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Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Tale of Three Tastings in Rome: Tasting #1 L'Arcangelo

By Terry Carter*
On our first day in Rome we dumped our bags and quickly headed out to lunch at L'Arcangelo, a classically understated yet elegant ristorante, where the quietly charming owner-sommelier Arcangelo Dandini exudes the confidence of someone who knows that the food and wine are exemplary. For example, an octopus salad with potatoes, capers and artichokes was perfection on a plate. The balance of the flavours and the amount of each ingredient were impeccable. Sometimes you’d take a mouthful of a dish and you’d just know that these ingredients were made for eachother, making me wonder why I didn’t cook more simply when we’re staying in apartments. Our rigatoni alla matriciana was one of the best pasta dishes we’d ever sampled and if the head chef is from India he’s had excellent guidance from Arcangelo, who is responsible for many of the recipes and much of what’s on the menu. The wines recommended (including the owners’ own lovely bianco) were beautifully matched and the meal flowed seamlessly, leaving us floating off giddily for a well-earned siesta. Now that’s our idea of fine dining.

* Travel writer-photographer Terry Carter is my husband and co-author (although that's my lazy photography, pictured).

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