The Italian restaurant

Before we went to Rome, knowing it would be quite late when we arrived and especially because it was my younger son’s 13th birthday, my husband and I wanted to be sure to find a nice restaurant to eat in on our first night. So we did some research on Trip Advisor and came up with something about a 10 or 15 minute walk away from our hotel which had a good mix of food, which would suit our family of vegetarians and fussy eaters.

When we arrived at our hotel, after a taxi journey of an hour and 15 minutes from the airport, we were predictably tired. And hungry. Very hungry. We pretty much dumped our suitcases in our rooms and headed straight out to find the restaurant. Except the hotel staff told us nothing would be open until 7.30. 7.30! We’re the sort of family that likes to eat at 5. We can do 6.30, but 7.30?!

At 7.20, we left the hotel again to head for the restaurant we’d found. But somehow the kids and I got drawn into another one.

Did we want a table? Did we want to see a menu?

We did, my husband didn’t. He said we shouldn’t just go into the first place we saw. Hunger was a big factor. For the kids and I, it was saying ‘go into the first restaurant you see’. For my husband it was saying ‘be grumpy’.

The restaurant manager was so nice and welcoming. Where were we from? England?! Newcastle? Hmm, maybe not.

‘So guys, Manchester United or Chelsea?’

That’s the way to break the ice with my family! All of them are big Man Utd fans (my husband is from the North West, so they’re not typical southern glory-hunters).

But even as we had our menus and had placed our orders, he was still grumbling that we shouldn’t have gone into the first place we saw.

We were just happy to know that food was on its way.

And what food it was! We’d ordered four slices of bruschetta (knowing my daughter wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole) – two tomato and two with olive paste. And they were absolutely delicious! Maybe it was the hunger, but it felt like one of the nicest things I’d ever tasted. The tomatoes were about a million times better than any we have at home.

There was some confusion over which pizza was which and who’d ordered what. I suspect there may have been a couple of incorrect pizzas delivered, but it didn’t matter as we sorted them out and all ended up with a pizza we were happy with. I had courgette and aubergine, which I would never order at home, but it was absolutely delicious. My family are big pizza fans anyway, but they particularly loved those pizzas.

Pizza, Italy, Rome, Restaurant, Italian restaurant

The manager continued to be friendly, welcoming and chatty throughout our meal. He took the kids to look at the desserts as they didn’t understand what was what from his descriptions.

I’d heard that Italians are very welcoming to families. I know my kids aren’t tiny and cute any more, but they can still be a bit troublesome and they can still be hard to please. The manager did everything he could to make us happy there and it really worked.

As we left, with my husband leaving a generous tip, he conceded that it definitely was a good restaurant. But we had got lucky and shouldn’t have rushed into the first one we saw.

The next day, we went to the restaurant we’d planned to go to in the first place. The food wasn’t quite as good and the service wasn’t in the same ballpark!

Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts on these things. Or your hunger.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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10 Comments

  1. It just shows that sometimes your gut instinct goes a long way. I think I would have done the same, I know what it is to have tired grumpy children who need food quickly.

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    • And I’m just as bad as the kids! (Possibly worse!) We definitely did the right thing. We even went back there two days later – with my husband’s blessing this time! 😉

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  2. Oh I bet you were delighted when the second restaurant wasn’t as good! This one sounds awesome. We had some delicious pizzas in Rome as long as we ate away from the centre. The day my husband proposed we got carried away and ate near to the Trevi fountain. That was the one we paid over £100 for. Massive error!
    Nat.x

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    • Oh yes, I was very chuffed! Eek! That’s so expensive. We only ate in the centre on our last night and it was definitely more expensive and, to me, it wasn’t as good! x

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  3. It sounds like an amazing restaurant and food tastes even nicer when you’re hungry doesn’t it? I found the Italians were amazing with my friends little boy and I’d love to take my own there one day!

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    • It certainly does! We really wolfed that food down! I would definitely recommend it as a place to take the kids!

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  4. Sarah I can so identify with this. I hate it when you arrive somewhere particularly after a day of rubbish airline food and you are just desperate to eat something good and soon!! We have done the some thing where we have booked a table in an effort to be organised and then got distracted elsewhere but actually your gut instinct is generally a good one and it looks like it was for you here. Look forward to reading about Rome – looking at taking our teens next year for a long weekend. x

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    • Thanks! Glad it makes sense to you! We forgot that my daughter hadn’t eaten on the plane either. She’d had a sausage and a couple of chips in the airport at about 11am and then eaten nothing. Poor kid was starving!
      I’ve already posted my other Rome posts – all about the good bits and the not-so-good bits!

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  5. How lovely that you were all treated so warmly, and yes football always seems to be a good ice breaker. We have never been to Italy but I have been told the pizzas and pasta are so different to home. So glad it worked out well, and you must have been starving after all of the travelling x

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    • Thanks very much! Football is definitely a good ice breaker! We realised my poor daughter hadn’t had anything to eat on the plane and had only had a sausage and a few chips at 11am. No wonder she was hungry! x

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