. They essentially covered a ball of buffalo mozzarella with a pasty dough, and that is totally fine with me. This had a very strong anchovy taste I wasn’t expecting, I guess that was from the tuna roe? Also, everything we ordered, we shared, and they split up in half for us. Therefore they made two mini versions of this!! That can’t be an easy task.
Best pasta dish of the trip: Rigatoni Gerardo di Nola with Carbonara Sauce and Black Truffle. This doesn’t even need an explanation.
The Homemade Ravioli with Sea Bass and Rock Fish, with Datterini Tomato Arrabbiata was great as well.
Before we got dessert they brought us a little taste of Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce. How lovely.
Last but not least, Tiramisu, with crazy ass velvety custard layers. I’m dying just looking at this.
Sorry to gush about a restaurant so far away, it was just that great. Hopefully, if anything, it will inspire some new culinary endeavors or something. And if you do end up going to Rome any time soon, go there.