Even though there are a variety of foods to eat in Rome, the restaurants near sightseeing spots are rather expensive and crowded and we usually don't know whether it has good plates or not. If you are looking for a restaurant that guarantees the taste at a reasonable price, visit Carlo Menta. Carlo Menta is located at the entrance to the Trastevere, close to the famous flower market Campo di Fiori, the mouth of truth, and the Circus Maximus.
Trastevere is the oldest district for the public in Rome. And many buildings from the Renaissance and Baroque period have still remained in this district. Nowadays it is a famous neighborhood among locals where you can find hidden good restaurants, cheap local restaurants, cafes, and bars. In the evening time, more people gather in this neighborhood to enjoy the night life.
The interior is neatly arranged with the antique atmosphere. It is not too modern that you can feel a friendly attachment. Also, there was no price rise from six years ago when I visited for the first time. They serve a range of dishes such as appetizers, pasta, pizzas, soups, side menus, desserts, course menu, etc. The price of one pizza starts at 3 euros.
When you finish ordering, bread is first served. Italian bread before a meal is soft on the inside and firm on the outside. We recommend you to try them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar like locals.
Bruschetta is a dish with tomatoes and rocket salad above on the garlic bread. It is one of Italian most popular antipasto which is a simple Italian appetizer. They make a garlic bread by putting garlic juice on the sliced baguette bread. On the garlic bread, they add some olive oil and tomatoes, salads, or salmon according to the menu. Pomodoro Rughetta is the most basic type of Bruschetta with moist and refreshing texture.
Melon prosciutto is one of the representative appetizer menus of Italy. It is a simple menu with no need to cook. You just need to put the thin prosciutto over the pieces of sweet melon. Prosciutto is a ham produced in the Parma region, Italy, which is famous for its good quality. The combination of melon and ham might be a bit unfamiliar to you. But once you try, you will notice that sweet melon and salty ham make a good harmony.
A menu that you must try at Carlo Menta is this shrimp & radish spaghetti. It is cooked with numerous shrimps which makes a huge portion. The good thing about this restaurant is that they use a big amount of fresh ingredients but you can try their dish at a more affordable price compared to other Italian restaurants. And their shrimp spaghetti boasts a unique and intense texture of spaghetti that you might have never tried before. Chewy flavor of this hard and soft pasta is exceptional. The sauce is similar to sweet rosé sauce.
If you don't know which menu to choose or if you want to experience various range of Italian foods, we recommend you to try the course menu. The lunch course menu costs 10 euros and the evening course at 13 euros. The course menu consists of appetizers such as Bruschetta, a first main dish like lasagna and spaghetti, a second main dish with a variety of Italian dishes, and a dessert. And if you are planning to visit for the dinner, there would be crowded so it is better to have an early dinner. The restaurant is divided into the indoor and outdoor seating area. There are heaters installed in the outdoor so you can enjoy outdoor atmosphere also during the winter.
Words by Youra CHOI
Photographs by Yuna LEE
Address : Via della Lungaretta, 101, 00153 Roma
Opening Hours : Sun-Thurs 12:00-23:30 / Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00
Price : Pizza from 3 eruos, Lunch course menu 10 euros, Dinner course menu 13 euros