At “Cesare” there is a speciality for every day of the week.
This famous restaurant in the Prati area offers a Tuscan “Ribollito” on Tuesday, spelt with kidney beans on Wednesday and gnocchi are di rigeur on Thursday.
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The restaurant “Cesare” is one of the most famous restaurants in the Prati area and is situated just a short distance from Piazza Cavour. The premises is available for every type of client, even those who are at work and want a good, quick and light lunch. There are various types of meal, from fresh fish to meat to pizza cooked in their wood burning oven and tasty soups.
It is the soups which are one of the restaurant’s strong points it proposes a type of porridge every day, while the others are on the menu according to the day. For example, on Tuesday there is the Tuscan “Ribollita,” spelt with kidney beans on Wednesday, barleycorn and lentils on Thursday and pasta and chick pea on Friday.
The menu suggests a number of dishes, as can already be seen by the hors d’oeuvres. You can choose meat based ones such as the Tuscan crostino, the sought after lard from Colonnata, or the venison ham.
Otherwise there are the Tuscan hors d’oeuvres based around fennel flavoured salami (finocchioni), Colonnata lard, salami made of the cured neck of wild boar. For anyone wishing to try the fish, there are marinated anchovies, mixed sea food, smoked swordfish with rocket and prawns, marinated baby octopus and sea truffles. There is ravioli stuffed with ricotta and salmon, and spaghetti with crustaceans are the first courses in syntony with the fish. For anyone seeking a gastronomic but different itinerary there are gnocchi but only on Thursday, fettuccini “Cesare” style, or with boletus mushrooms or white truffles. On a note apart, there is the pizzeria which proposes the most famous types of pizza from the margherita to the capricciosa, paying particular attention to the quality of the products with which they are made.
For the main course, it is worth mentioning the meat of the pure Chianina race grilled, which compete with the “saltimbocca alla romana”, grilled lamb or the fried brains, artichoke and courgettes.
There is a wide selection of fish to choose from for the main course and apart from the usual sea bass or gilthead bream, you could try a turbot, sargo, or even a mixture of small fried fish and on Friday stockfish “livornese” style. On to the delicate vegetables such as boiled ‘greens,’ which flank those more substantial ones such as beans “all’ucelletto”, with tomatoes, garlic and chilli peppers, chicory tips in oil with an anchovy sauce. The desserts are home made and fresh every day: the highly valued trifle together with the other home made sweets, crème caramel and baked cream served with wild fruit sauce.
The wine card offers a wide selection of red and white wines.
In the heart of Prati meat and fish at “Cesare”
“The premises has both an inside and outside area. Among the first courses we would like to recommend the Tuscan “crostino” and the cured raw beef from Piedmontese cattle.”
The restaurant “Cesare” is in the heart of the area of Prati and is one of the most traditional restaurants in the whole zone, it deals with both local and international clientele.
The premises, has both an inside and outside seating area and lends itself both to quick lunches for people who are on their lunch breaks and don’t have much time to spare but also for richer and more elaborate meals.
The cuisine is under the guidance of the chef Domenico Di Felice as far as first courses are concerned and Tonino Di Nizo for the main courses; the two chefs are assisted by the kitchen personnel.
Moreover, the restaurant also offers the possibility of ordering pizzas. Glancing through the dishes offered, one is really spoiled for choice and it is difficult to choose one rather than another.
The courses are presented painstakingly, and the personnel in the dining room are friendly and helpful.
The hors d’oeuvres are both meat and fish based.
Among the first courses we would like to point out the Tuscan “crostino,” the venison ham, and the cured raw beef from Piedmontese cattle, with rocket and parmesan cheese. People who love fish on the other hand, can start with excellent marinated baby octopus, prawn cocktail, clams “marinara” style, smoked swordfish with rocket and prawns.
There is also a wide choice of first courses, both at lunch and dinner.
Straight from the chef’s creative imagination fettuccini with salmon, ravioli filled with salmon and ricotta, spaghetti with crustaceans, are placed on the table or the more traditional spaghetti “alla amatriciana,” “carbonara”, or simply fettuccini with tomato sauce.
The meat is wonderful, and among the main courses we could like to point out the beef steak from the Chiana race, grilled, beef fillet, grilled lamb chops “scottadito” style, “saltimbocca alla romana” with venison ham, and roast boletus mushrooms.
The fish is always fresh and there are some dishes which must be tried: lobster, crustaceans, a mix of roast fish, turbot, cod, sea bass and gilthead bream are only a few of the many varieties available. Lastly, for a perfect ending to the meal, the desserts: baked cream with a wild fruits sauce, a selection of fruit, melon in port, crème caramel, lemon sorbet and many home made sweets.
MANGIA E BEVI
by Gianni e Paola Mura
"Substance, I will love you forever.”
According to the “New York Times” –“a superb old-style restaurant.” We say it’s a place you can depend upon whether you eat fish or meat. A short distance from Piazza Cavour, it has a clientele that are very fond of it (many of whom work at the Palazzo di Giustizia).
Maybe it’s because it is never without mushrooms and truffles when they are in season. Maybe it’s because in the evening it makes good pizzas (in a wood burning oven, the same in which you can find suckling pig on a Sunday). But, most of all we think it may be because it is a place of substance and not appearance. I is substance, before quality that you can see in the size of the portions. Don’t be misled by the sign (Hostaria pizzeria).
Know that the fish, taken from the Laziale coast, is delivered not once, but twice a day, that the Chianina meat is certificated, that the wine cellar has excellent wines and that the sommelier Fabio Maltese, knows both how to advise and serve wine. The restaurant, developed in depth, is vaguely liberty style, with an area outside in the summer, isn’t particularly glamorous. Everything is concentrated on the primary products.
Cesare Arrigoni came here from Altopascio in the 1960’s, and now his children Armando and Alessandro are at the helm. In the kitchen the chefs are Domenico De Felice and Tonino Di Nizo, one is from Abruzzo and the other almost – he’s from Amatrice. The idea of a fixed dish has been kept, on Tuesday “Ribollita”, Wednesday spelt with kidney beans, gnocchi and barleycorn with lentils on Thursday, Friday pasta and chick pea and porridge with Tuscan kale.
For those who love crude seafood (oysters and sea truffles), marinated anchovies, the tempting spicy spaghetti with octopus and pecorino cheese, roast turbot, and a crunchy mixture of fried fish. Caspian-sand smelt, fired anchovies, a wonderful stewed monkfish, grilled fish and crustaceans. For carnivores, there is a monumental Sirloin steak (Tuscans attach great importance to this, they codified it).
Or tagliata (sliced, grilled Sirloin steak), saltimbocca, but even before this the client can delight in the venison ham, salami made of the cured neck of wild boar, and Colonnata lard (the real thing).
The desserts are all home-made and don’t aim at amazing us, but at pleasing us and they succeed. Trifle, an orange flavoured ice-cream cake, a black cherry tart, apple cake baked cream. There is no lack of good distilled wines and wine can be tasted by the glass with the desserts.
Thorough and inviting service, sometimes even a bit too much. The waiters who are not so young, pass frequently.
Less of a pestering, at least during the evening, would permit one to appreciate the many virtues of this restaurant.
Two reviews by American newspapers
Rediscovering fine traditional cuisine near the city's great basilicas CESARE(St.Peter's)
For a meal worthy of a Renaissance pope, take a relatively short taxi ride from St.Peter's up Monte Mario to the Cavalieri Hilton Hotel and dine at La Pergola, probably the best restaurant in Rome (and one of the most expensive).
But those wishing to stay nearer the Vatican will do very well indeed at Cesare, a superb old-style restaurant serving Roman and Tuscan fare made from very fine ingredients.
A glass case filled with fresh fish greets diners as they enter, and the theme continues in the tastefully painted marine motifs in the long half-paneled dining room.Nevertheless, the menu offers a wide range of both meat and fish antipasti, pastas and soups and main courses.
We were served by an old-school walter, the kind who knows just what you want to eat even if you don't. Thus i accepted an antipasto of insalata di mare, one of the freshest, tenderest seafood salads ( containing shrimp, mussels, squid, cuttlefish and celey strips dressed with oil, lemon and parsley ) I have tasted. Octopus salad featured the superior polipo verace, distinguishable by two rows of suckers on the tentacles.
Spaghetti all'amatriciana, which followed, was tomato sauce with bits of guanciale (cured pork), hot pepper and pecorino cheese, the latter not brought to the table. The Tuscan bean and farro ( emmer ) soup equally hearty and delicious, served with good green oil, but we had to ask for the pepper mill.
The excellent saltimbocca alla romana was butter-tender slices of veal, topped with prosciutto and fresh sage, sautéed in white wine. Franco's abbacchio scottadito ( grilled baby lamb chops ), meant to be picked up and gnawed, were delicious as well. People often forget that Roman food also means extraordinary vegetables, such as carciofo (artichoke) alla romana, entirely edible and redolent of mentuccia (penny-royal), and tender green chicory leaves, boiled, then sautèed with olive oil, garlic and hot pepper.
To close, a torta di mele, apples and custard in a pie crust, was appropriately homely.
Wanting a light red wine, we close vino novello Toscano IGT San Giocondo ( $11,75) in preference to the many big Italian reds and French labels. The house wines are also offered by the glass - a rarety.
13 Via Crescenzio; 686-1227.
Right behind Castel Sant'Angelo;always full because the food is consistenly excellent.
Rome's best carciofi alla Romana (Roman-style artichokes in season); also pasta e ceci (macaroni and chickpea soup) , tagliata (sliced, grilles florentine steack), fresh fish, homemade gelato (ice cream) whit fresh fruit, and, evenings only, pizza from a wood-burning oven.
Outdoor seating. Closed Sun. p.m. and Mon. AE,DC,MC, V.$31 for meat, 28 for fish.
sabato 20 gennaio 2001
At “CESAR” the atmosphere of the 1970’s lives on by Fabio TURCHETTI
ROME – among the experiences that give comfort to the gastronomist on duty, who every so often has to eat for “his profession,” is that of a tangible realisation of how the level of traditional, middle-class, quiet, consolidated, simply conservative restoration has improved over the last few years, thanks to a renewed interest in oeno-gastronomy by the average consumer.
Apart from culinary experimenters (with a mob of their bungling imitators) and climbing overall the current “fashion” of wine-bars, pizzeria’s that are “ a bit different”, culture or ethnic fusions (which to tell the truth are sometimes very interesting), the thing that most leaps to the eyes is the desire, by a careful, keen restoration which has kept its roots in the 1970’s, keeping firmly to traditional cuisine and the image it has always had, keeping up with the times with a good selection of primary products, with a keen but shrewd selection of wines, using cooking techniques that remove traditions that are almost outdated, adding waiters who are not so young, in livery, and who make politeness the best arm. It is like this at “Cesare” a short distance from Piazza Cavour, which began in 1965: with vaulted ceilings, lights on the walls and wood appliqués, where the meat comes from Tuscany (considering the origins of the owners), fish (hook and net!) arrive two or three times a day and a very polite sommelier presents a list of two hundred and fifty wines, many of which are poured into the glasses.
Sit calmly in the first long room or in the other two that follow and begin (if you don’t opt for the sample Tuscan menu) with sea food, oysters and sea truffles, real octopus boiled with Tuscan beans, spaghetti with crustaceans or Greek clams (chosen deliberately for their meatiness), then fish of all types however you want it cooked.
If you should have a more terricolous appetite, don’t worry. You can find; a selection of Tuscan salami, cured neck and wild boar ham, fettuccini with Colonnata sausages, “ribollita”, spelt with beans, certified Florentine Chianian beef, tagliata (sliced, grilled Florentine beef), grilled lamb chops“scottadita” style, and “saltimbocca alla romana.”
As an alternative the pizzas prepared in a wood burning oven are valid. To finish off the meal, some good cheeses and then desserts, homemade and simple, but very good.
CESARE, ROME IS SERVED
Da Cesare, in the Roman quarter of Prati, has existed since 1965, but I only discovered it last Spring because I deal with products produced by Paolo Parisi, pork and chicken, in Lari(Pisa) Tel: 0587 685327. In a list of starred restaurants buying their products from him the names of Alessandro and Armando Arrigoni were highlighted by the lack of medals given by gastronomic guides. In particular, Alessandro wrote a friendly e-mail” We have been using Paolo Parisi’ s products. Personally, I consider the eggs and chickens to be of an excellent quality. The chickens are a bit tough after roasting, a characteristic that exalts their quality. In fact, I only manage to eat real free-range chickens at my home in Tuscany, where my mother rears them as they used to be reared.
The same thing is valid for the eggs which have neither look nor taste the same as those sold in the shops. All Parisi’s products have had a huge success in our restaurant, this means that in order to taste excellent products (we have many, from top fish taken with a hook, to real Chianian beef, to clams, from Greece) one doesn’t have to spend a fortune.”
I confirm this: this premises, where you can see the hors d’oeuvres when you go in, then three noisy rooms where the waiters walk around expertly, seems to be exactly like many other of those expensive places for professionals and middle-class families, places where whether you eat there or not it’s the same thing, but here there is a more pure and genuine soul which is a winning factor.
The Arrigoni’s, both in the dining area, both young, Armando is 44, and took over from his father in 1980, and Alessandro, who at 32 arrived ten years later, propose a mixture of land and sea food between Tuscany (their roots are in Fucecchio and Altopascio) and Rome, with the wine cellar taken care of by Fabio Maltese.
There are dishes, perhaps too many, that don’t hold any secrets because they are well-known , but they are given importance because of the quality of the primary products. At the end of November I ate, with Fabio Turchetti; marinated anchovies, spicy boiled octopus, seafood salad, a plate of sliced seasoned meats (ham, lard, cured meats and loin of pork) roman style artichokes, chicory tips, spaghetti “amatriciana” style with pecorino produced in a cavern, fried cinta senese pork sausages with herbs, and finally grilled lamb chops“ scottadita” style. No light cuisine, even so I would love to find even more” ignorant” flavours in masterpieces such as the “amatriciana” next time I visit.