Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lunch at Da Benito

Da Benito, in Rome's old Jewish Ghetto, at Via dei Falgnemi, 14, comes highly recommended in several guidebooks, including the indispensable Food. Wine. Rome, as an inexpensive but excellent place to eat. When we arrived, around noon, it was empty. When we left it was packed.
When our food arrived, with a half litre of the house white wine (the local Castelli Romani) and a bottle of sparking mineral water, we understood why.
This is Bill's Fegato alla Veneziana (liver and onions, Venetian style -- one of his favourite dishes). It came with two kinds of potatoes: mashed and roasted and an Insalata Verde (green salad) of bitter greens. He said the liver was tender and delicious and he was sure Reta, his mother, would have loved it.
This is my Ricco Insalata (Rich Salad) of tuna and boiled eggs and buffalo-milk mozzarella, bitter greens and tomatoes. It was fresh and delicious.
I plan to eat as many tomatoes as I can in the coming month. In Toronto we only get proper tomatoes in August.
I admired our friendly waitress, Simona, dealing with some new customers sitting outside at a little window table.
 She noticed me taking her picture and blew me a kiss. Later, she gave me her email address and asked me to email her a copy of the portrait. I showed it to her on the back of my camera as we were settling the bill (26.50 euros) and she expressed her approval.
In our last few visits to Italy, Bill and I have discovered the joy of ending a meal with an espresso. There is something deeply satisfying about this sugar and caffeine hit -- our idea of dessert.

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