Ever read about a place and decided you have to go there? Well, that’s how I felt about Osteria Zi’Umberto in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome.
It all started back in Richmond, Virginia where I tried bucatini al’amatriciana for the first time at Mama Zu’s and was hooked. It’s a simple pasta with tomatoes, pecorino cheese, wine and guanciale, but oh so delizioso! I honestly hadn’t found a place to make this pasta as good as Mama Zu’s until we went to Zi’ Umberto’s.
Zi’Umberto’s is a quaint osteria in a small piazza in Trastevere. It has the feel of your local hangout and they treat you as such! After the walk to the osteria from Vatican City on a hot summer day, we were ready for refreshment. We picked a table outside and were greeted by Mariano who is Umberto’s brother. Mariano is a character for sure and had no trouble poking fun at our mispronunciation, but recommended a swordfish and cherry tomato pasta special for “the boss,” aka my husband. “The boss” was very happy with that decision! Of course, I chose the bucatini al’amatriciana which brought me right back to my memories of eating at Mama Zu’s. Molto Buono!
As we wrapped up lunch, Mariano decided we needed a bottle of limoncello to cleanse our palette! He dropped off the bottle and laughed at us as he watched the four of us make quick work of that bottle! We ate, we drank, we laughed. As my husband would say, the whole experience was “toot sweet”!