P. Pollarola 24-25, Rome
We flew to Rome immediately after our exams, as a post-exam reward trip. We went with S, who flew into London from Singapore just the day before, and met up with LM who was travelling in Italy. We had one of the best carbonara in Rome the last time we were there, so we headed straight for Grappolo near Piazza Navona for some blow-us-away carbonara. Alas, it was not opened for lunch (how stupid of us, we should have checked). We were starving, and didn’t fancy walking somewhere too far away, so we flipped through our guidebook to see if there were any recommended restaurants nearby. Sure enough, Il Pollarola was just around the corner, so we went there.
Perhaps since we were still recovering from the disappointment of not being able to eat at Grappolo, we weren’t very inspired by the menu, so we just went for whatever dishes were mentioned in our guide book. We ordered 2 canelloni (lasagna with meat), 1 spaghetti alle vongole and 1 penne all’arrabbiata. According to the guide book these were all fine examples of traditional dishes, exquisitely prepared. Deciding that we wanted some meat, we ordered a veal chop as well.
Overall, we were quite disappointed. The spaghetti alle vongole tasted processed, and the spaghetti was overcooked. The penne was decent, but it was such a plain and simple dish that it got boring after a while. I guess since Italians eat pasta as a pre-main course they tend to keep it plain and simple. We definitely wished for a little more excitement.
The cannelloni was quite nice, but it was swimming in a pool of scaldingly hot melted cheese that was quite excessive. By itself the cannelloni was quite al dente and tasty, and really didn’t need all that cheese at all.
Our veal chop never came. They ‘ran out’ of veal at 1pm.