I declare out loud that I’m experiencing a true state of happiness as I eat my ridiculously good lasagna and roasted artichokes, which is swimming in a sweet, savory chickpea sauce. This is heaven! The sun is out, the company is good, a beautiful oval painting on the street wall across from us is pleasing to the eye, and one of the finest meals is placed before me. I wonder if, in fact, it is the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted.
The waiter tells us that the owners of the restaurant have a farmhouse in the countryside, where they make their own olive oil, and that the bottle on our table is the fruit of their labor. He also mentions that the pasta for the lasagna was hand made the day before and the dish itself was cooked fresh that morning.
It seems as if genuine love has been put into everything, from the olive oil to the pasta al Cacao e Pepe, to the braised beef cheek, to the full-bodied wine that perfectly compliments my lasagna. Our waiter is energetic and passionate, and his enthusiasm about the food is contagious. He describes each plate as if it were a secret to be discovered, and when it arrives it is exactly that. Each dish is astoundingly delicious and quite affordable, that I even consider renting a room around the corner when I return in late April, so that I may try every simple masterpiece that they have to offer.
Bill and I spend our entire one and a half hours at this restaurant talking only about how good our food is. We savor it as if it is our last meal. Death by pasta. God bless the Roman angels that have guided us to this gem of a place.
You read about it in books you watch it in the movies, but once you sink your teeth into real authentic Italian cooking, you are converted. Italian food is my new religion.
Osteria Bacco in Trastevere: 14 Piazza San Giovanni Della Malva, Trastevere, 00153, Rome, Italy