On our first night in Rome, after discovering the delights of real pizza, we wanted to continue the culinary adventure, looking for a local restaurant for my birthday dinner. Our accommodation, along Via Nazionale at the La Griffe M Gallery, was central to the Metro and walking distance to The Colosseum, Palatino and Forum with many local restaurants to be found through the winding cobblestones side streets.
Grezzo Raw Chocolate Shop on Via Urbana was a wonderful discovery as was Cotto Bar & Restaurant on Via Torino where would we stop in after a big day to enjoy a beer and Aperol Spritz and watch the people of Rome go about their business.
OK, back to the restaurant search for tonights dinner! Remember, when you want to find something local, ask a local. The doorman at our hotel, Joseph, was an encyclopaedia of information and suggested a restaurant within 5 minutes walk of the hotel. He explained that it had been in the one family for generations and had amazing seafood.
As we approached Restaurant Rinaldo, on Via Palma, there were no flashy lights to attract the tourists, this was a local's restaurant and the staff welcomed us with open arms.
After descending the stairs (and practicing our Italian) we picked a fish from the huge selection that was on ice, together with some pasta, bread and a bottle of red wine, we relaxed and enjoyed some amazing hospitality.
A trip to the bathroom takes you past the cellar which was small, with a locked iron gate and full of red wine it looked intriguing. When commenting on this to the manager he took us in to have a look. He explained where the wine had come from over the years, the old bottles, the expensive bottles and the rating system so we could pick certain wines that were to our taste as we travelled through Italy.
Restaurant Rinaldo certainly lived up to our expectations of delicious food, great wine and local hospitality.
Remember when travelling make sure you seek out local experiences, ones that are off the beaten track because you will often find something really special.