Roman restaurant off Via Cavour, circa 2003
In the summer of 2003, when I was still in high school, my father and I visited Rome. While walking near the Forum one day, we dropped into a restaurant for lunch on a whim. It turned out to be one of the best meals of the trip, only topped by when we returned the following night for dinner.
My father grabbed a matchbook with the restaurants name on it, but has since displaced it. We both find it frustrating that we know of this place we really liked in Rome, but we don't know the name of it and haven't had the funds to return and track it down ourselves. I'm sure as a result we have put it on a bit of a pedestal, as it was a fairly modest restaurant, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone knows it. Also, this was ten years ago now, so there's a possibility that it has since closed.
Things we know for sure:
- it was off Via Cavour, or very near there
- it wasn't very stylish or very antico
- it was probably down a little alley, or at least had an alcove where it had some outdoor seating with soft lighting. I seem to recall there being either a tent or some vines above.
- it served an appetizer with zucchini and eggplant, grilled with balsamic and oil
- it also served a pasta arrabbiata
Things my dad remembers that I don't:
- it was called Il Forno something, or just Il Forno (I mark this as maybe because it did not seem to serve anything out of a wood stove)
- It had a smorgasboard-style buffet as well as a menu
Hopefully one of you can help me with this shot in the dark!
I'm pretty sure you are referring to La Piazzetta, Via del Buon Consiglio. It was opened about 2000 by some former waiters from Nerone. I haven't been there in ages, but it pretty much fits your description.
I'm not sure if this link will work, but here is the street view from Google:
I wondered if that was it, but the Forno business put me off. It was started in exactly 2000 by Franco Bartolini, who had been the waiter at Nerone for twenty years. Franco left a few years ago and I haven't been back since. I hear conflicting reports. Our crowd has pretty much reverted to Nerone, but I loved La Piazzetta.