So so sad. I used to love Taverna Giulia. The restaurant sits in a little piazza midway between Corso Vittorio and Via Giulia. I clocked much time there during my early years in Rome and always found the food to be elegant and yum. The restaurant specializes in Ligurian cuisine, meaning lots of pesto. It’s quiet and pretty and the waiters are kind. What’s not to like?
Well. I went back recently for lunch after several years and was bitterly disappointed. I didn’t have pesto, which was probably a mistake seeing as it’s the restaurant’s specialty, but I’m pretty much over pesto these days and really, at these prices, they should be able to acquit themselves on the other stuff too.
To be fair, it was not all terrible. The warm roasted peppers with bagna cauda–a sauce of garlic, anchovies, olive oil and butter usually used for dipping vegetables, bread, etc–was interesting, although the serving was far too large (of course I ate it all anyway). The photo makes it look gross, I know. But if you like anchovies, as I do, it was okay.
And the spinach with pepperoncini was fresh and very green.
But the filet steak with basil? Yuck. The filet queered the whole deal for me.
I eat red meat but very rarely these days and when I do I want it to be great. This most decidedly was not great. Or even good. It was like the beef version of turkey roll only thicker. No flavour and with a processed, dense texture. Like the food version of particleboard: meat shavings, pressed and extruded (okay, okay. I Googled how particleboard was made; it was very interesting). The ‘filet’ was topped with a nondescript gravy-like substance and three sad skinny basil leaves. Bleaagghh.
Noodling around on the web after I noticed that there are no recent reviews of Taverna Giulia. This is perhaps telling. All I can recommend is that if you are basing your Rome restaurant choices on a 10-year old copy of Frommer’s (as I have been known to do) and said guide urges you to hie your way hence to Taverna Giulia, don’t do it. Instead, might I suggest that you avail yourself of my friend Elizabeth Minchilli’s new iPhone/iPad app: Eat Rome. Kid’s got the goods.
But if you must:
Taverna Giulia, V.lo dell’Oro, 23, Rome, Italy, 06 686 9768