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A Meal to Remember: Osteria Aricciarola

Have you ever had a meal you just can’t forget, no matter how many years have passed?

Well, I have.

And it wasn’t cooked by a Michelin-starred chef, or prepared using elaborate molecular gastronomy techniques. No, in fact, it was at a simple osteria in Arricia with casual service and an atmosphere best called rustic.

Ariccia is one of the Castelli Romani (Roman Castle), a collection of small wine-producing towns located at the foot of the Alban Hills. Historically, because of it’s refreshing summer climate, the region was frequented by Roman noblemen, and then the Popes, who today, still have their summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, on the shores of Lake Albano. If you’re driving to the area from Rome, you can look for the castles rising above each of the 13 Castelli Romani towns.

It was there we headed as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Just 3 days after we landed in the Eternal City, still dazed and jetlagged, we squished ourselves into the car with a group of friends from Seoul, and drove an hour southeast to Osteria Aricciarola to meet Agri’s best friends from high school, for what I hoped would be another memorable meal.

The Castelli Romani is famous for porchetta and slightly frizzante red and white wines – 2 things we made sure to indulge in on our visit – but at Osteria Aricciarola, it’s really all about the antipasto.

When olives so fresh, juicy and green, they actually felt like a fruit, an Italian charcuterie board full of house-cured salami, prosciutto, and cheeses, roasted veggies, and porchetta so perfect appeared on our table, we pounced like people who’d been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

And it did not disappoint.

The only unfortunate thing? Being so full, I was unable to eat more than 1 or 2 bites of the impeccable plate of pasta I’d ordered as my primi (and only) piatti. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Visiting Osteria Aricciarola
The drive down to Ariccia, takes about an hour, but if you don’t have a car, you can take a train from Termini Station in Rome to Albano Laziale.

Seating at Osteria Aricciarola is informal, and we showed up without a reservation and had no trouble getting seating for 7 + a baby, but we visited on a weeknight. The situation may differ on weekends. Best to get in touch with them to confirm.

If you still have room in your belly, after that insanely huge antipasto, you can order pasta, or a variety of meats for a main meal. If you decide on pasta, you could opt for the Cinghiale, or wild boar ragu, which the area is also famous for.

And while you’d think such a feast would break the bank, plates of pasta go for about 6 euro, bottles of wine are super affordable, and the antipasto very reasonable.

Where was your most memorable meal? Have you been lucky enough to eat it twice? Share your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow this looks so delicious! I can’t say that I ever had a meal to remember , ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    August 12, 2016
    • Noooo!! You must’ve had an unforgettable meal somewhere. Even if it was unforgettably bad? Haha…in China maybe? or MIL’s house? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      August 15, 2016
      • Actually what does pop up when thinking of unforgettably bad is when we visited some friends of us in Finland few weeks after they got their little baby. The couple were also a Finnish Chinese mix same as us and the Chinese grandparents stayed with them for three months. Well they cooked up some food and I must say it was terrifyingly bad, so bad that just thinking about it I can actually taste it in my mouth!!! It was nothing odd just they prepared in such a terrible way ๐Ÿ˜›

        August 16, 2016
        • Haha that is the worst! When it’s so bad, you still have the memory of the taste long afterwards. Hopefully you won’t be invited for another meal there anytime soon. :p

          August 16, 2016
  2. I’m not a huge antipasto fan, but this even looks delicious to me! Speaking of memorable meals, I had one here in your hometown last night – little place in Insadong (no idea of the name) where a local contact had to order everything for us because the menu was only in Korean. I LOVED everything!

    August 12, 2016
    • Oooh, I’m so glad you enjoyed a great meal there. Insadong is full of little pockets and side alleys, so not easy to remember names or even the location of places there. The food in Korea is so delicious, but it can be a little difficult to know what to order in order to have the best experience. Did you manage to stick to your veggie diet there and in Mongolia? ๐Ÿ™‚

      August 15, 2016
      • Yes! The Seoul restaurant was vegetarian and in Mongolia, I found plenty to eat. I was polite in one family’s home and nibbled a dumping with meat in it, but managed to “spill” most of the meat out!

        August 16, 2016
  3. oooh me hungry now!

    August 16, 2016
  4. The food looks divine! But, Naia seems to capture my attention! Is it me, or is she growing cuter every day? Hugs to the little one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 25, 2016
    • I may be slightly biased, but yes, she’s getting cuter everyday. She’s “talking” a lot, and very active. You’ll be super-surprised when you meet her again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      August 29, 2016

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