Rome Food Diary: Baylon Cafè, Trastevere

I went back and forth on this one. While I really wanted to go to Sora Margherita in the Jewish Ghetto, I was reminded of the reviews on TripAdvisor that it can be very hard to get into, if there are lines of tourists, and I thought it might be hard to get a table for one. I’ll definitely try to go sometime in my days in Rome, and I’m glad to know the feisty waitress is still there, who manages to outrage about a quarter of the TripAdvisor reviewers, but I think she’s fun and colourful. So, one of the reviewers who didn’t like the waitress or the prices suggested this place, which when I looked it up is five minutes from my hotel.

Reviewers of this restaurant smugly point out that this where the locals dine, rather than the tourists, but really, it’s not for lack of trying. The two young waiters outside Baylon tried to hustle in every person who walked past, somewhat clumsily, and in a way I found a little charming but mostly annoying to hear during my whole meal. I think, because this restaurant is not as far into Trastevere proper, that it misses out on a lot of business from people who want to be right in the centre of the action, or at least next to one of the bustling squares.

My first disappointment was that they were out of Carciofo alla Giudia, the deep-fried artichoke dish that I’d loved from Sora Margherita. Ah well, I went for the classic pasta dish Cacio y Pepe (though on the menu above, the ‘Roman Holiday Meet Balls’ sounded intriguing too). With very al dente pesto, and a lot of salt, I found the dish just OK, not fantastic. I think the pasta was too al dente to match and melt with the creamy, richness of the sauce.

Then, still hungry, I took the recommendation of the waiter, a friendly young guy who reminded me of a Border Collie with his enthusiasm, and ordered the oxtails. My family loves oxtails, and Mom would cook them in a Hawaiian stew (rich with tomatoes and potatoes) or as a soup, Chinese style. So, it was great to try the Roman version. It came as a parmesan tuile over a generous amount of oxtail in a rich, thick tomato sauce. It was delicious and I chewed off the meat and cartilage and was Very Happy.

And even though I’d had a glass of white wine with the pasta, and of red wine with the oxtail, I decided to finish the evening with a negroni, which somehow tasted better than all the negronis that I make for myself at home, and I loved the touch of the dried orange slice. So, this almost made me Very Happy.

So, while I was unsure of whether I liked the place at first, I definitely swung upwards, and getting a 20% discount from booking through TripAdvisor and the Fork was the cherry on the pannacotta for my first proper meal in Rome this trip.

Baylon Cafè Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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