Osteria Pistoia

Because I am lazy, any restaurant gets an automatic 20 points if it is located less than 10 minutes from my house. If I can get there by walking, all the better. So I was excited to stumble across the Osteria Pistoia some time back. It’s exactly 10 minutes away by foot – just in back of the San Giovanni di Dio market. When I peeked inside, it was clean and well-lighted, had an interesting menu and seemed to be very popular.

I’ve been there twice now and I can recommend Osteria Pistoia highly. Alessandro Pistoia is the inventive chef (he just opened a second place on the Via Flaminia). The ingredients are locally sourced whenever possibly. The menu – including a dizzying array of specials – is written on big blackboards lining the restaurant walls (you can also find the menu on the website).

The first time I went, we split a plate of seafood appetizers.

Fish starter, a bit heavy on the squid and octopus for my taste (but loved the scallops).

The squid-y things left me cold–I’m not a big fan. But there was also a scallop sandwich stuffed with a tiny shrimp and accompanied by powdered licorice and homemade mayonnaise. Sounds weird I know. But it was really good. I love scallops and they’re not easy to find here. There were also a couple of dollops of bright green goop that turned out to be pea pesto. It haunts my dreams and I’ve been trying to recreate the recipe ever since.

I liked the scallops (and the pea pesto) so much I that ordered a plate of them on my next visit.

We also had an order of cod balls (like meatballs but made from fish) on a potato puree flavoured with ginger and rosemary. Now that’s comfort food.

Cod balls anyone? 

The first time I went, I had pork for my main course and the second, game hen, which had been marinated for 24 hours. The pork was succulent, with crunchy garlicky potatoes. It also appears to have been imported from Spain. So much for local (not that I care that much, frankly – don’t hate me).ham

Jamón ibérico, which some call the best in the world.

The hen was exceptional. Really juicy and it was all I could do not to suck the bones.

Juicy, crunchy, marinade-y, perfect!

My dining companions both had fish – wild salmon in a sesame crust on the first visit.

Sesame crusted wild salmon with saffron mayonnaise on a bed of greens

And cod with little tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts on the second.

More cod for your dining pleasure.

We also got a little plate of frying peppers with chopped dates and oregano.

These little frying peppers – known as friggitelli – are not particularly fiery. It’s rare to see them in restaurants.

Dessert was a fresh cream of pistachio in a cookie basket thing and was amazing.As was the tiramisu with strawberries.

This is a bit of a special occasion place and you must book in advance. If you go all out – soup to nuts – you could spend 90 Euros for two. The second time I went, we dined more modestly (only 2 courses and no dessert) and we got away with paying 30 Euros each. The seats are very close together bistro style and that won’t be to everyone’s liking. But so good. So so good.

Osteria Pistoia, Piazza Madonna delle Salette, 13-14, Rome, Italy. Tel: 06.58203381

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2 responses to “Osteria Pistoia

  1. Pingback: Mezé Bistrot | My Life: Part Two

  2. Pingback: Antico Arco | My Life: Part Two

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