Al Vero Girarrosto Toscano in Rome is loud, fun dining in true Italian fashion with an open kitchen and tuxedo clad men running around dropping off dish after beautiful dish. When you dream of Italian cooking, this restaurant is what you conjure up. And yet your dreams don’t do justice to what is on offer.
The friendly staff starts you off with a glass of Prosecco and guides you through a classic meal where huge portions are shared over raucous laughter and story telling. Assorted peppers in oil, eggplant, zucchini, mushroom pudding, more (and different) servings of zucchini, onions, and other antipasti are brought out. It’s more than a person can consume. Marvelous.
There is bread drenched in tart, thick balsamic and sweet olive oil with fresh parmesan grated on top.
Then arrives a huge platter of clams and mussels in tomato and white wine sauce with garlic toast. Talk about a feast. The Monster isn’t sure he can eat any more and he hasn’t even ordered anything yet.
Arrabiatta as the main course is the choice. Old school. The sauce is perfect, the pasta doesn’t taste homemade which is the first disappointment of the evening. Even with that, it’s leagues better than most anything in America. A bottle of 2007 Rocca delle Macie reserve Chianti helps wash it all down.
Then come grilled king prawns on skewers. They are, and excuse The Monster, the bomb. Succulent and huge, they are fresh from the sea and a simple yet gorgeous delight.
Tiramisu (of course!) and chocolate nougats with creme filling round out the meal. Both from scratch, both worth the expanding waist line.
When one finally gets up they feel as if they are taking leave from old friends they hope to see again soon. It’s that kind of place.
Why go? Your mother is not Italian.
Monster rating: 4 ½/5 Mostros
Via Campania, 29, Rome, Italy