Close to the heart of PIazza Navona is a rather upscale looking winery that opens early for dinner. We wanted to stop by Il Chianti solely for their offering of gnocchi, a pasta-like potato dish. However, what we found was a rather pleasant surprise.
Il Chianti offers classic Italian fare – there really isn’t much to add a special ‘flair’ to it. The menu follows the typical Italian dinner of antipasti (appetizer), il primo plati (first plate), secundo plati (second plate, I think), and dolce (dessert). Since it is a winery, there is also a good selection of wine to taste, and Italian food goes hand in hand with wine (except I didn’t really feel like having the wine that day, so nothing on that front). The antipastis consists of cured meats and cheeses, but I also did not go for much of that. No, the real “meat” was in the main courses. For brevity’s sake (there are a lot of restaurants I’m going to be writing about), I’m simply listing some of the dishes we ordered.
A Roman classic, with eggs, bacon, and Parmesan cheese. This was one of the richest carbonaras I have ever tasted, and it was quite yummy indeed. I’m not too crazy about the presentation, as it was a lot chunkier than I rmeember; a typical carbonara is white sauce and bacon bits to me, and I guess that’s wrong. The flavor was beyond compare, however. I was incredibly happy with this dish, and at a measly 9 euros for a dinner meal, it’s really a pretty good deal.
-Fettucine il Chianti
The signature pasta dish of the house, this features a fettucine pasta with lots of mushrooms, eggplants, and basil leaves in a rich tomato sauce. The vegetables add a good dimension to the otherwise normal marinara sauce, and although it is a little chunky, the sauce is good enough to make any diner happy. Also quite delectable, and the definite steal for the price.
-Bistecca al (something?)
A great, thin beefsteak with caramelized onions. I think it would have been better cooked medium instead of well done, but who knows? Maybe that’s just the way things are done with the bistecca dishes. As simple as a dish can get, but there were definitely some flaws. The carmelized onions weren’t cooked correctly, and as I mentioned earlier, the steak was too well done, meaning that the meat was a little tougher than one might like.
-Gnocchi alla Primavera
Ah, gnocchi. Simple Italian home cooking at its best. Compared to the USA, this gnocchi had a denser texture, and the sauce was, by contrast, very light. Some basil leaves complete the dish, and although simple, the dish is robust, with the few flavors really coming alive.
Dessert! It’s like a cousin to the millefeuille, with light pasty layers, some cream, and lots of strawberries. It’s quite something, and it was perfect for me – not too sweet, and still packs quite something. This isn’t a typical Italian dessert, but I found it refreshing and a great way to end my meal.
I’m sure that with a proper antipasti and some wine, Il Chanti Vineria would have provided me with a properly good Italian feast. This is a place that is easy to find, in a good location, and has great food for great value. If you’re in Rome, be sure not to miss it.
**Great, homestyle Italian food
**Large selection of classic dishes
**An Italian feast can be quite filling…
**The meat dishes might be cooked a bit better.
Vineria il Chianti
Via del Lavatore 81/82a
00187 Roma, Italy
(Fontana di Trevi)
Tel 06 678 75 50
06 679 24 70