La Tavernaccia is a medium sized place with a small but well chosen menu. It has been in the same family’s hands for 50 years and the main dining room was refurbished about 5 years ago. Two walls have windows facing the street so there is lots of natural light in the daytime. Exposed brick and stone cover the other walls and the floor is tile. Background music plays and the small tables have a double cloth with matching napkins. The ceiling must have been made of some sound dampening material because even with the room full, and several large parties, the noise level was just fine. There is a second smaller room but the ambiance didn’t feel the same when I peeked in, so request the front room with your reservation. The super friendly waiter spoke great English and was helpful in making choices. Service was efficient, prices are reasonable and the quality of ingredients in the dishes seemed to be high. I would recommend this as a good place for a casual meal when in Rome.
We started with a Mixed Cured Meats plate. It contained a great prosciutto, mortadella, hard salami and a soft salami. We got a basket of their bread to go with it. The bread might be the best I’d had on this trip to Rome. It had a nice hard crust and dense doughy and moist interior and was served warm. The prosciutto was sliced perfectly thin and full of flavor as was the mortadella. The hard salami was cut a little thicker and also very tasty. Each bite burst flavor in your mouth. The soft salami was probably my least favorite but trust me, not a bit of any of it was left on the plate. It was plated with a selection of green olives.
Spaghettoni egg pasta with Gricia (Guanciale and pecorino) was delicious. Perfectly cooked pasta worked well with the really flavorful guanciale – and there was tons of it. The thickly cut spaghettoni was wonderfully seasoned and each bite was heaven. This was a great version of the dish.
Roast suckling pig cooked in a wood oven was served with roast potatoes. The pork was divinely crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Full of roasted flavor the pork was tender and went great with the tasty potatoes. It was served on the bone so underneath the ribs other cuts of pork were tucked beneath. All absolutely terrific. We had a side order of wild chicory to go with it. It was properly bitter and exactly what you’d expect. Cooked nicely, it’s one of those vegetables you either like or don’t .
I thought we were too stuffed for dessert but after a little time to sit and sip our wine the waiter presented choices and suggested the cheesecake with strawberries would be a light choice. I was skeptical but had smelled some lovely strawberries at the market so we ordered a piece. It was just as good as the rest of the meal had been. The ground crust included some cinnamon but the middle was much lighter than U.S. cheesecake – more a consistency of whipped cream. The strawberry topping was highly flavored and properly sweet. A very good suggestion and a delightful end to a wonderful meal.