As you may have heard, we have all the guests right now. Instead of trying an old standby, Antica Enoteca, we decided to branch out to a different restaurant also named Antica. This actually isn’t too strange. I’ve noticed that Italy is swimming with Antica Ristorantes, Enotecas, and Cafes.
Unlike some other restaurants I’ve covered, Antica Taverna is decidedly downtown. The restaurant is only a few blocks from Piazza Navona, but far enough away to feel like you’ve one-upped the tourists.
It also has a decidedly Italian feel. Like what you think of when you envision a very stereotypical restaurant. Red checkered tablecloths. Murals involving grapes. You may want to discount my opinion because I have a high tolerance for kitsch, but I thought it was charming and cozy.
1) Prosecco while you wait
Even though we (read James) made a reservation, we had to wait a few minutes for our table. To pass the time, we all received glasses of prosecco. It wasn’t the best prosecco and they weren’t the biggest pours, but I adore prosecco and I appreciated the gesture. It did feel fancy standing around and sipping while perusing the menu chalkboard.
2) Crazy good eggplant parmigiana
All of our food was good. The eggplant parmigiana was excellent. Best I’ve ever had. Full stop.
It came in its own bubbly ramekin. The dish was simultaneously greasy and light, if you can picture such a thing. The grease was not in a why-did-I-eat-that-second-cheeseburger way, but ooo, oily from real olive oil and tasty cheese. The eggplant, tomatoes, and basil all made the dish taste fresh in an I-can-almost-consider-this-healthy way, until you remember all the gooey cheese.
If I come again, we will skip any pasta and just order one eggplant parm per person. Easy peasy, the end.
3) Stupid cheap
For just over 30 euro per person, we had two bottles of house wine, antipasti, primi, secondi, dessert, limoncello, and coffee. A few dishes were shared, but STILL. If you’d ever like the full courses experience without breaking the bank, Antica Taverna has you covered. Of course, my bill will be even cheaper next time because I will just have eggplant parm and wine, squeezing in some dolce if I can. The pear and chocolate tart was pretty sensational.
via Monte Giordano 12
Open daily from noon to midnight
Reservation form on website