La Sagrestia – Rome

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Have you ever imagined what your family restaurant might be like if your family all got together, opened a place and just happened to be Italian? No?… well this is exactly how I felt when I ended up at La Sagrestia.

If you’re like me and love visiting a true traditional family run restaurant where everyone seems to just be one big family then I suggest you pay them a visit. The venue is decorated quite uniquely with paintings and pillars and stained glass windows, mimicking that of the near by Pantheon.

You don’t need to be an expert at Italian as the staff are used to visitors so have some knowledge of English, though it’s good to be prepared with a few phrases… just in case. Onto the important bit however, the food.

The menu is varied with lots of great options. We decided to start by sharing the antipasto mist of vegetables. The platter was large enough for four people and full of so many beautiful flavours and vegetables, including faba beans, okra, potatoes, a type of cabbage, roast peppers, a selection of mushrooms, courgette, aubergines and black and green olives… though I did find the green olives a little bland, the rest was perfect and whet the appetite just enough to prepare you for the mains.

The pasta servings are generous and simple. Each one more alluring than the last. My friends went for the traditional and must haves when in Rome, Cacio e Pepe, and Carbonara (made with egg and guanciale, never cream), I decided to try the Saltimboca all Romana, veal fillets lined with proscuitto and sage and lightly sautéed to perfection in white wine and oil. Each bite was delicately tender and simple.

Finish the meal off with a true Italian classic, Tiramisu, though fro, experience I warn you, expect the caffeine to kick in a while afterwards, this is made with pure espresso. Smooth, light and bow licking worthy.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is what enjoyed most aside from the food and what I found separated it from other places I had visited that weekend. Everyone in side seemed to know one another, smiles from every table and each person visiting interacting with familiarity and joy, being loud, warm, typical Italian, true mediterranean passion a large table in the corner celebrated something as they sang and spoke louder and louder over one another whilst il Nono, the grandfather and eldest gentleman there burst into song in front of the entire restaurant. It was a bright place, and I’d recommend it should anyone visit, as it was recommended to me.

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