“ Mediterranean and Roman gastronomic tradition in the hostorical center of the town / Address: Vicolo delle Grotte, 27, Rome - Campo dei Fiori 00186 / Phone: +3906 686 4293 „
On our second night in Rome Mr Tart and I were trying to find somewhere to eat. After trawling through our Lonely Planet city guide we came across Sergio alle Grotte. It was described as looking like an Italian trattoria should look like and with good food so we thought we'd give it a go.
Sergio alle Grotte is located at Vicolo delle Grotte 27 in the Centro Storico, or historic centre. It's a side road so you probably wouldn't come across the restaurant just wandering round, you need to look to find it. It is close to the Campo de' Fiori which is known for its bars.
We had a look at the menu on the way in and decided it looked pretty nice. Inside the restaurant had seating for around 50 people. In the summer they have tables outside as well. It was decorated quite traditionally with Italian pictures of the walls and checked tablecloths. We were shown to a table and given menus straight away.
The waiter was very helpful and the service was quick all night. I'm not sure how much English the waiter spoke as we spoke to him mostly in Italian but I'm sure he would have had enough to serve those who had no Italian.
For the starter Mr Tart and I decided to share the antipasto platter. We were immediately given a basket of bread and some packets of bread sticks. We were happy that this restaurant provided us with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping the bread which a lot of other restaurants didn't. It makes such a difference and made the bread so much tastier. The platter had a delicious mixture of meats including the all important Parma ham which I adore! There was also a wedge of hard cheese, some mozzarella and some olives. This platter was cheaper than the one we had the night before at Navona Notte (see other review) and it was a lot tastier so we were happy bunnies.
For the main course I went for the beef steak. The meat was cooked perfectly for me - medium rare (although they didn't ask me how I wanted it cooked so be aware of that if you normally go for well done) and it was really tasty. It was quite fatty but I was expecting this so it didn't matter. We chose a couple of side dishes to go with our meat dishes as they don't usually come with anything else. We had roasted potatoes and beans, which were butter beans served with celery. My main was really good and I'd recommend it. Mr Tart had the lamb skewers which he wasn't as happy with. He'd wanted something else but they'd run out of it. He did like the skewers but said they weren't as tasty as my beef.
To drink Mr Tart had a carafe of red wine and I had a bottle of Peroni - both yummy! We didn't have any water as they didn't offer tap water and my Italian didn't stretch to 'tap') and I refuse to pay for bottled water if I can help it!
The menu was fairly extensive and offered lots of Italian food. Looking at the other diners their food all looked really good and I would quite happily have chosen lots of different things from the menu. There was also a choice of desserts which you could look at in the chiller cabinet. Mr Tart went straight for the tiramisu, which was an enormous portion! He did it justice and said it was really good.
I'm not sure of the exact amount we paid as we've lost the receipt but it was between Euro40 and Euro50 for both of us including the tip.
I would highly recommend Sergio's if you're in Rome and looking for a traditional trattoria meal. The restaurant does some really great food and offers pretty good value for money. The fact that it is on a side street means that the prices aren't too high and it isn't too touristy. It is close enough to Campo de' Fiori to be in a convenient location, however. The service was great all night. I would definitely return if I go back to Rome.