Oasis of Authentic Rome (August 2018)

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Dream of Italy. Find the main article here.

Santo Palato is a traditional Roman restaurant with all the comforts of the cuisine of the capital such as tripe, oxtail stew, salt cod, and carbonara. Nestled on a quiet street off a busy intersection of the San Giovanni neighborhood, this restaurant feels like visiting a relative’s home for dinner. The team at Santo Palato is led by an amazing young chef named Sarah Cicolini who is as friendly in the dining room as much as she is creative and smart in the kitchen.

The walls of this trattoria have custom artwork made for the restaurant designed with a 1920s/30s feel. The simple tables and chairs and clean colors of the space are the perfect backdrop to frame these beautiful designs.

The menu here never disappoints and is never the same. While you will always find a carbonara made with the perfect blend of cured pork, egg and Pecorino, there are seasonal surprises on the blackboard hung near the kitchen window like the late-summer staple of a side of erbe selvatiche, or wild herbs.

Practically the essence of Rome on a plate, the rigatoni alla pajata is sensational. Calves’ intestines slow cooked in tomato sauce make the sauce for this pasta. The intestines, given that the calves had never eaten anything but their mother’s milk, are creamy and delicate. This dish is an ode to the culinary tradition of Rome, generally considered a poor cuisine, and is a testament to Sarah Cicolini, who makes it fit for a royal feast.

The young and friendly wait staff are quick to recommend a dish happily sharing their opinions on which creations you absolutely cannot miss and what new developments are coming out of the kitchen on any given day. The atmosphere of this place feels like your grandma’s kitchen and often Sunday lunches are booked a week in advance, so reservations are definitely recommended. It’s easy to see why this trattoria did so well in its first year in business.

Santo Palato
Piazza Tarquinia, 4 A/B
(39) 06 77207354
Open Tuesday- Sunday, 12-10:30pm.
Closed Monday.

 –Danielle Abbazia