Our big splurge in Monteverde was at the appropriately named L'Osteria di Monteverde. This was a wise choice and you are about to see why. The clear winner for our coveted finest dinner in Rome classification, this unassuming Osteria on a side street in Monteverde offered a nice mix of traditional and contemporary cuisine, a fitting approach in this part of town.
We ate here on May Day, which in Rome means favas, and not just any favas, but raw favas in their little husks. Snacking on these tender, small and flavorful beans alongside salty bites of Pecorino Romano is a nice way to be welcomed.
The menu here will tempt you in many ways. They have a lovely wine list with fair prices. We went with a half liter of the house white (pecorino) followed by a half liter of house red (nebbiolo). At 6€ each, this was plenty of wine for two lushes.
Visiting a city like Rome can and should be one of life's great pleasures. That being said, visiting Rome might also be one of life's more overwhelming achievements! One way I have found to minimize exhaustion and maximize the Roman experience is to stay slightly outside the city center. This may not be for everyone, but I would have it no other way. Getting outside of the historic center is such a great way to see daily life and find little pockets that just might offer the things which elude so many when visiting such a popular area. You wouldn't go to New York and only visit Times Square!
Monteverde is that place for me and has offered a much needed city respite on all of my visits. If you are familiar with the Pier Paolo Pasolini classic, Mamma Roma, you have likely caught a glimpse of Monteverde. Although Pasolini grew up in Bologna, Monteverde became, for some time, his adopted home. Certainly, he was rightly critical of the very things about this area which I enjoy: it's tall apartment buildings and urban grit nestled closely to the beautiful images which Rome typically conjures. For me, there is great beauty here, too, and I love being the only tourist around.
People here are friendly, welcoming and helpful and from here, the centro storico is 15 minutes away by public transit. Or, do what I do and walk it. Clocking in at just around an hour, I love starting my day this way. Walking to the top of Monteverde past all the butchers and cafes, wine shops and pizzerias, and then winding down to the river through the posh Trastevere isn't an inconvenience, for me it is a bonus.
It's a good thing you are walking, too, since Monteverde offers a ridiculous number of very fine eateries, fancy and casual. Eating out here as opposed to fighting for a table in the city will make you feel like you finally know what you are doing (for once!) and the chances of a disappointing meal decrease dramatically.