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Jul 24, 2013 03:52 PM

Amatrice for Amatriciana

Trying to research a place for lunch in Amatrice, since we're driving through the area, and we love amatriciana.

Not many restaurant reviews online however, so I'm not sure where would serve a good one?

So far, 2 places:

* Plotkin recommends La Conca
* My old (2011) Osterie guide recommends Lo Scoiattolo

Would love some other recommendations.. or if you've tried the above restaurant(s), are they decent?

Much thanks in advance!

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  1. The latest Osterie guide still recommends Lo Scoiattolo (which means The Squirrel). It is outside the town on a lake. I'm embarrassed to say that I forget the name of the trattoria we went to a year or two ago when Oretta took us up there for the sagra dell'amatriciana. She had neglected to reserve for lunch, but used her influence to squeeze us into a perfectly ordinary looking trattoria on the main drag (on a corner). She pronounced the spaghetti all'amatriciana excellent, perfectly correct. I think really you will not have trouble finding a decent meal in Amatrice. Note that the pasta is not nearly as red, i.e., as heavily sauced, as one becomes used to in the trattorias of Rome.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      Thanks for the pointers, Maureen! As crickets chirp in this thread, I guess no one else (at least on CH) has driven through this small town. No worries, I'll either book Lo Scoiattolo or see what looks good as we're walking through the town (mental note to look for the trattoria on the corner of the main drag!).

      Alas, we're not there when the amatricana festival happens.. may I ask you how that went? I am a HUGE amatriciana nut (it's my go to pasta whenever I'm in Rome) - the sagra dell' amatriciana may be something to do on our future trips.


      1. re: DistendedBelly

        We had a good time at the sagra, but it was a long way to go and probably not worth it. There were a lot of stalls selling pecorino and guanciale but we wound up doing our shopping at an excellent shop (can't recall name, but should be easy to find), having nothing to do with the sagra.

        1. re: mbfant

          This is good to know.

          It's all about the sourcing of ingredients when trying to recreate these iconic dishes at home, so we'll definitely pick up some vac packed guanciale to bring back with us.

    2. The restaurant in Hotel Roma has the BEST Spaghetti all'Amatriciana - definitely try to make it there for lunch!

      5 Replies
      1. re: LifeItalianStyle

        I'm glad to know that's still true. I went there in the 1980s when I wrote an article on the area, but I haven't heard it mentioned much since.

        1. re: mbfant

          still good! :-D That's the beauty of Italy -traditional foods remain traditional - no "tweaking" or modernizing of recipes (usually)!

          1. re: LifeItalianStyle

            When I interviewed the signora at the Roma all those years ago, she was emphatic that there should be no long, slow cooking, no onion or garlic, no nothing but tomato, guanciale, and pecorino. And spaghetti, not bucatini. All the rest, including bucatini, she said, were added in Rome. Of course what I didn't know then but do know now is that many of the trattorias of Rome, especially around the Pantheon were founded by migrants from Amatrice and Abruzzo.

        2. re: LifeItalianStyle

          Thanks for the rec, LifeItalianStyle (nice blog btw)! I have read (an oooold article) about Hotel Roma's amatriciana, so it's good to hear another recommendation for it.

          We'll be passing through on a Friday. I'm guessing reservations are advised?

          1. re: DistendedBelly

            thanks DistendedBelly! I've never made reservations in the past and haven't had a problem, but it can't hurt to make them.