Betto e Mary
Sunday, July 9
One reason why we love staying in Italy is of course the amazing Italian food! Since I knew before we traveled to Rome that Rome is one of the most touristy cities in the world, I did my research and found out about some good, authentic restaurants in Rome. After my online research, I had a small list of restaurant recommendations in Rome from Italians. On the first day it turned out that one of the recommended restaurants was just a few streets away from our hotel, which really was a big coincidence since our hotel was a bit away from the city center in a residential area. It was precisely this location that made the restaurant a real insider tip, as not many tourists found their way there.
According to a travel blog on the Internet, the restaurant “Betto e Mary” is particularly known for traditional Roman cuisine and has dishes that rarely make it onto the city’s menus these days. The pasta dishes were particularly recommended online and since Spaghetti Carbonara originally comes from Rome, we of course had to try this dish!
The restaurant is located in a small, quiet alley in a residential area and looks quite rustic from the outside. When you walk through the front door, you are standing directly in the large dining room and next to a large wood-burning oven and grill on which the meat skewers are already being grilled. But the nicest seating area can be found a few steps further. You follow a very narrow corridor past the kitchen and then end up in the cozy courtyard, which is a mixture of an old garage and a garden. There are many small tables here, each covered with a red and white checkered tablecloth.
We sat down at the last free table in the courtyard, under a lemon tree, and quickly realized that we were probably the only non-Italians in the entire restaurant. How nice! I was exactly looking for a restaurant like this. Then the confusing part started: there was no menu anywhere, but there was a man who was wearing blue denim dungarees, smoking and walking from table to table with a small writing pad, sitting comfortably at each table next to the guests. After watching the whole thing for a while, we realized that the man must be the owner of the restaurant and he himself was the one who went from table to table and took the orders of the people. He was in fact not only taking orders but at the same time he was the menu. He sat down at each table to tell people what he was offering in his restaurant today and what they could order. When we arrived at our table, he explained today’s menu to us in a mix of English and Italian and we ordered pasta carbonara. Shortly afterwards we were served two plates of what was probably the creamiest carbonara in the world. Although we had eaten a lot of very good pasta in Italy, this Spaghetti Carbonara was the best pasta dish we had ever tasted. Huge recommendation if you are in Rome!