“Do you come with your own plunger” my friend Elizabeth wondered once she saw me unpack my equipment after running into each other in Via Veneto. “Ahhm, not exactly, its actually my flash diffuser”. I realized right then that I need to add a new flash diffuser to Santa’s list (sitting besides me was the actual island Santa so it was convenient), right between a new car and Mensch on a Bench. This was actually an improvement over last year when I borrowed my brother’s camera bag which had sort of peculiar male genital shape. To any patrons after a few Chiantis sitting there it may have looked like I was really happy to be there. This year I walked everywhere with a plastic bag.
I’ve been waiting to eat in the new Via Veneto for almost a year, after just missing the coming out party in the spring. Luckily owner Aldo subscribes to the “do it right or dont do it at all” mentality, which meant delaying the opening. Coming from a competitive environment such as Rome is a big plus to Provo. Early reviews have been a little shaky but thats the Provo norm these days as building relationships with vendors can take some time. Everything except the meats is imported from Italy; From the chefs, the tiles, the paintings, to the girlfriend, all imported from Rome. Hence, app page a bit pricey but contrary to the forums chatter the rest not too bad at all. This is indeed the closest you get to eating in Italy. Perhaps one Cacio e pepe dish shy from a Roman Trattoria. As with any Italian establishment in the USA, sticking to dishes from one region only is quite impossible and a recipe for failure.
Once we were seated outside, the gods got angry and it started pouring. Those were the Italian tile gods going “go a in to a check out the a tiles”. Our tables were swiftly moved inside on top of the tiles. It felt like eating at a Russian family house without taking my shoes off. We were no there on a saturday which meant “No Pizza for You!”. The pizza is Roman which if true, and I have nothing to doubt its not, expect thin almost Matzoh like crust. The less toppings the better from my experience.
We started with a Coccetto app of mushrooms, bread and ham topped with cheese which was fine. While I’ve had various Russian/French variations of this dish, I never heard of Coccetto
As is often the case with Italian Trattorias the highlights are the pastas. Spaghetti Carbonara was as good as we’ve had in Rome. Creamy, a but runnier than I like, but still quite good. The Fetuccinne with Guanciale (pork cheeks) and black truffles (top) was best of show surprisingly considering its white truffle season at the moment. The dish had plenty of truffle aroma to satisfy all senses and convince the brain that its pretty darn yummy (foodie technical term).
The lamb chops as our shared secondi was slightly uneven but cooked well and quite delectable for the most part. We finished off with a nice ice cream duo, one topped with chocolates and the other with cherry sauce. Cherry won 3 “Mmmmmm”s to 1.