Looking back at [vegetarian food in] Rome

Despite lots of great potential content, I didn’t write much about our fabulous trip to Europe last spring.*  Over the next couple of weeks, I  will rectify that by sharing snippets from my travel journal in the “Looking back at  . . . ” series.

If you’ve read the other posts in this series, you know that I talk as much about what we ate while traveling as anything else, hence the slightly altered title of this post.

Rome, April 3-7, 2011
Sunday (4/3): On to Rome for the last bit of our journey, with panini ingredients for lunch on the train.  We arrived at Termini Station, and, after a bit of hunting, found the Roma Pass desk, where we bought the passes that would cover all of our metro and bus trips for the next three days.Continue reading “Looking back at [vegetarian food in] Rome”

When in Rome . . .

. . . eat Indian food???  Absolutely!

When we were in Italy last spring, our first dinner in Rome came after we’d been traveling in other parts of the country for over a week, and, quite frankly, we were ready for something other than Italian food.  We made our way to Shanti, an Indian restaurant recommended by one of our guide books, and enjoyed one of the best meals of our entire trip, including one dish in particular.

Fellow blogger Nupur (One Hot Stove) was kind enough to help us identify the dish as malai kofta (see her comment on this post for recipe links).  We haven’t gotten around to making malai kofta ourselves, but we identified a couple of local Indian restaurants that serve the dish.

Over the weekend, we finally made the trek to House of India for our fix.  I liked the idea of their lunch buffet, but I called to investigate and they told me that the malai kofta is never on the buffet.  Further, they ONLY offer the buffet at lunch time.  What to do?

Go for the lunch buffet and order malai kofta from the takeout menu, which is available any time.  Clever, no?

We enjoyed a nice buffet lunch and left with a double order of malai kofta to enjoy later.  I brought a glass container to avoid polystyrene or other disposable plastic to-go containers, and our server agreed to use it, no problem 🙂

We heated half of the malai kofta for dinner last night, and it was every bit as delicious as we remembered.

Last day in Rome

So I’ve written about the beginning of our trip, which started in London.  In between London and Rome, we visited Florence, Cinque Terre, and Siena.  Today I feel like writing about Rome, where we ended our trip.

We began our final day in Rome with a large dose of cuteness.  A quartet of perfectly fuzzy ducklings salvaged Rome’s otherwise not-so-memorable botanical garden.  (We recommend Kew in London, and Siena’s small, but nice (and free) Orto Botanico.)

After our garden time, we headed across town for lunch at Il Margutta.  This vegetarian restaurant has a buffet-style brunch.  Huge variety, and all top quality – the soup was the only flop, but by then we were so stuffed it didn’t matter.  For affordability, both here and at the Naturist Club (another vegetarian place where we enjoyed a meal the previous day), lunch was definitely the way to go.

Only catch?  Instead of the typical U.S.-style “all-you-can-eat” buffet, Il Margutta limits diners to one plate.  So, as you can see, we made the most of our one trip through the line.  We thought we were embarrassing ourselves, and being “those Americans,” but there were some real authentic Italian diners with plates that rivaled, and perhaps exceeded, ours.  We both cleaned our plates and were actually NOT uncomfortably full when we left — so no food wasted!

Fully sated, we made our way to the beautiful Borghese Gardens (wish we had more time to spend in the park) for our reserved slot at the Borghese Gallery, home of Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne sculpture, as well as a number of other beautiful Bernini pieces.  We paid for the audio guide, which was nice accompaniment.

For our final meal at Rome, we ate delicious pizza at ZaZa, followed by gelato at a shop Matthew frequented ten years earlier.  We also bought pizza to sustain us on Thursday’s plane ride.

We ended the day with a moonlight stroll through Rome, including a pass by the Trevi Fountain.  I tossed in a coin for good luck 🙂