Trattoria Gino covers two rooms packed with small tables and a happy vibe throughout. The ceilings are painted with flowers and stones and the walls are decorated with memorabilia giving the place a cozy feeling. The place appeared to have way more Italians than tourists, and many seemed to be regulars. No music plays in the background but the hum of conversation surrounds you. Our waiter was exceptionally friendly and helpful and spoke fine English. He really made the meal fun. They offer a good sized menu with lots of traditional Roman dishes. One caution is that they don’t take credit cards, it’s cash only, but everything is pretty reasonable. I highly recommend this place be on your list if you have the time and can get a reservation.
We started with a side dish of oil steamed artichoke. The tops were stuffed with spinach and the whole thing was really tender and full of flavor. It was lightly dressed with olive oil and totally delicious. Unlike artichokes in the U.S., you eat the whole thing.
The bread basket held saltines and puffy rolls. The inside of the roll was mostly hollow but the light dough was perfect for getting last bits off your plate.
The tonnarelli cacio e pepe was a perfectly cooked spaghetti with cheese and pepper. The fresh noodles held the sauce and yielded an amazing flavor. It was delicious and good to the last drop.
The rigatoni alla Gricia was a large tube pasta with bacon and pecorino cheese. It was a tasty bacon mixed with the perfectly cooked pasta. This was an outstanding version of a dish on almost every menu in Rome. The pastas here were among the best I’ve had in Rome. Totally flavorful with great sauce – every bite a treat.
Abbacchio alla Cacciatora or lamb stewed and wine was very tasty. Seasoned with rosemary the portion included pieces of shank, neck and shoulder. It was saucy, flavorful and tender but a lighter portion overall.
The Involtini di Vitello al Forno or veal rolls roast looked like a smaller portion but being solid meat were actually a large serving. A pounded thin slice of veal wrapped around the ground veal and herbs and then was covered with sauce and peas. The roll was totally tasty as was the sauce. Very tender and full of flavor, it felt like food your grandmother would serve you.
For dessert we had a wine soaked pear with a sweet wine sauce. The pear was perfectly ripe and tender. It was absolutely delicious as was the sauce. This was a perfect sweet fix and full of wonderful textures. A fantastic end to a really fun dining experience.