Italian food is probably one of the most well-liked types of cuisines in the world. The Italians got it right with a majority of dishes including a carbohydrate base along with seasoning, sauce, meat, vegetables, and cheese. How can you beat that? If you are ever lucky enough to venture out to Italy you will be in food heaven, stuffing your face every few hours with dishes made from incredibly fresh ingredients and eating gelato for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in-between meals. I don’t think I had one bad food experience while I was in Italy with my two friends Phil and Eugene. Italy sure knows how to cook!
One of the most popular Italian foods is pasta, and one of the most well-known varieties is spaghetti. My friends and I had our fair share of amazing pasta and Spaghetteria L’Archeto in the Trevi district of Rome was no exception, serving a wide array of incredible spaghetti plates along with other mouth-watering dishes.
On a hot summer’s day in June Phil, Eugene, and I had just gotten back to our Airbnb after walking around some breath-taking historical sites including the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Eugene was tired and needed a nap but Phil and I needed some pasta ASAP! We decided to walk around a bit and stumbled upon an alley a bit outside of the crowded areas in the Trevi district. In this long and narrow alley we found Spaghetteria L’Archetto and decided this restaurant would satisfy our craving for noodles in and around our mouths, and eventually in our bellies.
Like most restaurants in Italy, Spaghetteria L’Archetto has outdoor and indoor seating. The inside of the building is fun and beautiful with a lot of rustic flair. While the seating in the alley doesn’t have as great of a view as other restaurant patios in Italy, there is some solid people watching. Phil and I opted to eat outside and were quickly seated at our table.
After we were seated it took quite some time for our waiter to come by with menus for our table. Slow service was a theme that reoccurred throughout the night. Once we had the massive menus in hand we were ready to eat our way through this place. In Italy wine is cheaper than water, especially when you order the house wine. Phil and I decided a mid-afternoon glass of wine was the thing to do when in Rome. We ordered L’Archetto’s house wine which was quite divine and paired well with our meals.
For entrees Phil and I decided to share two spaghetti dishes that made our mouths water from the moment we read there description on the menu, despite there being at least 40 different spaghetti options. We ordered the Pecorara which was spaghetti with sausage, cream, mushrooms, and grated cheese and the Rosa which was made with meat, tomato, cream, and ham. The food took a while to come to the table but when it did Phil and I were ready dig in.
Both of the pastas were cooked al dente, resulting in the perfect pasta tenderness. The Rosa was incredible with a rich creamy tomato sauce that complimented the the salty ham perfectly. However, the Pecorara was life-changing as the fresh mushrooms, cream, and cheese combined for a trifecta of utter goodness. It was the best spaghetti that I’ve ever had to this date. At the end of the meal, as is customary in Italy, fresh bread was brought to the table so we could soak it up in the delectable sauces left in our bowls. Flagging our waiter down for the check was a process, but this is to be expected in Europe where there isn’t as much of a rush to finish lunch or dinner quickly.
Despite the service being quite slow Phil and I were in love with this place, even if it may be a little bit of a tourist trap. As we walked back to the apartment we were staying at with fresh gelato in hand we knew we had to take Eugene back here before we left Rome. On our last night in Rome we brought Eugene to this fantastic spaghetteria for his first time and our round two! We sat outside again but this time in the evening with dim lights brightening up the alleyway.
This time around with another hungry man in our group we decided to go ham and order appetizers and other entrees in addition to the exquisite spaghetti. In addition to more of the refreshing house wine we ordered three types of bruschetta. The Bruschetta Al Pomodoro included toasted bread topped with tomato, the Bruschetta Alla Creama Di Caciofi Con Mozzarella was covered with mozzarella and artchiokes, and the Bruschetta Al Funghi Porcini had mushrooms with mozzarella on top of the toasted bread. All three were fresh and a light way to star our meal but they fell flat on taste when compared with other bruschetta and appetizers we had in Italy. The bruschetta with mushrooms was definitely my favorite. Maybe this restaurant gets their mushrooms from mushroom heaven because all their dishes that featured mushrooms were insanely good. That or I’m extremely biased to foods with mushrooms in, on, or around it 🙂
Along with our spaghetti Phil, Eugene, and I ordered the Prosciutto pizza. The thin crust dough was topped with super fresh ingredients including tomato, ham, and mozzarella. The dough was crispy and the prosciutto was tasty as ever, but I thought the pizza could have used a little more sauce as it was a bit dry for my liking.
For our pasta we ordered the Pecorara again which still remained my favorite. A close runner-up for best spaghetti was the Vodka spaghetti made with vodka, cream, and tomato which had a sweet and rich taste. The other spaghetti dish we ordered was the Bolognese which was made with meat, tomato, and cheese. It was a more standard spaghetti but still really hit the spot. If ever back at this restaurant again I would have my eye on the Carbonara with eggs, bacon, and grated cheese and the Tartufo with truffles, cream, and parsley. With so many options you are bound to find some unique and traditional spaghetti dishes that more than satisfy.
The relaxed ambiance, delightful house wine, and masterfully crafted spaghetti far outweigh the slow service and so-so appetizers and pizza. If you are craving spaghetti while in The Eternal City then Spaghetteria L’Archetto is your best bet. You’ll surely be slurping away at your heart’s content while dining at L’Archetto.
-Michael Averbook, Foodie Extraordinaire