I spent my birthday this year in this restaurant and I am glad I did. This establishment was suggested to us by the hotel receptionist on where we stayed when we had our holiday in Rome, it is located in a not so busy area in Rome away from all the tourists so it’s not that busy compared to inner city establishments, nice place to have dinner and unwind.
While walking to the place from our hotel we immediately saw it and wondered whether we should dine in there, it does not have any fancy lights, banner or any marketing materials compared to other restaurants so it was not enticing to go in. In comparison to Philippine establishments, it looks like a nice type of carinderia not a place you want to have your birthday but were tired after a whole day of walking and looking at Rome’s ruins so we tried out the hotels suggestion.
On entry we were greeted and seated immediately by a Filipino waiter, he immediately asked us what to drink then he took our order afterwards. The waiter was so helpful and offered us suggestions on what to order, we wanted to try a nice pasta but after several days in Europe eating pasta the ones in the menu started to look normal for us. He then suggested a mixture of seafood in a pasta which they can customize for us, I trusted his judgement and told him if you can ask the chef to make it really good why not. Then we ordered our pizza, my daughter like her margherita in the absence of Hawaiian, the wife likes a vegetarian pizza and I like anything with meat on it but we don’t want 3 pizza as the waiter told us that the pasta is more than enough for us so again the waiter suggested that he can make a four flavour pizza with all of the flavours we wanted. I did then added calamari to our order as I love munching on them.
While waiting for our order the waiter had some chat with us, leaving us occasionally when a new customer arrives. Filipinos tend to chat with other Filipinos when they see someone outside of their country, sometimes the conversation becomes personal like asking each ones work, how long they have been living in the country, whether they are living with their family or not and something with a similar subject. It’s the culture and sometimes this small chat is what makes us feel at home, it’s the feeling that makes you feel that you have other Filipinos would help you if needed, it’s the feeling of having a new warm welcoming friend out of a newly met stranger. That chat session entertained us and forgot the wait time for the order, which was good. I guess we waited for 20 minutes and it felt like a few minutes.
Now the order started to arrive, first was the calamari which was served in a bed of crispy fried spaghetti, not sure if it’s meant to be eaten but I tried it and it was tasty, it absorbed the excess oil from the deep fried squid. The squid was perfectly cooked and seasoned, real tender and tasty.
Next was the pizza, it’s not that huge but its more than enough for us, it was a size of a big plate, similar to the large pan at Pizza Hut. Though I did not try all of the four flavours my share was good, the base was not too thin but it was chewy and I love its texture.
Lastly the pasta arrived in a very interesting presentation, it was covered in foil shaped as a swan, the waiter then did opened it from the middle and it was smoking hot. As I serve the pasta across the table I notice it is packed with seafood like squid, shrimps, scampi, mussels, clams, scallops and a whole fish. The pasta was phenomenal the best I had from our Europe trip.
After the dinner they gave us a shot of something that looks like a liquor in small shot glasses but when we tasted it, it was a palate cleanser, a cold sweet and sour crushed ice concoction. As I am about to pay, I am quite nervous as two of the items I ordered was made to order and not on the menu so when the bill arrived I was quite surprised as it was really inexpensive if I can remember I paid less than EUR50.00 which was a good deal. This was the best restaurant we tried in Europe in terms of food and service, rustic home-made dish feel in a humble little place with warm welcoming and friendly staff, you should so visit this when you are in Rome.
Ristorante Pizzeria Ciro & Ciro
Circonvallazione Trionfale 59/59