As you can tell from this blog, I cook a lot. I love eating at home, and if you want to know the truth, most of the time I think my cooking is as good (or better) than what I eat in restaurants. But I do love going out too. Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. And sometimes what I am craving is beyond my skill set.
Carciofi alla Giudea are something I crave almost all the time, but have never managed to master. Carciofi alla Giudea are Jewish style artichokes that are a specialty of Rome’s ghetto. They are deep fried, whole artichokes that are uniquely beautiful and incredibly addictive.
While there are a lot of places in the ghetto that serve them, I have two favorite places: Sora Margherita and Gigetto. Evan and I went to Sora Margherita the other day for lunch and gorged on carciofi. Sora Margherita is, literally, a hole in the wall. It’s fifteen, paper-topped tables are crammed into a long narrow space that barely has room for a kitchen. Get there by 12:15 and put your name on the waiting list. Then sit on one of the chairs outside and wait. It’s worth it. Trust me. (They start serving at 12:30.)
The other place I go is Gigetto. For some reason Gigetto gets a bad rap from a lot of people. They think it’s too touristy, or don’t like their food. But I’ve been going there since I was 12, and think it’s great. They aren’t fancy, but all the Roman specialities – including of course carciofi alla giudea – are prepared with great care. On top of that, the location, right under the Portico D’Octavio, can’t be beat. The restaurant is still family run, and the brothers (one of whom my sister went on a date with once when we were teenagers) are still in charge.
Rather than give you a complicated lesson in carciofi, which I would never attempt at home, I’ll insert this video clip from Diary of a Foodie which we did a couple of years ago, at Gigetto’s.
30 Piazza delle Cinque Scole
06 687 4216
Via del Portico d’Ottavia 21
06 686 1105