Saturday, August 7, 2010

Roma - Dal Bolognese

Dal Bolognese 

Piazza del Popolo 1-2, Rome

Dal Bolognese is a very famous restaurant on the Piazza del Popolo.  The Piazza del Popolo is nice piazza not far from the Spanish steps.  In between the piazza and the steps runs Via Babuino, which is home to the high end shopping in Rome.  Also, right near here is the Hotel Russie, which is a beautiful, modern hotel where you might want to stop for a drink.  In the piazza is a huge Bernini fountain with a sculpture of the lupa feeding remus and romulus.  

Dal Bolognese was our first lunch in Rome on our honeymoon in 2005.  We ended up there somewhat by accident, as I asked our concierge to send us somewhere very, "Roman." I was looking for a trattoria that would have saltimbocca, carbonara, amatriciana and those type of things.  Dal Bolognese is NOT the place for those things, but it is certainly very Roman!  We went not really knowing what to expect.  Maurizio made us a reservation, and we arrived at about 12:30 or 1.  We were seated at a nice table outside, while the place was almost empty.  On the way in, I almost wanted to leave after looking at the menu, but smartly Sloan convinced me to stay.  Smart wife, that wife of mine!

Within the next 20 minutes, the place was packed with best looking, wealthiest people in all if Rome.  This was definitely a power lunch spot.  There were what appeared to business men, politicians, rich woman shopping and all the other usual suspects.  Instantly, we were in the place to be, it was true people watching at its best.  The food was good, and the waiters were super nice and very professional.  I don't have any food or restaurant photos, as we probably would have been embarrassed.  

We ate 2 courses, and then I went inside to use the bathroom, and noticed that what everyone was eating inside was bollito misto:  mixed boiled meat.  I decided it was time to double down an order another entree.  This was very, very good.  They served the bollito from a cart with a huge pot of mostarda on the side.  The mostarda is made with candied fruit.  It was great.

I would recommend Dal Bolognese for a weekday lunch.  It is the perfect way to feel fancy during a day of shopping on Babuino and seeing the spanish steps.  You would definitely want to have a reservation, and to be somewhat dressed up.  I dont know exactly what happens at dinner, lunch felt like the place to be, not sure if it is the same energy at night.  

There are 2 grand and famous bars on the piazza that serves coffee and pastries.  The 2 are Rosati and Canova.  I had a great espresso at Rosati on our winter trip in 2009.  They buy espresso from Tazza d'Oro.

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