La Taverna del Ghetto is located on Via del Portico d’Ottavia, which is the main street in the Jewish Ghetto. Tables spill over into the street from the spacious interior and there is plenty of good people watching to be had when sitting at one of these tables. There was even a man playing clarinet for tips in the street when we ate dinner here. The Taverna gets its fame from being the first kosher restaurant in Rome, supposedly. The restaurant does offer an excellent selection of typical Roman Jewish foods and also has an impressive website complete with a blog and recipes.
Because the second courses were a bit out of our price range (around 15 – 30 Euros, depending on the dish), we decided to order an antipasta and a primi for our meal. I ordered the Jewish specialty sampler platter for my antipasta which included a Roman fried artichoke, a small fried filet of bacala (cod), and a fried zucchini flower stuffed with fish. The fry batter was very light, almost like it was not fried at all. My favorite of these three was definitely the zucchini flower or (fiori di zucca). I fell in love with zucchini flowers as an au pair 2 years ago and I still enjoy the taste! The artichoke and bacala were also very tasty. I would order this sampler platter again for 9 Euros. Joey ordered a mixed charcuterie plate which featured 3 different kinds of salami. I found this plate to be average and I would not order it again because you could find a similar selection of meats at the local grocery store.
For our primi, I ordered a pasta with zucchini flowers (surprise!) and pieces of fish and Joey ordered the special of the day – potato dumplings, or gnocchi. Although the zucchini flowers were again delicious, I think there were only 3 or 4 in my whole dish which was disappointing. The fish was also good, but the sauce was not my favorite. Joey’s gnocchi was equally as average. We would not order these dishes again.
For dessert, I enjoyed a torto del nonno, or grandfather’s cake. It is like a pie with chocolate filling, which I very much enjoyed with our house red wine. I would order the cake again, but I do not think it would make my list of the best desserts in Rome. In summary, the food at La Taverna del Ghetto is overall average for the area and a bit more pricey than what most budget travelers would want. Dinner for two with two courses, wine, and a dessert ran us about 60 Euros. The ambience and Jewish appetizer speciality is excellent, but the pasta and the price tag make me hesitate to recommend this restaurant to other travelers.
Affordability: Taverna del Ghetto gets a “pricey” designation because it is outside of the range of most budget travelers.
Food Quality: Taverna del Ghetto gets 3 out of 5 stars for having some good dishes but overall mediocre quality.
Time Investment: Taverna del Ghetto ranks as a medium to long wait establishment. The service is not the best and will require a decent wait time.