Pierluigi, Rome

Sundays in Rome.. most of the stores are shut, so all you can do is wander the streets, looking at the yellow buildings contrasting with the blue, blue sky, and picking out roof terraces along the way. What a great city.

It’s November 8th. Here I am sitting in a tank top in Campo di Fiori. How smug do I feel???

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Alice (my sidekick again.. does it surprise you, given how many of my lunches include her?) has a friend who knows Rome pretty well, and suggested heading to Pierluigi if we wanted good seafood. Oh, and it has a big terrace. So, off we went.

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We took a first look at the menu, and saw that they had fresh sea urchin… yum. And appropriate as we were in Piazza de Ricci… But guess what? They were totally out. How sad.

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But we spoiled for choice, so easily found other things to order. They started us off with some little bites as we waited… moscardini (remember me eating tons of those in Japan?), very lightly fried, and arancini. But the surprise with the arancini? They had pesto mixed into rice. Spot on. Perfectly al dente rice, a nice pesto, all lightly fried. If the rest of lunch was going to be like this, we were going to eat like queens.

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We started off with the mixed carpaccio of the day, which had tuna, salmon, and another fish that I’ve already forgotten… 🙂 The other two fish were nice, but the salmon was amazing, so fresh and flavourful. And that little fried nugget? A fried fiori di zucca (courgette flower) stuffed with mozarella and anchovies. Mmmmm.

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After this, we decided to share one pasta, then one main, so that we would get to try a few things. We got the pacheri with tomato, seafood, and peccorino. Cheese and seafood? Weird. But the rest sounded so good that we went for it.

And thank God we did. The seafood was delicious, squid tentacles, mussels, and clams… with very fresh, stewed tomatoes, with all sorts of veggie garnishes… on a bed of perfectly al dente pasta. This. Dish. Was. Nuts. Somehow, the cheese on top was additive (maybe because of the tomatoes?), not weird.

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And then? The seabass cooked in salt. It was pretty big when it arrived, so we were happy that we’d decided to share…

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Along with a little rocket salad with cheese… very spicy rocket and delicious cheese… mmmm.

The seabass? It was so moist. So good. I had some good ones in Spain and Turkey this summer, but this was one apart. With a little olive oil drizzled on top… heaven. With a side of very fresh spinach… seriously, heaven.

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A little espresso and then it was time to go catch that plane back to London! What a great weekend… and what an amazing meal at the end to top it off. I hope to come back to Pierluigi every time I come to Rome…

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