A friend recommended a restaurant to try in Rome, Ristorante Santa Cristina. I found it on Google maps and noticed it wasn’t far from my hotel. On Monday night I set out to eat there. After an hour and a half of wandering and turning down this small street and that, I still couldn’t find it. It was as though I was engaged in a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, but without anyone to guide me, “Warm!” “Cold!” I ended up eating at what I imagine to be the Italian version of a diner. The lasagna was good and the wine sweet, but I longed for the love of family style cooking at Ristorante Santa Cristina.
On Tuesday night I studied the map again and saw my mistake. I was determined to find it. I would. I set out and after an hour of circling, I found it. It was down a tiny alley with a street sign almost invisible. I walked in, the restaurant having just opened. “Table for one?” I asked. “Do you have a booking?” A frown began to form on my face. “No… But I’ll come back. I’ll take whatever time slot you have.” She looked at her book. “You can eat now, or come back in three hours.” I chose to eat now, knowing that I had to be out in an hour and 45 minutes so that they could prepare my table for the next reservation. I scanned the menu and ordered.
Primi: ziti with fried zucchini blossoms. The pasta was perfectly al dente, the zucchini blossoms amazingly crisp, in a light cream sauce.
Secondi: mixed seafood platter. Tasty morsels of grilled salmon, cod, sea bass, king prawns, and langoustine.
Side: mixed fennel, peas, and beans. Cooked just right. Washed down with a half carafe of the house red wine. It was well worth the two days of searching. Buon appetito!