La Pizza

by Andrew Stein

I sit down and am immediately overwhelmed by the selection of pizzas at La Pratolina, a beautiful hole-in-the-wall restaurant located at Via degli Scipioni, 248, Roma. To intensify matters more, the menu is written in Italian, but luckily I have Gabe and Sam nearby to translate. The rule of the game, however, is once I find something that looks delicious, I need to close my menu because otherwise I could be indecisive all night. Eventually my gaze falls on the Pizza Emiliana with its pesto di pistacchi, mozzarella, silano, mortadella di cinghiale. I am not entirely sure what it all means, but as I work my way through the ingredients asking Gabe and Sam about each, I think this might be the one for me. Sam then grabs my menu and declares that my dinner has been decided. The two of them then proceed to pick out the fried appetizers that we will sample before the pizzas arrive. I forget what appetizer is what, but I enjoy them all and try to save room for pizza. Also joining us for this Italian feast is Benny and Diego, friends of Gabe from work. The meal does not disappoint, I enjoy an incredible pizza with fresh Italian ingredients, and all this in a small homey Italian restaurant. The waiter recognizes Gabe and as a result we get a couple extras along with better service. Although all of this in itself would make for a great evening, the night continues back at Sam’s apartment for drinks and story telling followed by an adventure to outdoor bars by the river until some hour that is much too late given that Gabe and I have a flight to catch early the next morning.

On the subject of things that taste good, during the day, Gabe and I went to Sant Eustachio Il Caffe (www.santeustachioilcaffe.it) and try a true Italian espresso. Even on a day as hot as today, this coffee shop was a great stop.