I ate at La Fraschetta a few times when I first moved to Trastevere. This restaurant was my backup after several failed attempts to eat at Pizzeria ai Marmi (see review index), however La Fraschetta is far from a last resort, if you are looking for the epitome of italy, you’ll find it here. Whilst being north of the north/south border (i.e. Viale di Trastevere), it is slightly away from the hussel and bustle, and so its patrons tend to locals. It’s wonderfully stereotypical inside, white washed pebble-dash walls, red checked table cloths and chillies and garlic strung from the ceiling. The interior can be likened to the Sistine chapel (a mere 20 minute walk away), you may study it for days, yet at each glance you will discover something new. The difference however, is that in the Sistine chapel you contemplate a meaningful metaphor for life and death, whereas in La Fraschetta you see a hat that’s been turned into a lampshade. Tables are quite close together, but if you don’t mind the occasional jolly old Italian man giving you a cheeky wink, then it won’t be a problem. This place has a certain warmth and atmosphere, unparallel to that of any other restaurant I have frequented in Trastevere. My favourite quirk would be the horn that sounds every time a dish is ready (though if your hungry this is a nightmare, you start twitching like a salivating meerkat).
The menu boasts nothing out of the ordinary, but a restaurant such as this is visited for the traditional not the experimental. The bruschetta is the best I have had (I am sure you are thinking “how much can tomatoes on toast differ so greatly?”.. but trust me, when you’ve tried enough of them.. they do!), the perfect mix of fresh tomatoes and basil with the right balance of garlic and salt, all perched ontop of crunchy bread (the crunch is important, tomatoes prematurely placed lead to a disappointing sog). Wine is served in jugs with tumblers, but who needs chic with food like this? I’ve only ever eaten pizza here, but reliable pasta-loving companions tell me you won’t be disapointed. As for the pizza, pipping hot with cruncyh bases, there is a Capricciosa to die for!
Don’t discount this restaurant from the outside with agressive iron gates and a gloomy window, it’s the restaurant equivelant of Narnia. Once you’re inside you will feel at home as the friendly waitors plonk you down amongst a sea of Italians, and you sit back waiting for the feast to begin!
The inside of La Fraschetta
[Images are not my own due to bad camera-bringing-memory… http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g187791-d793152-i51796368-La_Fraschetta-Rome_Lazio.html%5D