L’Osteria di Monteverde is a fun place. It feels like a neighborhood joint, with walls covered by old maps and album covers, and with a psychotic Ghostface mask waiting to welcome you in the bathroom. Although it was highlighted in a New York Times article about what to do with 36 Hours in Rome, the tables are filled with young Romans, most of them from the neighborhood.
Since 1999, Giancarlo Casa has been making pizzas with cut-above ingredients, spending extra time working the dough, and charging slightly more for the result. You’ll be happy to pay the higher prices, and also the cab fare to Monteverde, for what is currently my favorite pizza experience in Rome. I say ‘experience’ because it’s not just about the excellent wood-fired pizza. The supplì and other fried starters are a true joy to put in your mouth, and the surprisingly good wine selection at la Gatta Mangiona elevates it to destination status.
Innumerable restaurateurs worldwide have failed where Portuense pizzeria In Fucina succeeds: transforming the modest, egalitarian pizza into the basis of a justifiably expensive, even chic meal. In Fucina, laudably, does it without gold flakes or lobsters. Instead, under the arches of In Fucina’s understated interior, diners share successions of pies, usually proceeding from the simple margherita to more evolved creations, like one featuring diced Barolo-marinated pear and fontina.