Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lunch with a Sea Bream (Da Gino)

Bill and I discovered Trattoria Dal Cavalier Gino on our last visit to Rome three years ago.
 It became our favourite place to have lunch. Down this little vicolo, just off via Campo Marzio, it is easy to miss. Note the small sign at the top right: Tratorria Gino. 
 You must make a reservation ahead of time -- but the historical centre of Rome is small. We stopped by the day before to reserve. We know it will be worth the trouble.
 When the waiter seated us he recommended some of the specials of the day. I had the soup -- the minestra di broccoli and Bill had the pasta -- Spaghetti alla vongole (with clams).
There is no waste on this trimmed-down artichoke. Eat the whole thing.
Here is Bill's spaghetti with clams. Pasta was perfectly al dente (slightly chewy) the seafood was fresh. 
 Not the broccoli I was expecting -- 
this soup is made with the psychedelic spirals we call Broccoli Romanesco.
 Here's where we go over the top. For our main course we shared a whole roasted fish.
It was easy to eat every scrap of moist, rich flesh.
 I thought the waiter had called it a sea bass but the customer beside me, who turned out to be a chef, 
pronounced it definitely a sea bream. For my instruction she also told me the Italian (orata).
 She introduced us to her companion, "the favourite son of my best friend". Italians can be so charming and inclusive.
I hope we'll be posting more reports from Da Gino. They really are special.


  1. I enjoyed the meal very much. Send my compliments to the chef please.

  2. That meal was "squisito!", Shelley. Glad you enjoyed it. We specifically went on a Friday to have fish. Unfortunately, Gino, himself, passed away last January apparently but the place carries on under his children, Fabrizio and Carla.

  3. In 2014 visited this restaurant and dined on risotto with zucchini & shrimp, trimmed boiled artichoke & mascarpone with chocolate shavings. Fabulous food, love your recommendations.

  4. Did you happen to find out more about the favourite son of the chef's best friend? So curious.
    I can't believe that it was three years ago you were last in Rome. I guess i just kept re-reading your posts to enjoy living vicariously.
    That food looks incredible. I keep reading about bottarga but have not tried it myself. Did it add an extra layer of flavour to the pasta?
    Sorry to hear that Gino has died but glad his family has enthusiasm and ability to maintain their high standards.
    Your posts are fabulous!

  5. Glad you're enjoying the posts and recommendations, Linda & Lisa. We've never been disappointed at Gino's. Language limited our info about the chef and her guest, Lisa, although they did recommend a place for coffee - "Teichner" on Piazza s. Lorenzo in Lucina. Excellent coffee indeed! I know nothing about "bottarge fresca", Lisa, but that spaghetti con vongole was certainly yummy!