Ragna D’oro was a place that I found whilst in Rome. I’d just finished hopping across the border to Vatican City for the day and spotted Ragno D’oro on my walk back. The only problem was, it wasn’t open for another few hours.
You see, I was hungry and my feet were hurting (stupid plantar fasciitis) which is never a good combination—and I didn’t want to walk back to the hotel. So I did what all good food-lovers do: I found a place to try something new instead. And that new thing, was cannoli. I know, I know, how have I never tried a cannoli before!? My hometown is quiet, ok! So, whilst I was there, I tried a cannoli and chilled with a book until it was time to head to dinner.
I arrived at Ragno D’oro for dinner literal minutes after they opened. (how keen?). But I was hungry, they were open and I have no shame in my food game!
The place was empty when I arrived, which was a combination of arriving as soon as they opened and being in Rome where everyone tends to eat later, and I was able to get in without a reservation. Despite the unoccupied tables when I arrived, it didn’t feel empty in Ragno D’oro. With walls that were split between wood panelling and paint, the decor felt like going back to a friend’s parents house who decorated in the 80s. It was cosy, with uniform tables, arches in the architecture, drink stations in the centre and an atmosphere that felt like being in somebody’s home, more than a restaurant. A feeling which was further solidified by the staff, who were so incredibly friendly.
I started off my meal in Ragno D’oro with some antipasti.
Carpaccio which came in the form of thin slices of beef topped with rocket, thin shavings of cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Which all but melted in your mouth and was perfectly balanced against the sharp flavour of the cheese.
And Insalata Caprese con Bufala. Which is a simple dish, but one that I regularly enjoy but have never been blown away by. Until this. Because I took a bite and the tomatoes were so incredibly juicy and flavoursome that I actually caught myself saying “oh my god” whilst still eating it.
After that, it was time for mains.
The menu at Ragno D’oro had various Roman classics, such as Carciofo alla Giudia on the menu. But I couldn’t decide what to order because calories are currency and I have a fear of spending them on the wrong thing. I decided to ask the host what he’d recommend and after asking me what sort of flavours I wanted and dish I was looking for, recommended I try the Polpette Della casa al Pomodoretto.
I have meatballs at home all the time I thought.
But then they came, and I tasted them, and I realised that saying I had meatballs at home all the time is like comparing a croissant from a supermarket to one that’s fresh from a bakery in France. The sauce was rich with tomato in a way that wasn’t too sweet, like many sauces can be, and it clung to the spaghetti like I cling to warm clothes in winter.
Which was followed by Abbacchio al Forno con Patate.
A baked lamb dish served across Rome in Easter. The recipe varies from family to family, but the Ragno D’oro version was flavoured with garlic, rosemary and white wine, and served alongside crispy potatoes.
The entire meal was delicious, and incredible value for money. I didn’t have room for dessert and instead sat and chilled, watching impressed as the tables that surrounded went full Italian and ate like it was their last meal. Dishes upon dishes came out to the tables, salads and pastas to start before more pasta and baked goods as mains. It was impressive, and as I sat there watching I made a mental note to myself, that one day I want to enjoy a traditional Italian feast as Italian’s do. But for now, I needed a nap! So I bid farewell to Ragno D’oro, jumped on the metro and walked back to the hotel, ready to get some rest for my next set of adventures!