So what do I usually look for in a restaurant when visiting a new city?
How much the locals enjoy it.
Yes, I do study reviews, budget eats and small pubs/restaurants on the internet but when I end up in a new city I tend to look for places where locals tend to drink their coffee, where they enjoy their lunches or where they take their families to eat dinner.
I look for small places, I look for menu lists that are not 20 pages long and I look for fresh, menu of the day meals.
I look for those places where the locals line up in front of them, enjoying their wines or Proseccos until a table is freed, those places that are filled with laughter and why not those places where you don’t need to dress fancy and you never know who will you sit next to when you eat.
Alfredo e Ada is just like this. A little gem in the heart of Rome, situated on Via dei Banchi Novi, 14, this small restaurant won my heart.
I arrived there on a Thursday evening about 19:30 and I was lucky. Usually this small restaurant fills immediately but I got a place next to a couple of Japanese tourists from Tokyo.
After I was greeted warmly and led to the table, the last place got filled and all 6-7 tables of the restaurant were occupied.
Six Seven I can’t remember exactly but you read it right. Alfredo e Ada is a very special place. Small, family run, lines forming outside every evening, the wooden tables covered with sheets of paper, it won me from the moment I entered.
There is no fixed menu. Only menu of the day so I ordered lasagna with artichokes and pasta carbonara and I ordered some white wine, house production.
As I sipped from the wine and exchanged pleasantries with the Japanese couple my eyes started to wander on the walls where old photos are hanging. I presumed there are a lot of photographs of Alfredo e Ada during their lives, old black and white pictures, pictures that give this small place an even more intimate look and feel.
The food arrived and I don’t know if I was already full from the meal I ate 5-6 hours ago but the portions looked and felt big.
The lasagna was sweet, the artichokes flavor strong(while in Rome I did enjoy a lot of artichokes) so the dish was exactly as recommended by someone who lived in Rome for years.( for this trip all the tested restaurants were recommended by someone who spent many years in this amazing city).
The carbonara was special. It was the first time I was served carbonara not with spaghetti but with a different kind of pasta. From my guesses it was either tortigloni or rigatoni but the end result was very good. Having a thicker texture, combined with the sauce, each time I took a mouthful the pasta blended with the sauce, the two flavors combined wonderfully.
At the end I was served with biscuits to dip in the white wine and I listened to the advice, ending up with a sweet little desert after a filling meal.
As the meal drew close to an end, outside the little restaurant people were starting to wait in line for the chance to eat a wonderful home cooked meal.
I left the restaurant glad of this recommendation walking slowly towards the hotel and enjoying this simple yet delicious meal.
My verdict: Alfredo e Ada is a small, warm restaurant filled with joy and laughter.
There is no fixed menu so you just have to walk in and ask what’s for today.
I were served by a lovely girl, smiling and attentive who made me feel comfortable.
In my opinion this restaurant really deserves a visit.