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Ristorante Piccolo Teatro  (click here to go to website)

We’ve been very lucky with food this first 10 days – and with no Rick Steves to guide us! We have only had one average meal (pizza) and many excellent ones. You might have heard me say that I did not know how we were ever going to get on the Italian meal schedule – dinner at 8:30 earliest. Well, we managed to stay up until 8:00 the first night and have eaten at 8 or 8:30 every night since. The trick is the afternoon aperitif (which always comes with a little bite of something) and then walking for a while after dinner.

On our first night in town we were too tired to venture far so we stopped into a place literally in the next building around the corner – Piccolo Teatro. They sat us at a lovely little corner table by the door (our experience has been that if you do not have a reservation you often end up with the table by the door). This restaurant seats 20 people maximum and, off course, the menu was entirely in Italian – a good sign. Fortunately our owner/waitress understood a little English so we managed to order a bottle of local red wine made of Multipulciano grapes – excellent! Larry had an appetizer of a potato and cheese gratin and since I did not want an appitizer, I ate half of it – yum. Then Larry ordered spaghetti carbonara w/porchinni and I ordered a made-on-site pasta with a ragu of wild boar – both heavenly.  Yes, this is the food we came for.  (Description from menu: Spaghetti di Gragnano alla carbonara modificata con tartufo new estivo & Mafaldine con ragu di cinghiale.) Suddenly the wine hit me and I was honestly afraid I might do a face plant in my pasta because I could not keep my eyes open. So I went straight back to the apt and fell into bed while Larry walked over to see the Piazza del Popolo lighted at night and had his first gelato.

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