Piazza Rondanini 51 Roma
For dinner, we visited a restaurant that came highly reccomended on the Chowhound boards. Not one to distrust the Hive Mind, we made a reservation and paid a visit. Tucked away in the warren of allies and restaurants behind the Pantheon, l'Angoletto is a subtley classy place with a focus on seafood and extremely fresh pastas. Complete with a charming al-fresco garden and a quiet and attractive location, it's an excellent choice for high-end dining in the Pantheon area. Observe.
For my starter, I chose the seafood saute. A seafood saute in Rome, as I've learned, generally means something more along the lines of shellfish in some sort of broth - exactly what this was. Fresh mussels and clams floated in a light white-wine and garlic broth - simple, fresh, and good. The broth was a bit salty to drink straight.
My dad went with the penne in arrabiata sauce, a classic spicy Italian preparation. The al dente penne were perked up considerably by the fresh and spicy tomato sauce.
My mom selected a pasta dish with cherry tomato and octopus - really nice, with a slightly aquatic flavor and a tangy, decadent texture. Liked this a lot. L'Angoletto is known for their octopus preparations - apparently we should have ordered the fried baby octopus, but no one was quite able to bite the bullet. They are really so very adorable, you see.
For my main course, I selected fish ravioli in cream sauce. It's a standard dish and one I've enjoyed many times with lobster, but this version was a true game changer. Super-smooth and delightfully flavored filling was enveloped by fresh and light as air pasta - the rich but not-obscene cream sauce was the perfect counterpoint. Dearly wanted to pick this up and lick the plate but that might have been a tiny bit gauche.
My mom chose the veal saltimbocca, another Roman classic, executed admirably here. Tender medallions of veal with prosciutto and sage in a light olive oil sauce - simple, classic, good. No photo as it came out unspeakably badly, which is a shame for what is generally one of the more attractive Italian dishes.
My dad chose a veal steak - veal being curiously well priced here compared to the USA, and delicious to boot. Tender and tasty and cooked to perfection over what seemed to be charcoal. Nicely done.
We passed on dessert at the restaurant and headed to the nearby Gelato San Crispino, which is widely considered to be the finest ice cream provider in town. Can't offer anything near an informed opinion on that, but I found the stuff excellent. I chose ginger and cinnamon and strawberry, and found both flavors delightful. The ginger and cinnamon was unique, warming, and extremely interesting on the palate - you've got to try it. The strawberry was ultra fresh and conveyed the essential nature of strawberriness which is about all once can ask for. Pay these guys a visit.