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#FriFotos Treats Edition: Rome’s Food and Wine is always a Treat

Rossese di Dolceacqua

My recent trip to Rome included my first visit to Antico Arco restaurant, a converted villa near Trastevere. I selected the restaurant because I was going with a group of friends, including my friend Paul, who works in the food industry and is seriously into wine. The Antico Arco wine list got raves in all the reviews I read, and they pay special attention to Italian producers.

I thought it might be fun to see a different part of town and have a nice meal with a good wine list, and the restaurant is located on top of Janiculum Hill, which is not one of the “seven hills” of Rome but does provide a spectacular view during the magic hour before sunset, and is a fun neighborhood to walk around afterwards to see where the locals hang out.

 Antico Arco ristorante winebar door

Antico Arco front door

Antico Arco Sicilian Wine Progression

 Antico Arco beautiful bottles of Grappa

Italian Wine Progression and beautiful bottles of Grappa

 The Etna Rosso Sicilian Wine Antico Arco interior

The Etna Rosso Sicilian Wine & Antico Arco interior

 Antico Arco sommelier Paul Charlie

The Sommelier pouring for my friends Paul and Charlie

Paul had just been to Sicily, and was really excited about Sicilian wines. He said a lot of exciting things were happening in the volcanic soil of Mt. Etna. The bottle of Enta Rosso Paul and the sommelier decided (poured second) was a real winner. Paul worked with the  sommelier ordered an excellent progression of reds and I learned a lot of about Italian wine. My favorite treat of the evening was discovering the Rossese di Dolceacqua (sometimes just called Dolceacqua).  Light and bright, this exciting red wine is made with a grape from Liguria. The Dolceacqua was a delicious treat. Bottle number 3 was an Aglianico (varietal grape) from Puglia (this region is the “heel” in Italy’s “boot.”) We also sipped a finish a tasty Sicilian Nero D’avola.

 Antico Arco Rossese di Dolceacqua

Dolceacqua: My New Favorite Italian Wine

Our food was also a treat. We had Crispy buffalo mozzarella, slow cooked duck leg with homemade mayonnaise and mango, and an anchovy pie au gratin that seemed like the Roman answer to tuna casserole.  The lasagna was rather unusual and delicious, and was made with guinea fowl, parmigiano cheese and asparagus. We almost skipped ordering the eggplant parmigiana, since it’s a dish that seems more Olive Garden than authentic, but our waiter urged us to try it. It was delicious, fresh and devoid of heavy breading.

The rigatoni Gerardo di Nola with carbonara sauce and black truffles was heavy but delicious – a real treat.

Antico Arco’s address:

Piazzale Aurelio, 7
00152 Roma, Italy
+39 06 581 5274 phone

Simply visiting the Antico Arco English website is a treat of it’s own. I can’t figure out why Tom Petty “Learning to Fly” starts playing but I giggle every time I hear it.

Antico Arco fried cheese

Crispy Buffalo Mozzarella

antico Arco pasta with truffles

Anchovy Pie and Pasta with Truffles

 Antico Arco lasagna

Antico Arco’s unusal take on lasagna

 St. Peters Basilica

On our drive to Antico Arco, we passed St. Peter’s Basilica. Not sure if there was a fire nearby or if there’s a new Pope

 late night snack cart in rome

Late night snack cart in Rome, as we walked down Janiculum Hill

 Rome Bust Raffaele Tosi

Bust Raffaele Tosi up on Janiculum Hill, it was a treat seeing where the locals hang out