There are few restaurants that I recommend in Rome more often than Trattoria da Cesare al Casaletto (sometimes also called “Da Cesare”). I warn people that while it is easy to get to, it is not one of the more central restaurants in Rome. The trip out to Monteverde Nuovo, however, is more than worth it to dine on the vine-covered patio.
To get there, simply hop on the 8 Tram (which works just like a bus in Rome) and take the tram through all of Trastevere and to the very last stop – Casaletto. Cross the street at the light and the restaurant will be right off the corner, disguised by some residential buildings.
The quiet area might not feel as “Roman” as the cobblestone streets around the Pantheon or the ivy-draped roads near the Colosseum, but this is truly where to come for some of the best Roman food the city has to offer. Da Cesare does all the classics with a refinement that is hard to find just about anywhere else.
Start with the fried gnocchi. As if they would not be indulgent enough on their own, these golden beauties are served atop a cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) sauce.
Tratorria da Cesare al Casaletto really does appetizers well, so don’t be shy about also ordering the fried eggplant topped with arrabiata sauce. “Arrabiata” means “angry” but these have just the right kick of heat to spice up the melanzane.
We paired all this crispy goodness with a sparkling verdiso wine that I cannot stop thinking about. I loved it so much that I even emailed the winery to find out if I could buy it in Rome.
We also simply ordered another bottle because not only is the quality of food excellent and the wine list extensive – the prices at Da Cesare are more than fair. This bottle was €12.
Bubbly goes well with all fritti, and we kept going with supplì and fiore di zucca. There was a mozzarella di bufala thrown in for good measure. All of this before the pasta.
And the pasta at Da Cesare is a marvelous thing. Start with your favorite pasta (either dried or fresh) and then select the sauce.
The oxtail sauce is particularly good and not as easy to find at some of the more basic restaurants in Rome. You can also order oxtail as a main dish, but I like it here atop gnocchi.
The carbonara comes liberally doused in cheese and studded with perfectly crisped guanciale.
And the cacio e pepe is rightly considered to be some of the best in Rome.
How did we eat so much between three people and a baby? Well, it was Sunday lunch – which is the best time to reserve a table at Trattoria Da Cesare and eat ever-so-slowly. This is a place for savoring your meal, and not rushing to get the next tram home.
It doesn’t hurt that everyone who works there is incredibly nice. (Something I never take for granted in Rome).
Hop on the tram. Pull up a seat. Get the fritti. Choose your pasta. You’re Welcome.
Via del Casaletto, 45
Closed Wednesday. Open every other day from 12:45 pm – 3pm for lunch, and 7:45 pm – 11 pm for dinner.
Reservations highly recommended.