Le Mani in Pasta

Via dei Vascellari, 51-61, 00153 Rome, Italy

(39) 06-581-6017

This tiny eatery in Trastevere is a pitch-perfect Roman dining experience. The no-frills dining room is small, tables are pushed so close together that you have to make friends with your neighbors, and the kitchen is located behind a glass window so that you can watch the graceful dance of the young chef as he prepares each meal to order. The menu here includes such classic Roman pasta options as cacio e pepe and a la carbonara, both dishes that are utterly simple and therefore easy to ruin.

During my recent visit, the plate of steaming spaghetti alla carbonara was a symphony of gooey yellow-orange broken up only by bits of perfectly crisp, dark-red bacon, while the tonnarelli cacio e pepe struck a wonderful balance between spice (black cracked pepper) and smooth (flakes of Pecorino cheese). The meal kicked off with a simple antipasto plate (mozzarella, bresaola, spicy salami, arugula) and finished with a forthy, strong espresso. It was one of those magical meals where the first bite affirms your secret hope that you have found a place just at the right time and your last sip is made with a silent wish that it will stay the same until you can return. Go now before everyone discovers it.

Written by Simone Girner

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