Delicious dishes at reasonable prices: Origano Trevi in Rome
Located at a small intersection near the Spanish Steps, you could pass by Origano Trevi and assume it was another food joint in a city full of overpriced restaurants that cater to tourists. This bistro, however, distinguishes itself with signs promoting vegan and vegetarian options, revealing its health-conscious attitude, an anomaly in Rome. Look a little closer, and you might notice the certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor and the lively mood of this local establishment.
Upon entering, you are greeted by a friendly hostess who tells you to sit anywhere you’d like. Sit down and take a look around: The restaurant is roomy, yet intimate. The building has a modern look, but it maintains a rustic touch. The arched doorways and exposed light fixtures adds to the simplistic charm.
The restaurant’s food philosophy is reflected in the menu, lots of vegan and vegetarian dishes dot the pages. Further inspection of the menu reveals that the prices are reasonable and budget friendly, a pleasant surprise.
The menu features a wide variety of appetizers and main dishes. The traditional starter (Tuscan sausages, mozzarella bites, fresh tomato bruschetta, bean and celery salad) defines the appetizer selection, mostly salads and vegetable mixes, priced from 8 to 12 euros. In terms of mains, expect classic Italian dishes, such as gnocchi al pomodoro and carbonara, all ranging from 9 to 12 euros. An assortment of pizzas is available from 9 to 11 euros. For meat lovers, there is also a large selections of meat dishes, such as fried chicken cutlet and beef entrecôte (a kind of ribeye steak), from 12 to 16 euros. The dessert menu is a mixture of fruits and Italian treats, like panna cotta and sorbets, all under 5 euros.
My companion and I both chose the special menu which included a small salad, a soda, any pasta and a cappuccino, all for 12 euros. The salad was quite good and fresh. They gave us the dressings, olive oil and vinegar, in spray tubes, giving us liberty to decide how much was necessary. For my main course, I had a carbonara, which was pleasantly surprising. Compared to carbonaras I’ve had in Europe so far, it was one of the best. The sauce wasn’t lathered on, making it less greasy and salty. The thin noodles complimented the light sauce, and the finely diced meat was perfectly cooked. The portion size was reasonable, but not huge. The cappuccino was a perfect way to end the meal, a good prelude before buying Italian gelato at a street vendor.
The bill came out to be 24 euros total, an exceptional deal in a city full of tourists. This bistro was one of the few restaurants in Rome that I found which offered delicious dishes for reasonable prices. If you are in the eternal city and decide to visit the Spanish Steps, give Origano Trevi a try.