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Da Tonino al Governo Vecchio – Rome, Italy

September 27th, 2010 · No Comments

Da Tonino - Rome, Italy Da Tonino - Rome, Italy
There are so many little restaurants in rome, that it’s almost impossible to know which ones are good, and which ones are bad. To my North American eyes, many have similar decor, similar menus – there is no way that just by looking that I can tell what makes a good restaurant. Even the best ones don’t have lineups outside, because they only accept reservations, and people know not to come if they haven’t called in advance.

Without a clue as to what makes the best restaurants, all you can do is research. A while ago, D had found an article about dining in rome that listed 6 or so restaurants, so we thought that we’d give some of them a try. This restaurant, ‘Da Tonino’, on Via del Governo Vecchio – was described as having Rigatoni all’Amatriciana ‘as good as any in the city’, so we thought we’d give it a try.

Definitely, this restaurant is non-descript. No sign outside, on a small side street between Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori – this place is definitely not actively trying to recruit tourists. We strolled in at about ten minutes to noon, and were warmly welcomed and shown to a table. Menus produced, we ordered the rigatoni alle melanzane and rigatoni all’Amatriciana and a bottle of Chianti.
Da Tonino - Rome, Italy
Out of the kitchen in about 10 minutes came our pasta, truly beautiful-looking noodles on white plates. Perfectly-cooked rigatoni, in sauce that was tasty, but I have to say, didn’t blow us away. Now Italian food is incredibly subtle in terms of its slight differences in flavours. What makes ‘good’ sauce to us is not what makes ‘good’ sauce to a Roman who has been eating this all their life. But while the noodles were perfect, and no doubt, these dishes were very tasty, they just didn’t quite blow us away like those at Da Gino, at Armando al Pantheon, or at the two cooking classes that we did.
Da Tonino - Rome, Italy
It’s not to say that Da Tonino isn’t worth a visit – it is a nice place for a lunch if you’re in the neighbourhood, and it is authentic Roman cuisine – it is the farthest thing from a tourist trap that you could imagine, and it’s not expensive. But go here for a light, quick lunch, and save room for a big meal at Da Gino.

Da Tonino
Via del Governo Vecchio 18-19
00186 Roma, Italy
Tel: (+39) 333 587 0779


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Tags: Italian · Italy · Rome · Western Food

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