Placed on the itinerary of travelers visiting The Eternal City by both Eater and “A Pasta Lover’s Guide to Rome,” Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto resides in an apartment block distant from the rest of Rome’s great eateries, this and the “by phone only” reservations...policy assuring mostly locals lining up for traditional fare in a large but stark dining room.
Known simply as “Da Cesare” to many, and closed Wednesday but otherwise open from 12h45 to 15h00 for lunch plus 19h45 pm to 23h00 pm for dinner, it is primarily by bus or Uber that guests make way to Rome’s Monteverde Nuovo neighborhood, this particular evening finding nearly every indoor seat packed as temperatures were too cold for the patio.
Lacking central Rome’s cobblestone, wider streets and a sizable park giving the surrounding are a distinctly more residential feel, it is once seated that servers present with convivial charm, English-fluency limited but made less necessary by translated menus.
Dubbed by one local writer as “the perfect Trattoria” back in 2012, a bare-bones building with bright lights placing diners’ focus on Food and conversation, it is from Fritti, Pizza, Primi and Secondi that guests may choose to build their meal, affordable Wines also highlighted such as €4 for a particularly generous pour of Prosecco.
Built on classics, but ranging widely enough to please most palates, one will quickly notice most tables enjoying good Bread while debating options, the Gnocchi Fritti frequently following with fried Dumplings swimming in a pool of what amounts to Cacio e Pepe Fondue.
Refined without feeling “stuffy,” the servers seemingly everywhere at once despite lengthy expediting times, Pizza comes on a crisp but forgettable Crust while Pastas allow diners to select their own Noodle and Sauce combination, such as thin Ribbons of Fettuccine slicked with Egg Yolk and Pork Jowl in the case of good Carbonara.
Leaving the Egg out of square-cut Tonnarelli, a dry Noodle cooked al dente, flavors leaned a bit too salty in Da Cesare’s alla Gricia while Hunter’s style Veal got lost amongst Olives and Garlic, thus raising Coda alla Vaccinara's stock as the better Secondi.More