My next restaurant of choice was a recommendation from Mrs Petticoat via Twitter. She had visited on her last trip to Rome and as I like her blog and what she has to say about food I took her recommendation of Enoteca Corsi seriously. Finding it received praise in David Downie’s ‘Food,Wine, Rome’ sealed the deal for me and I booked us in for lunch (not that I needed to bother as no one gave two hoots about our reservation on entering the restaurant – I say restaurant – more wine shop with oodles of tables for the hungry).
Anyway… after our meal at L’Osteria di Monteverde (and the vinos and spritz that followed after) we had a long lie safe in the knowledge that our holiday was all about the food and chilling out. The lie in did mean that we missed breakfast at our hotel (no loss as it was pretty poor), so we grabbed a coffee (I had a cappuccino, the ‘breakfast’ coffee and Gav had a café, or espresso to you & me) on our way to the Pantheon area of the city.
It was very hot and, on fancying a nice cold beer, we stopped at a bar/restaurant for a couple of Peronis. The plastic tablecloths and plastic picture menus should have set alarm bells ringing, but I was hot and bothered and in need of beer. So we sat and drank our beer, ate our peanuts and got stung for €8 a beer, plus 20% service charge for sitting outside. Balls. That doesn’t normally happen. We’re normally a lot savvier than that…
And, as if to prove that point precisely, we then stumbled across a café bar which served wine at €1 a glass. Yeah baby! ONE EURO a glass. The cheapest we’d found it previously was €1.50 a glass (at the fabulous Bar San Calisto), so this was an amazing find for us. And ok, the wine wasn’t great, but it was wet, cold and didn’t taste of vinegar. Bargain.
Thirst quenched, and wallets only partly fleeced, we headed off to Enoteca Corsi. It doesn’t look much from the outside, and to be honest the inside ain’t the most glamorous of places, but that’s what makes these kinds of places so special. The focus isn’t on the décor or any high tech music system but on the food and the wine.
The daily changing menu is split according to prices with some pasta dishes at €8, salads at €10 and some larger meals for €13. There were also some sides and desserts for €5 each. We decide to keep it relatively light and order one dish each, no sides.
I went for the octopus salad (€13) and was ever so glad that I did. It was like no other octopus I have ever had as it was amazingly well cooked. Seriously! It was cooked through, but so tender that it melted in the mouth. Served with tomatoes, olives, parsley, olive oil and a chunk of lemon it was fresh and tasty and the perfect option given the heat.
Gav went for seafood pasta (€8). It wasn’t quite what he expected, as he had expected chunks of seafood and no tomato sauce, but on looking at the menu again I can’t believe we missed the words ‘pesce’ & ‘ragu’ in the Italian name of the dish. No matter. He loved it. Tortiglioni was very well cooked and the ragu sauce had minced up fish cooked into it. It was simply served; without any Parmesan, just a sprinkling of parsley and was all the better for it (cheese and fish is always a funny one anyway).
We hadn’t intended on having dessert, but we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves so went for it. I had a chocolate cake, which was actually a bit of a mistake as I should have had something lighter, such as the huge chunks of pineapple I saw being dished out. Ho hum. It was good, just not what I fancied in that heat.
Gav made a better choice with a lemon tart, but that’s only fair as I certainly won the best of the main dishes!
All in, along with half a litre of house white, it was around €40 which was a bargain considering the food (especially that octopus salad), the location (bang central in tourist land), and the friendly, efficient service.