It is irresponsible to order gricia for lunch, and yet every time I find myself at Trattoria Da Oio a Casa Mia, I am powerless to resist.
It arrives piled with pecorino and a dusting of black pepper applied with a heavy hand.
The pasta is slicked with rendered fat from the crisped guanciale.
It is irresponsible to order the gricia for lunch because you will not be able to achieve anything else for the rest of the day.
Each bite sets off umami alarm bells, shooting sparks of pleasure across your palate, before sinking directly to the gut. There is sits. Clouding judgement and jumbling thoughts.
To order the gricia is to give in to a sedentary state of being for the rest of the day. And so, it’s never the wrong choice – it should simply always be an intentional one.
Da Oio is a classic Roman trattoria. It is decorated with AS Roma paraphernalia and has had a chef with a rumored checkered past.
It is just the type of place you want to settle in for a heavy meal of pastas, plenty of pickings from their daily starters, perhaps a bit of offal, and a plate of pollo alla cacciatore.
Do not expect a warm welcome. Expect to be seated only if they feel like making room (or come armed with a reservation). It was here that, when 8 months pregnant, one of the fresh faced waiters asked when the baby was due.
“In about four weeks,” I said.
Eyeing my stomach deliberately, he raised an eyebrow and retorted: “probably sooner.”
Thank you, kid. The baby was actually four days late.
And naturally, we took him to Da Oio so he could see the gricia for himself.
Da Oio a Casa Mia
Via Galvani, 43
Rome, Italy (Testaccio)
+39 06 9291 8670
Closed Sundays. Open every other day 12:30 – 3 pm and 7:30 – 11:30 pm.