RISTORANTE VINERIA IL CHIANTI – ROME, ITALY
It was the first night out for my wife and I in Rome, and though our hotel was located right next to The Vatican, our friends Jennifer & Tracy had just flown in a half day after us, and it turned out that their hotel was located in the historic section of Rome. Making the attempt to meet up with them, we realized their close proximity was near where our first night time stop had to be… Trevi Fountain and all it‘s mystique. Later I will write all about the historic landmark, especially at night. We thought it was the perfect meeting spot, but as too much time passed, not being able to find our friends, it had brought about quite the appetite; that and the first day walking all over Rome. However it was a little after 10:00 PM local time and it appeared that most places to eat were starting to close their doors. One place, located right by Trevi, was bustling with activity and filled with happy faces… Il Chianti.
We looked over the menu and to our surprise it was very affordable. We were quickly greeted, pleasantly so, and decided to take a chance. I’m glad my wife and I did. To drink, she ordered a local red wine, exactly how it’s usually ordered too. Not asking for a merlot, chianti etc, just a red. Which means when ordering a “red” or “white” wine, you’ll be receiving their “house” wine. Trust me, an Italian “house” wine blows away most nice wines back in the States. For myself I ordered the house prosecco (Italian sparkling wine). It was light, refreshing and perfect to cleanse my palate for the big meal ahead. Then we started with a traditional “antipasti” or platter of assorted local meats (for me), cheeses along with some veggies and accoutrement. This was one of those dishes that I couldn’t wait to have… for me, meat & cheese, local, full of flavor and plenty of it. We had officially arrived in Italy. What a simple but tasty way to start a meal. But then, the Italians have been doing this for centuries, and it’s obvious why.
My wife is vegetarian, and was surprised at how many choices she had, so she went with the pumpkin ravioli. Three large ravioli, nicely stuffed with pumpkin and spices and lightly covered in brown butter sauce. Myself, I went Italian all right, and tried the wild boar stew. Wild boar is a traditional meat throughout most of Italy, especially since as the name states, wild boar roam the countryside until they become a meal they live a great life enjoying the wild food found in the local topography. My stew was hearty and full of rich flavor. The meat wasn’t gamey at all, the root vegetables fresh as can be with a sauce I won’t forget. My goodness, both were exceptional. One great thing about my wife and food, is she usually can’t finish a big meal, and this was a really great thing since I got to sample a bit of her ravioli. As for my wild boar stew? I really wish this was a dish to be found in the States. You hear about wild boar being gamey or tough, this was neither. So tender, so flavorful. I enjoyed it so much, that I ordered wild boar several times during our two weeks in Italy, however, Il’ Chianti’s was hands down the best I had.
The restaurant itself? The tables were close together, they really pack them in. In fact, kind of a cute foot note. The tables were so close, this young couple sitting next to us, trying to whisper, but even doing, we couldn’t help but to hear about this being their first so-called real date, and IF they were going to be having sex later that night. We did our best not to eaves drop and tried to pretend we couldn’t hear a thing. But leave it to Rome, within a short time, we ended up chatting with them for the rest our meal. They were so adorable, meeting in Rome from other countries, getting caught up in the moment. Easy to do at Il Chianti.
They too loved their meal and especially the ambiance. And to this day my wife and I wonder… did they? 😉 Any how, we had a window seat and enjoyed all the people watching as Rome was winding down. Seeing the people, the tourists and the locals alike, always adds to Rome’s charm, and we had the perfect location nearing the midnight hour to do so.
Needless to say, it was a great meal, a fantastic ristorante and a complete treat over all. We’ve since recommended it to all our friends who’ve made it to Rome since our trip. All of which have had the great experience we had.
RISTORANTE VINERIA IL CHIANTI
Via del Lavatore, 81 (Fontana di Trevi)
00187 Rome, Italy