Sometimes Rome seems very small. We can walk from our home to the historical center in an hour-and-a-quarter, which is something we do every Saturday just for the fun and exercise. At other times Rome feels ridiculously big, such as when we spend over an hour going each way on public transportation in order to spend a scant 60 minutes at a pizzeria. This was the case on our recent trip to Pizzeria Da Remo in Testaccio. Was it worth the trip? Yes!
Eating is not just eating: it is entertainment. We don’t go to dinner-and-a-movie or dinner-and-the-theatre, we go to dinner. Period. Sometimes the dinner, especially with friends, is a 3 hour extravaganza with no time to squeeze in any other entertainment. Most important is the quality of the eating. Da Remo, I can say unequivocally, is high quality if a very informal atmosphere.
Da Remo does pizza and fritti, and that’s the extent of the menu. Red wine or white, carafe or glass, or choose beer. No fancy vintage bottles, no pasta. This is a place that knows what it does well and does it over and over again. When you order fritti it comes out so fast you wonder if the waiter had it hidden in his apron. The consumption and turnover is so fast, I can only imagine the kitchen is constantly churning out fiori di zucca, suppli, and baccalà so the waiter has merely to scoop them onto a plate and deliver them in a too-hot-to-handle state. The suppli ooze molten mozzarella and the fiori di zucca are fragrant with savory alici. Then comes the thinnest-of-thin Roman pizzas from a hotter-than-hot wood-fired oven; it is crispy, with carbonized edges. Not a vast selection and nothing terribly creative, but solid, classic, traditional Roman pizza. Info on location here, on their Facebook page.
This was our second trip to Da Remo and the quality held up beautifully. It is crowded with small tables and patrons of every generation. You may not receive a menu: just a paper slip with the menu items listed, much like in a sushi bar. You simply write down the quantity of each item that your table desires. Not sure what something is? Ask for a menu, or better yet, ask the people next to you what they are eating if it looks good. And it will look good!
It was a long trip on a Friday night, but the weather was balmy for November, the trams were running despite there being a nationwide transportation strike, and we got in a short pizza and wine induced a nap on the long ride home.
Pizza Quality: 3 Outstanding ingredients, thin thin thin and crispy crust.
Service: 2 On the brusque side but never rude. These waiters are moving fast and will deliver your food almost before you order it. If they speak English they keep it a secret.
Ambiance: 2 Crowded, noisy, hot in summer; a few outdoor seats. You will have to queue if you arrive much after 20:00.
Bonus: 1 Extra credit for great fritti.
Total Points: 8
Returnability: The Best! Go out-of-your-way to eat here; take a cross-town bus or a 20 Euro cab ride if necessary. (Or ride the Tram #3 to Ostiense and walk 15 minutes, as in our case.)