January 23, 2010

Big mama's cooking

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Casual lunch with a few friends today.  After some last minute change of heart, we ended up at cinecittà.  I hadn't been back here for a number of years, so I guess it was a chance for me to see if anything has changed at this restaurant.  Apparently there's a guest chef in town - Anna Dente from Osteria di San Cesario.  A chance for us to try out some of her Roman cooking.

I started with fettuccine a la romana co le regaje de pollo.  I really like hearty Roman cooking, and things don't get much more rustic and homey than having "chicken trimmings" - offal like liver - in a tomato sauce over some pasta.  Definitely had that heavy offal taste. Pretty decent.

My second course was la Sabbatina, trippa a la romana.  I was expecting pan-fried tripe in thick tomato sauce like the ones I've had at other Italian joints in Shanghai and San Francisco, but this was the soupy version.  The manyplies tripe was soaked in a light tomato broth, with two sections of toasted bread smeared with salty pesto.  This was OK, but the pan-fried version would have been better.

We eventually noticed the gang of four sitting at a table behind me.  There was big mama herself, Umberto Bombana, and two other gentlemen.  The physical size of the four of them was really something (Bombana was the smallest of the four)...I guess they love to eat and cook!

One thing has remained constant, though...the restaurant staff was still pretty incompetent, so the service still leaves me wanting.  Oh well, let's see how long it takes for me to go back for my next visit...

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