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Enoteca Corsi

1 Oct

Can you just sense the husle and bustle coming from this one-room hole in the wall? If you’re ever near Largo Argentina around lunch time, you might want to take a look and see if you can elbow your way in. It’s really a place for those in the know, and getting a seat is a true test of how well you can assert yourself here in Rome to get seen and get a table.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this place. The food is good, the service is fine, and it is completely down-home. They’re open only for lunch, which probably explains the endless crush of people. But if you manage to get a table, you probably won’t be disappointed with anything that you order, and given its location about a 5 minute walk from the Pantheon, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at the reasonable prices as well.

The menu is posted at the door. On the day we went, here’s what it looked like:

So if you don’t speak Italian you’ll need to bring your menu translator to speed up the process.

Did you happen to notice “trippa alla romana” on the menu? One of those dishes where if you ask what it is, the locals will probably say, “Just eat it first…then I’ll tell you.” (Major red flag territory.) Nothing says lovin’ like, and I quote the definition of ‘tripe’ from m-w.com: “stomach tissue especially of a ruminant (as an ox) used as food.” Um, right. Anything served in a restaurant whose technical definition ends in “used as food”? Pass. However, don’t take my word for it. This is a down-home Roman delicacy and I know lots of people who heart it very much. If you care to try your hand at making it for your loved ones (or enemies), here’s a recipe from Mario Batali, who I have chosen because his recipes are so far the only ones I’ve found in English that closest resemble, in technique and ingredients, how I’ve seen Romans actually cook. You might notice that the recipe comes from an episode of his show Molto Mario that was titled: “Osteria del Operaio” — basically a down-home place to eat for blue-collar workers. Nowadays in the historic center you won’t find many actual osterie specifically for operai, which is why Enoteca Corsi is the last of a dying breed, despite all the business men in ties and suits. (Which you don’t see in my photo because we went on a Saturday. They’re closed on Sundays.)

So, as far as authenticity goes, you can’t go wrong with Enoteca Corsi. True to its name, the place also has a decent selection of wine, so if you miss the lunch rush but manage to slip in before late afternoon (about 3:30 pm) closing time, you can grab a bottle and try to chat up the locals.

Enoteca Corsi, Via del Gesù 88

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17 Responses to “Enoteca Corsi”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy October 1, 2007 at 12:18 pm #

    No trippa for me, thanks! I battled with torcinelli in the south and andouille sausage in France and I think I’m done with internal organs.

  2. sognatrice October 1, 2007 at 12:36 pm #

    They love their tripe down here too; I tell them they should be happy I don’t do innards–more from them 😉

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza October 1, 2007 at 2:26 pm #

    I am not down with tripe, chitlings, tongue or pigs feet. The latter two my mom used to make. Not fun.

  4. Isma October 1, 2007 at 3:00 pm #

    We tried this one a few days after arriving in Rome but I was quite disappointed, there were many tourists and the pasta was … bah (as they say here ;-))
    Concerning the trippa, I confess I can’t even stand the smell of it, whereas my boyfriend is completely crazy about this kind of food (which he can eat only in restaurants !!)

  5. qualcosa di bello October 1, 2007 at 8:30 pm #

    i would go for the local flair & location (near the apt. we booked next spring)…love that picture you took of the busy crowd!

    but i will skip the trippa…i don’t do innerds!

  6. pina October 2, 2007 at 1:02 am #

    my mom used to make trippa all the time when we were kids…and i hate to say cuz now that i know what it is it kinda grosses me out…but it was good!!

  7. Piccola October 2, 2007 at 1:29 am #

    I love tripe. It’s the main ingredient in Menudo. Yum. I’ve been to Entoca Corsi. It was just Ok. I don’t even remember what I ate. Rachel Ray did a $40 a day episode there in Rome and this Enoteca was one of the restaurants.

  8. Brendan October 2, 2007 at 10:56 pm #

    I think the food is so so. The best part is being able to sit in the middle of a wine shop and eat your lunch. On more than one occasion I’ve stumbled from my table to the shelves for a second helping!

  9. Kelli October 3, 2007 at 12:31 am #

    EW on the tripe. I couldn’t ever do it when I was living in Mexico. Otherwise, that restaurant sounds pretty fab!

  10. kataroma October 3, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    I like tripe too – which is lucky for me since I live in Rome and offal is the most “characteristic” Roman food. I also eat brains, liver, oxtails, pigfeet…anything really – but I have a particular fondness for tripe.

    My Australian mum brought me up on this stuff – what can I say? 🙂

  11. Rachel October 7, 2007 at 1:51 am #

    Didn’t try this place, but from what I saw of the many plates at outdoor tables we walked by in the various cool, chic or fun neighborhoods of Roma, I still think the best downhome food is in the Testaccio area… Il Bucatino was one of our favorites, but there’s a bunch right around there. And Blue Ice is a stone’s throw from any of them which is, of course, the most important part.

  12. ahmed luzan January 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    well. I sated in Rome nearly 2 mounths and I’ve eaten everyday in here. it’s great, it’s awsome, it’s percect. ciao to Klawdia, Sara, Zia Juliana. your friend Ahmed Luzan.

  13. Razaq January 28, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    i was in Rome from 24/9-16/11/2007 ,i,ve got a very nice dishes .i,ll not forget my days there!i hope to be there soon. big hug to Cloudia & Sara Zia Juliana.
    yours Razaq Khleef.

  14. Agnese Edmonds March 28, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    This restaurant is awesome, the food was really great and if you go there, you will be in the photo, because we are! (could not believe it when we saw this photo!! James and Agnese (we were there in March 2007). Highly recommended!

  15. Paul Corsi November 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    I first found this place from Rick Steves book.I go everytime I am in Rome-No relation as I have asked-Too bad,love the food and the local flair being with the local Romans for lunch

  16. Paul Corsi November 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    One more thing–This is a wine store that serves lunch–try to grab a table in the wine shop if you can awesome

  17. DMA October 20, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    The food here was totally disappointing. The osso bucco was tasteless and the gnocchi actually tasted just like Chef Boyardee! What’s with all the recommendations on TripAdvisor, etc.? The service was the only decent thing about this place.

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