I don’t really love baccalà.
The salted cod can come off mushy and overly powerful in many dishes.
Dar Filettaro is one of those Roman institutions that you love not in spite of it shortcomings but because of them.
It is a tiny restuarant that serves one thing: filetti di baccalà.
Slightly dingy, with yellow laminated menus to keep the grease at bay, there is a pleasantly permeating smell of all-things-fried as soon as you walk through the door.
If you snag a seat facing the right direction, you can watch two ladies in the back (sometimes wearing housecoats) as they do the frying of fish.
Yes, technically, there is more than one thing on the menu. There is, of course, wine on tap.
You can also order salad, beans, and puntarelle – a Roman cicoria soaked in cold water until in curls, and dressed in a light anchiovy sauce.
It is simple and good and Roman.
In Rome, this is how you eat.
Normally, filetti di baccalà are the kind of food ordered pre-pizza, like at da Remo. Dar Filettaro is the kind of place to when you want a fried snack to take away, or when you have the time to spend sitting in a lovely piazza with Rome’s cutest church.
There is nothing fancy about dar Filettaro, and that is what steals a bit of my heart every time.
Largo dei Librari, 88
Rome (Centro Storico)
Open: Monday – Saturday 5:30 pm to 11 pm. Closed Sundays.