Da Etta, Rome


Da Etta

Piazza in Piscinula 42 - 47, 00153 Rome

+39 06 581 6249   www.ostepercaso.com/da-etta


Da Etta 1

The Bill (Euros)

A la carte

Antipasti €12.00 - €24.00 | Pasta €14.00 - €18.00

Secondi €20.00 - €26.00 | Dolci €8.00 - €10.00

The Score

Cooking 6/10 | Service 5/5

Flavour 4/5 | Value 4/5

TOTAL 19/25

In the west of Rome, near the river? Fancy a bite? Cross the bridge and head for Etta's place. Lovely girl, I'm sure. We never met, but we did grace her establishment two or three times. A big space - you could be forgiven for thinking you are looking at two or three rival establishements. And, as befits somewhere of that size, you'll find they can take care of all of your culinary desires.

Breakfast with fresh pastries, and juice squeezed to order? Yes. Informal lunches with sandwiches and foccacia, platters, salumi. cheese? Of course. A pre dinner aperitivo, people watching from a slightly raised terrace, is one of the essential pleasures of a holiday. Do that too, before turning to the right and stepping into the jaw dropping dining room for dinner.

I have never seen so much wine. It's a big space, and every inch is taken up with shelves filled to capacity. Goodness. On the first visit we are greeted by smiley Roberto. Good waiters of any nationality can make the world seem a better place, but I do feel that the Italian cameriere has the edge. And after a 3.15 alarm call to catch the plane, a lift was definitely appreciated.

Roberto and the Wine List

Looking at the food menu, I was nonplussed to see a wine list on a single sheet. Ah, said Roberto, that's wines by the glass. He didn't quite have our measure at that stage. Then, as requested, he brought the full list. I'll let the picture be worth the thousand words. Two thousand wines. Most of them at surprisingly reasonable prices. Absolutely no point in delving into that tome, unless you have several hours to spare. I asked Roberto to choose. He came up with a very nice bottle, below the budget I'd given him. This man and I are going to be pals.

With that we ate a couple of great pasta dishes. There were ravioli stuffed with ricotta served with a coda alla vaccinara (oxtail) sauce, and pappardelle with artichikes and pecorino. You know you're in Rome. Next, a salad of Rabelaisian proportions, and a dish of breded and fried lamb chops with cacciatore mayonnaise. Still not quite sure what the latter was. The chops were quite small - fair enough - but had a very high proportion of fat. Not the best. Never mind, a good first impression of the city as we head back across the twinkly Tiber.

We went back on our last night, to be greeted like long lost friends, and plied with champagne (no, not Prosecco). This time, fish.  A terrific fish risotto, which I wanted to follow with sole. Sole's orft, sadly. Bacala (salt cod) works for me in a stew. Less successful as a single chunk, though it came with an interesting, slightly bitter (in a good way) tomato sauce.

I'd happily return to see Etta, but for food I think I'd stick to the antipasti and pasta sections. For wine, however, only one thing to do. Leave it to Roberto. Grazie, signore!

An apology. I swear this column was perfect when I pressed the Publish button. Reading it in the garden, I was horrified by the number of errors. I blame gremlins.

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